“I am a writer not a hooper.”
These words somehow gave me comfort. They were also a pretty good excuse not to try. I have spent years watching incredible hoopers – dancers, performers and tricksters – Francie, Nola, Adam, Charlie and newcomer to our bay, Tammy Firefly. Many hoopers float in and out of our hooping bubble and I sit and watch … watch being the operative word.
I often thought if I had I joined in years ago at our weekly hoopjam instead of watching, drinking coffee, juggling, socialising and dancing, maybe I could be good too. But I hadn’t. What if I wasn’t? So I didn’t. Their tricks were advanced, their routines seemed flawless and their grace effortless.
I can poi,
I can juggle
and I chill…
Don’t get me wrong, Sunday’s hoopjam has always been my favourite event of the week. The energy is contagious as are the smiles on everyone’s faces. But to hoop? No, not for me. I am a writer… not a hooper. I did recently pick up poi though. It is great fun. I love that I can dance, laugh and make mistakes whilst spinning these things and it always looks deliberate. I can’t do that with a hoop though. Why? Well, because I am not a hooper of course.
I am told “you are a natural” but maybe they are being nice and saying that to everyone? I hoop and spin and follow each Master’s steps until I find myself lying on the ground spinning a hoop in the arch of my foot held high in the air. Seriously? I learn a bunch of tricks and then work out how to piece them together in to a sequence that looks like I have been rehearsing for years (well that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get my point).
The longer I go, the more my confidence grows and I am learning more tricks, more transitions and dancing, yes dancing, with my hoop! I am exhausted but cannot stop. One more trick. One more try. My favourite trick is what I call the ‘bum move’ that Francie taught us. Hayley and I dedicate some time to perfect this bum move whilst giggling and cheering each time we get it. I then very proudly call out to Francie to show her the little sequence I practiced that of course ended in, the bum move. It was like being a 5 year-old and getting your first hand stand down. And yes, I felt like a 5 year-old wanting to call out “Look at me, watch this, look what I can do!”
Adam yells out across the floor,
“You can no longer say you are not a hooper, Romi.”
Oh oh. Is he right?
So at the end of the day, after the sun has gone down and the rain trickled in, I make my trek over two hills home. My body is exhausted and I can barely move. I feel like I have been in a boxing ring. I arrive, order a fresh coconut and instead of sitting down (or lying down, or passing out), I start dancing. I dance with my imaginary hoop and start my lessons from the day all over again.
Oh oh. Another hobby. Another love. I am exhausted thinking about it. My body is so tired but can’t stop. So much more to learn, so much now to practice, get that booty move down pat! Yeh baby. I am starting to wonder – Was this all a ploy to get me to hoop?
But I am a writer not a hooper? Ha. I can be both.
See you at hoopjam everybody. I’ll be the one with the hoop spinning.