Creating Your Hoop Community
The following article is written by a Guest Blogger: Hoop Play Sponsored Instructor, Cassandra Bauman of Juice’Y Hoops.
I think an individual’s Hoop journey is just as diverse as human beings are unique. Each of us has our own way of doing things, and what works for one may not work for another. With a little time and research we can access unlimited information on any topic: what to make for dinner, how to teach a child to tie their shoes and of course how to hoop, different forms of hooping and how to grow a hoop community.
So how did I grow my Hoop Play Community?
To be honest, at first I wasn’t even aware that that’s what I was doing. I was following my passion, finding my flow and place in life and before I was even aware of what was taking place a hoop community was blossoming around me.
Reflecting upon what began this whirlwind of hoops has led me to a few key points I think truly assisted me in creating a community I can be proud of.
What is the number one rule of Hoop Play?
Every time I say these words in class I get a flash of the movie fight club where they are all sweaty and topless and ready to beat each other to a bloody pulp. I can’t help but laugh to myself every time I say that phrase and there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing involved students young and old shout back at me “Drop Your Hoop”.
This seemingly simple rule has made such a vast impact on myself and others. It’s being aware that “failure” isn’t really failure but an opportunity for growth.
So what was the first thing I ever did to grow a community? Well the answer to that is just as simple as dropping your hoop, I brought my hoop everywhere!
Having time to ponder on how to build a hoop community truly leaves me feeling like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. As she not so gracefully tumbled down the hole to wonderland many prophetic images on what her future journey would contain was revealed to her.
Just as Alice had no clue what significance a tiny rocking horse and ticking clocks would have in her life I had no clue what an impact bringing my hoop everywhere would have. How could I have?
A hula hoop is a simple plastic child’s toy, it’s an inanimate object waiting for a beings energy to bring it to life and it’s not the obvious choice for a 36 year old woman to pack around. I think our minds are like that rabbit hole, we stumble and fall and all the answers to the questions we have are being shown to us as we are ready to receive them. It was inside a plastic circular toy where I found my inner peace, the calm within the storm, my form of meditation, my artistic expression and ability to finally dance freely like no one was watching. I wanted to bring my hoop everywhere, it felt so right and each time I brought it to an event I wished I had had brought more hoops for others to enjoy. That desire led me down the path of creating and building my own hoops as I wanted others to experience the happiness that I was experiencing. At first I was the only Hooper at the events I was attending however I didn’t let that dictate whether or not I should bring one with me.
Bring your hoop to everything! Bring extras if you have them!
What’s the best event to bring your hoop too? All of them of course. Bring it to grandmas birthday party, bring it to the park, the lake, the backyard BBQ. Creating a hoop community should be something that comes naturally and grows as you grow. Bring it to those networking meetings, have it in the trunk of your car at work. You never know when you’re going to need it, you never know who you’ll meet. I often found myself in situations where I thought I would allow society’s expectations of what’s acceptable to define whether or not I would bring my hoop with me. Those became the situations that I regretted not having it and I decided regret was not allowed to be a part of my hoop practice. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and begin to question who defines what is and isn’t socially acceptable anyways?
What I have come to love about the world wide hoop community is the sense of love and acceptance I receive from it.
I feel that it’s a community that encourages each of us to be true to ourselves. Our creative side is given a garden to blossom and grow. We are all inherently the same and yet we are also completely different. The similarities create a bond and the differences allows us to learn and grow.
The hoop communities I’ve had the pleasure to come across during my tumble down my rabbit hole has shown me what I would want to apply to a community of my own.
The second course of action I would apply to creating a hoop community is to Talk About Your Hoop Practice.
Sharing our story is a good thing, we must promote ourselves and what we are doing, no one is going to do that for us. We need to be our biggest fans and share share share. Often in social situations I find it difficult finding ice breakers to open up conversation with others and bringing my hoop everywhere has provided me with the perfect conversation starter. People are naturally curious and having a prop with me often invites individuals to come and converse and ask questions. This is a perfect opportunity to talk about your Hoop Play classes. These conversations can last a few short moments or they can grow into life long friendships and I have learned to try and make every word that tumbles out of my mouth count.
Every conversation we have throughout the day is a networking opportunity. Just as we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover we shouldn’t do the same thing with people, you never know if the soul you are connecting with at that moment is a hooper in disguise! I assume everyone wants to share the joy of hooping with me and the only thing that holds me back from time to time is the fear of rejection. Fear of rejection and allowing others to define what is socially acceptable aren’t things that I wanted in my Hoop Community. Our communities are like a garden and those gardens will flourish with the seeds that we plant. We reap what we sow after all and the energy we put out into the universe is the energy we will get back. Creating a positive supportive community will manifest on its own if you try and be the best you you can be.
Attending networking events in your community can help to point you in the right direction. I have recently started attending luncheons with a group that consists of strong, successful, female entrepreneurs and each month I feel more and more empowered and prepared for the task of creating a community of my own.
There are many apps and social media sites we can utilize and for those of us who aren’t media savvy this can feel like a daunting task. Being able to converse with individuals has helped to point me to the sites that I think work well for me and the people that are a part of the community. Surrounding myself with experts from numerous professional fields has truly opened my mind in ways I didn’t know were possible. My wonderland keeps getting more vast and brighter and I feel that I keep growing and obtaining tools that are valuable for myself and others.
Don’t overthink things.
Let your community naturally progress the way they are intended to. Just as our hoop practice took time and patience to develop so does building a community. Finding our hoop flow took many hours of learning, frustration and gratification before it became what it is today. When we were ready we found our flow within our hoop and we will also find our flow within the mass community and within the smaller one we are creating. Eventually we will spin out a web all our own perfectly imperfect just as we are. We are all Alice’s lost in a wonderland and we are also all Mad Hatters lost in a word of our creation. Creativity and art is unique and no two communities will be exactly the same. Your story will write itself one day at a time and before you know it a garden of wildflowers will be blooming all around you.
Be perfectly you
~ Cassandra Bauman, Juice'Y Hoops
We proud to have Cassandra Bauman facilitating the Hoop Play program in the Stony Plain, Alberta area! Cassandra is a Level One & Two Certified Hoop Play Instructor and custom hoop maker! You can connect with her or find another instructor near you, with our online instructor directory @ www.hoopplay.ca!