Welcome to the floor.
Dynamic Floor Hooping:
- Contemporary dance movements that utilize the hoop’s momentum and promote a continued exchange. This class is not as hard as you might think. I like to go deep rather than big, so we’ll be starting real small, and at a pace that you decide…
For me the hoop has always been a teacher. It grants a uniquely internal sense of fluidity and rhythm that has defined it for me as a continued practice. So it’s fortunate for us, especially us addicts, that this signature element is just as apparent while hooping on the floor.
AND: the experience of being led by the hoop reaches a whole new depth here --as the discovery of “new feet,” in our thighs, backs, forearms, etc. invariably invites a new sense of listening-- and in a very safe way that’s more accessible than you’d think. …seriously.
The first time I ever envisioned this stuff was attending a class called the "Axis Syllabus" in San Francisco. The teacher was an astounding dancer -and teacher- named Kira Kirsch, who'd learned with its founder, Frey Faust.
The phrases and sequences I saw demonstrated in class appeared to be the virtual embodiment of organic movement. (imagine the whole room spiraling and unfolding in waves like fallen leaves across the floor).
It was as though the roof had been pulled off of a house I'd been holed in unknowingly.
I couldn't exactly "hang-with" that day, too overwhelmed by the sequences of the "real" dancers, but I could feel it.
All of it.
I could see it all coming together at home and I could see it with a hoop. It was going to be the focus of my hooping for at least the next year.
But it actually turned out be about three years of intense focus. By now it's been five.
It's an important distinction to make --that took me a minute to understand-- that the "Axis Syllabus" isn't defined by the specific movements portrayed in a class, but rather the intention. More, it's an ongoing observation/ systematization/search for ideal movement efficiency. Ask them, not me.
Super eccentric. Gota love it.
So on my part, having taken the hoop as an ideal for so long, it seemed appropriate to get those kids together. And "floor hooping" was from then on an ongoing question of the hoop: how can this "ideal" shape be integrated into the momentum of our bodies at their most aligned? And of what influence is it, really? Could it add a sweeping wind of current, adding vortex and gusto, bringing roundness and expediting the process via its reference? Or is it just a tack-on, distorting the physics for the sake of maintaining the hoop niche?
...the answer so far: Both.
Read my floor story...
Nowadays I credit "Axis" only for opening the door. The movements and the attention to detail are what stuck the most.
I am NOT a certified Axis Syllabus practicioner, nor have I come even close or tried to. That must be said for certain.
Rather, I only wish to credit a form, albeit vastly more advanced, that inspired the same awareness to nuance that I aspire to with the hoop and that inspired me to explore it within my body on greater levels than before.
So the great "Floor Hooping Experiment!!!" has been established.
I've taught it.
Others now do with it as they will. ...and some of them are probably going to break something one of these days, and don't look at me.
That's something I'm accepting on large scale: We don't choose what sticks.
I never planned on my transitional waves class to turn into "the smear."
And I never planned on floor hooping to take off with such break-dancerly ambition.
It annoyed me at first- my explorations performed by others, often with quickness and disregard for the nuamnce that brought it out.
But in the end, thank God it's out of my hands.
It's a true honor that I can only take as the highest artistic acheivement within our tiny litte niche here, that the things I've worked on have all outgrown me -and they look damn good on people to boot.