Unrelated thoughts

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I keep having ideas for blog posts - topics meaty enough to be more than a tweet or status update on Facebook - but for whatever reason I talk myself out of writing up my thoughts. I've fallen out of the habit of blogging, and that's a shame for me (maybe not such a big deal to my limited audience). So this morning, before I run off to 4th Sunday Spin, I am going to do a couple of mini brain dumps so I feel a little less guilty for not sharing my thoughts on this long-standing platform. Here we go:

hoopdance-silverdress.jpg

Hoop Dance Breakthrough
A few weeks ago, I went to Hoop Lounge and danced. Really danced, possibly for the first time since I was a child. I played out all my emotional energy in an ego-less state of motion. It felt so good. And the incentive for this rather unusual state was three-fold: I was wearing a fabulous silver dress that was felt good to dance in; I was full of repressed emotion; and most importantly, I let myself reach new lows in my hooping thanks to watching aggressive skate videos with Tod. Skaters move with their knees bent for stability and strength. I tried that and it transformed my dance. 

Foreign-run Clubs and Organizations in Tokyo
This may be a bit controversial, but here I go. Thanks to an influx of new friends & visitors to Tokyo, I've had this conversation a few times recently: groups run by foreigners in Japan are more welcoming than ones run by Japanese - and often more welcoming than ones back in the homeland. That is a broad brush, but stereotypically true. When you come to a Spin Matsuri hoop event, I will greet you with a smile, probably a hug, and I will play with you. And so will just about everyone there, including all of my Japanese hooping friends. Go to an event run by locals and you may be required to prove yourself (in a subtle and non-direct way) on the skill- and social- hierarchies before people decide to accept you. It's a long process to really belong to a Japanese group. This is frustrating for Japanese, too, who feel pressure to be skilled so they can be respected before they even try to join an interest group. I am sure my "welcome newbies" attitude is shared by a lot of other foreign organisers. Maybe it's because we are used to a constant flow of people in and out of our lives; maybe we aren't as culturally in tune with hierarchical group formats; maybe our egos have been worn down by living in Japan. I don't know how it comes about, exactly, but it seems to be true.

Guru-guru Camp
Oh, I am so excited to be leaving on Thursday morning for Niijima and 12 days of camping. Not only getting away from the city, but living outdoors for an extended period always makes me so happy. It only gets better when I throw in tons of hooping workshops and collaborations with other hoopers and movement folks. We have so much on the schedule this year and I am thrilled that 22 people have committed to attending. Our boxes are packed and it's time to fill in the labels.


4 Comments

I miss reading blogs. I keep dropping into my old faves to see if they have updated but it seems that most people have dumped their non-income producing blogs in favour of micro-blogging (Twitter), Facebook or other SNS types sound bites.

Of course I read the professional blogs more than I would read news sites etc for social commentary etc.

But I am sure the pendulum will swing again soon and something else will come into favour.

I completely agree that groups run in Tokyo by foreigners or Japanese/foreign mix are more welcoming than groups run in Adelaide, Australia. But groups in Roxby resemble the groups in Tokyo. I think it's related to group mobility/fluidity. With ppl coming in and out all the time, no one OWNS it quite like stable groups in stable environments. If that makes sense.

Can't wait to see you!!!!!

Hi Tink!
You did indeed dance beautifully that night. Way to go!

I feel very much the same about what you wrote about group membership here, and I think it's a very difficult thing to talk about. It definitely comes down to culture. Social relationships take more time and effort to form here, and can even be a cause of stress (for locals as well as foreigners) rather than instantly uplifting. Continue to do what you are doing!

See you this weekend at Niijima. It's Saturday here in Tama - I'm off to the courtyard to hoop!

I miss dancing like that. I had several nights that really stand out in my past with fantastic music, dancing and child like sillyness that I miss......KEEP DANCING, KEEP HOOPING, KEEP BLOGGING!!
love you!
Ash

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Recent Comments

  • Ashman: I miss dancing like that. I had several nights that read more
  • Trine: Hi Tink! You did indeed dance beautifully that night. Way read more
  • j-ster: I completely agree that groups run in Tokyo by foreigners read more
  • Tracey Northcott (@keitaigoddess): I miss reading blogs. I keep dropping into my old read more

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