Spring Hoop Mania

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skirt hooping
Today's weather was gorgeous and no amount of disaster-anything was going to keep me inside. I put on a gorgeous long twirly skirt given to me by my hooping friend, Sarah, walked up to my local park where the stone paving is always warm, slipped off my shoes, turned up my iPod and completely ignored everyone else in the park. I leaped, I twirled, I smiled. It was wonderful. I just fell into the flow and got all sorts of gifts as a result.  New moves, new thoughts, no thoughts. It was so needed and greedily/gratefully accepted.

The bliss was broken by a band of small boys on bicycles who shouted to me in Japanese if I could do anything more cool. I replied in English and told them no, this was all I could do, go away and no, they couldn't use my hoops. They did go away after a while and I got back to my hooping groove, but it wasn't long before I noticed that my feet hurt. I'd danced so hard that I'd brought out blisters. I took a break and sketched a scene of the park before a song started playing that I just had to hoop to. Bad idea. I hobbled home on blood blisters. Ouch.

Tomorrow is going to be gorgeous, too, and blisters be damned. I'm going to Yoyogi Park to hoop, muck about with choreography for an upcoming performance and think about on the workshops I'll be teaching for Guru-guru Camp at the end of the month. Kana is coming to the park, too, so we'll have a hanami hoop together. Join us if you are in the mood. I ought to bring some Tohoku sake to ease the pain of my feet.

Our main hanami hoop was "Cherry Cherry Boom Boom" on Sunday. Organised by Deanne and Leila, it drew a jumbo crowd of revelers and raised 16,000 yen for Second Harvest Japan's relief efforts. I hooped all day, drawing unexpected applause twice.

Applause makes me uncomfortable. The first time at the hanami, I was hooping for an acquaintance who was shooting a video. I didn't think I was doing anything exceptional, just getting into the spin, but there was a lot of noise and it seemed to be for me. The second time, I was sort of showing off, but nobody was supposed to see! Some drunk guys came up to our party to hoop and wanted to know if I could spin a bunch of hoops at once. So I grabbed five, got them going on my waist, then split two up. And then I lost the stack and let them drop. It was sloppy and stupid but everyone was clapping afterward. Embarrassing.

Guru-guru Camp is just 15 days away. I'm so excited to be organising this week of camping and hooping on Niijima. I'm leading hoop drills every morning and a hoop workshop every day. Other friends are going to offer workshops and activities, too, like juggling and DJs.  And we're offering it all for free. Get yourself there with yoru gear and food, then relax and enjoy the fun.

One of the highlights of Guru-guru Camp for me will be finishing up the filming for the Japan Tricks Showcase, a charity video featuring Japan hoopers and their original hoop moves. There's a workshop on "creating an original trick" that will be lots of fun and then we'll be filming them for the rest of the week. I've gotten the first three tricks done and I know there are lots more coming. I hope this video will encourage the global hooping community to donate to Tohoku relief efforts.

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