So, as it turns out, while I was lying in the sky lodge all night unable to sleep, so was everyone else! It was suuuuuper cold and pretty damn noisy on account of all the rain, but still, up and early we got up and headed off to our first workshop - 'Winging It' with the lovely Ems of Hooping Mad!
Basically, the jist of it was elbow work - elbow passes, stalls, reversals and general awesome-ness. I have to say, I'd always considered elbows to have a fairly finite number of moves but goddamn was I wrong! I learnt some awesome stuffs and neeeeeearly got the horizontal elbow pass down (which I have completely neglected to practice since thinking about it - bad Cazz.)
One of the loveliest things about the weekend was the down time. In between workshops and meals and during the evenings we were free to roam about the grounds of WildWays, practice what we'd learnt and generally hoop to our hearts content. This gave my a great opportunity to practice my teachings skills as, having willfully neglected my dissertation for 2 months and hooped constantly instead, I got pretty good pretty quick so had lots of tips to hand out to the newer hoopers! I felt a bit funny being video'd at one point - the lovely Camille wanted to see the difference between a regular vertical duck in and a vertical shoulder throw..... it was pretty cool though. I'd totally forgot how much fun I have teaching people and it did give me the bit of confidence I needed to realistically think about starting up a hooping class. Watch this space!
The afternoon session was with Sharna of Inner Spin (one of the greatest hoop dancers in the world and my mentor I have to say!) and Diana of Hoops Whirled. This particular workshop was really about finding expression and feeling in our movements and making small adjustments that make big differences. For example - we were challenged to maintain a flow with our hoops while keeping both hands firmly attached to the hoop. This resulted in some super twisted limbs and tangled people but that's probably the best way to find new rhythms and moves!
As well as challenges we also tried to identify stumbles and hurdles in our own hooping path - each group had to identify a problem of their own and, as a group, we gave advice and tips on how to make the moves more fluid. This was a wonderful aspect of the workshop for me as I was able to realise how much I knew and how logical my approach to hooping is - it was the beginning of a lot of people coming to me for tips and tricks which I loved! I don't mean that in an egotistical way and I don't mean to sound big-headed. What I loved was being able to help people, being able to share the love and make things easier or more sensible. Helping is best!
As much fun as Saturday night was, I was mainly sitting down having gone over in my ankle on the way down to the yurt for the UKHG renegade circus.... DAMN! I was super annoyed but, determined not to let it get in the way of an awesome weekend, I carried on regardless!
The evening's entertainment was freaking AMAZING.
The first performance was the lovely Carmel who very kindly, and VERY bravely, sang a song by Zero 7. It was literally the perfect way to start the evening and we were all blown away by her voice. She remained completely calm and her voice was beautiful - yey Carmel!
Next up was Rico (zomghawt) with his amazing claw-staff-hoop routine. I have never, in my life, seen anyone move the way he does. There is something raw and overtly masculine about the way Rico hoops which, as obvious as it sounds, is something very special as hooping by it's very nature is a very feminine movement. Rico mainly worked with horizontal shoulder work (with the addition of some very cool movements involving his hat) and as a performance it packed quite a punch!
Diana and Sharna then wowed us all with a very nicely polished and well thought out routine called 'Super Hoopers' about a poor, miserable woman who needs saving from her boredom! Diana looked fantabulous in her cape and, with her super hooper powers inspired Sharna to strip off down to her magical mutli-coloured UV cat suit and hooped up a storm!
We were then treated to a very special poop/juggling balancing act by the ace Mr. Bags! I can only assume that bags is completely mental, coz the culmination of his act was him, balancing a wheelbarrow on his chin, whilst hula hooping. I'm not even kidding. A wheelbarrow. And hoops. It. Was. Awesome.
Gems and her magical hoop routine were followed by the Dreads 'n' Hoops crew (shortly to be known as 'Cute little bobs 'n' hoops' owing to Gems chopping off her dreadlings!) with some rather swanky glow hooping :) Gails performance was pretty spectacular too, though no naked! LAME. We were promised a pants-off dance-off after the escapades of 'Push It Forward' :P
Ems and her glittery pants wowed us all with some super speedy hooping (that girl is like the energiser bunny on speed with her hoops) and the occasional fudge up was totally ignored owing to her 'mazin silver sequined pants which she wantonly pointed in the audience direction! Ems was then joined by Gail for some pretty tricky looking partner hooping - I have video which I will try to post here (internet connection permitting) because trying to describe it just wouldn't do it justice. It looks absolutely incredible and I'm gonns steal a hooper so we can try it out!
After the performances we were all invited to try fire hooping for the first time had we not had our first 'burn' - I had only ever spun off someone else's wicks right at the end so I was eager to try. It was mint! The noise is amazing and I'd totally forgotten how much easier everything is with a heavier hoop. Still, I soon had to go sit down as by this stage my ankle was starting to throb a bit. Still, I got to hang out with the workshops tutors for a bit and watch Sharna and her twin LED hoops of goodness practicing - it was all pretty mint!
Saturday wasn't a big night for us lot in the Sky Lodge - having not slept at all the night before most of us were in bed by about 1am, but not before some NAKED! I won't go into naked details, but it was basically a giant hippy love-in :P
Thankfully, sleep was forthcoming on Saturday night, probably coz we were all so knackered.... still, more fun was to come on Sunday!
Still to come, part 3 - SUNDAY!