The Expressive Creatrix (and Hobbyist)











Ahh, a new year!  Here’s to a whole 365 days of hoopin’ happiness!

1st – Since my focus this year is all about balance, I had to get some hoop time in today in addition to cleaning the house and doing some knitting.  I spent a mere 30 min. with the hoops, though, as I quickly discovered, the hoops weren’t happen’ today.  One of those days. I was just off.  Not sure what the problem was, but it’s okay.  I worked with the regular hoop for 20 min.  For some inane reason, I completely forgot how I did my backwards weave with a jump through. I just gapped it out.  Try and try as I might, I couldn’t do it!  Hmmm.  Brain freeze.  Hopefully it’ll pass.  I even tried Hoop Girl’s version, and I couldn’t remember that one either.  I was too lazy to put in her DVD, so I’ll let it go.  I then moved onto floating, and I did okay with that.  Not much better than yesterday.  I worked on the across-the-chest pass as well, which went better.  I’m getting more consistent with the left to right direction.  I then moved onto the minis and spent 10 min. with them. Lots of flying off the hands with turns, but I got into a pretty decent, faster rhythm with the backwards chase weave.   All in all, not a great session, so I threw in the towel after half an hour.  I’m not worried.  Some days things don’t go well. Will try again tomorrow or the next day.

3rd – 50 minutes today with the minis.  I’ve mastered both the basic turn with the hoops going backwards in both directions and the backwards chase weave with both hands leading. Yea for me!

This evening was 25 min. with the regular hoop.  I remember the backwards weave with jump through!  Again, I must say, “Yea for me!”  I also worked on the usual floating and across-the-chest pass.  I worked a bit on turning with one hoop too. It’s fun to translate what I’m learning with minis to the single hoop.

4th – This morning I spent 15 min. with the regular hoop, and on my lunch break I spent 10 min. with the minis.  This evening was 25 min. with the regular hoop, really working the backwards weave and turns and variations and some across-the-chest pass work.  I did some work on floating, but I kept getting dizzy (I could only do 3-5 floats in one direction before I got dizzy), which irritated me.  So, I decided to do a bit of sustained spinning.  I did 9 minutes solid going to my right.  Wow!  I only stopped because I was getting really thirsty and my calves were getting a bit crampy (?).  That beat my previous record of 6 min. I don’t sustain spin often, so it was kind of surprising that I could make it so long.  Why is it that I can’t do more floats in a row?  Perhaps I’m not “spotting” enough.  Will try that next time.  With the minis I practiced mostly turns.  I’m moving on to more work with turning with the hoops going in opposite directions.  So far I only have one down – right going forwards, left going backwards, turning to the left.  Fun stuff!

5th & 6th – No real extended practice these two days.  Just picking up the minis or the regular hoop for a few minutes here and there.

7th – 15 min. working with the regular hoop: backwards weave variations and jump throughs, floating, and across-the-chest pass.  I picked a new card this morning – Full Jump Through from Halo.  Perfect!  It fits right in with the other moves I’ve been working on.  Will begin practicing it in earnest later today or tomorrow.

I spent 20 min. on my lunch break and 45 min. this evening with my minis.  Taking on the 3-Beat Weave.  Pray for me!

9th – 1 hour and 30 min. today working on just the 3-Beat Weave with the minis.  I almost have it!  I’m *this close!*  I can do it on both sides, it’s just a matter of putting it together and doing it continuously.  It’ll come.  I know by my next practice session, I’ll have it in the bag!

11th – 45 min. with the minis tonight.  I got new ones!  They’re 27″ minis covered with mostly lime green grip tape with just a little bit of raspberry mirror tape for some flash.  Jen at Hipster Hoops made them for me.  This was my second hoop order from Jen.  She is fantastic!  Great hoops and terrific customer service.  Jen rocks!  So, last night I mostly just played with the new minis.  They are definitely heavier than my other set (22-inchers) and rotate more slowly, which will come in handy. I was able to do ALL the turns with them (except the reel turn, which, of course, I haven’t mastered yet).  I’ve been working on turning in all different directions with the hoops rotating in opposite directions, and with the smaller minis, there were only a couple variations I could actually do.  With the larger minis, I could do all ways, all directions.  Cool.  I also worked on the 3BW, but I’ve hit a wall with it.  I can do it both ways, but I can’t link it together going fast.  In order to alternate sides, I need to go pretty slowly with it.  It’ll come!

12th – This evening I started the classes in Sandra’s Breaks & Reverals class.  Fun, fun stuff!  I’m enjoying them already.  Granted I’m just on the “easier” hand/arm off-body breaks, but still.  Such a nice new twist on things.  I spent a half an hour working on my new skills and integrating them with the other moves I’ve been working on – the backwards and forwards weaves (and variations), the across-the-chest pass,  and the halo into full jump through.  I love how things are coming together!

13th – It’s been kind of a hoop fest today.  When I was home for lunch, I spent about 15 min. playing with the single hoop.  Then I got a call from school saying Lily was sick, so I had to run up to get her.  She’s got some tummy troubles (and I can’t blame the school for not keeping her there), but nothing serious.  She spent most of the afternoon playing with her dolls in her room.  I spent a good hour going through some of the tutorials in Sandra’s Breaks and Reversals class, and then later I spent another 45 min. downstairs with both the regular hoop and the minis.  With the regular hoop I worked on breaks and reverals and combining them with the moves I’ve been focusing on.  Sandra taught a tuck reverse in the B&R class, which she showed with mini hoops, but it also works with a single hoop in the forwards weave.  Cool!  With the minis I worked on my all of the turns.  I discovered I can go from the hoops at the sides spinning in opposite directions to a wall plane – you end up with the hoops in front of you spinning in opposite directions.  Awesome.  More possibilities open up.  I also discovered that the tuck weave is a great way from both of the hoops spinning in the same direction to the hoops going in opposite directions.   I played around with space with wall planes and moving from same time to split time.  Of course, I also worked on the 3BW.  I am getting faster at alternating sides, but it’s still pretty choppy.  However, I’m hopeful that with just a bit more practice, I’ll finally get it smooth and up to tempo.  So many discoveries today.  It was a great afternoon!

14th – Today I spent about 10 min. with my minis early in the morning, and then this evening I had about 45 min. of practice time with both the regular hoop and the minis.  More breaks and reversals with the big hoop, combined with some of the other moves I’ve been trying to work on.  I had fun with the minis!  Lots of experimenting with turning, playing with wall planes, and a bit of practice on the 3BW.  (Being *this close* is still where I’m at.)  I’ve been practicing in silence for the most part the past few weeks, and tonight I decided it was time for a little music with both the regular and the minis.  It was really good with the minis. I just experimented moving with the music using all the turns and weaves that I know and playing with space, levels, timing, etc. while just spinning the minis at my sides and in front of me.  It was nice.

16th – The 3BW is kicking my ass!  Today I spent 15 minutes working on it, and I’m still not getting anywhere.  Yes, I hate to say it, but I am bordering on frustration!

17th – Took a break from the hoops over the weekend.  This morning I spent 20 min. with the minis (avoiding the 3BW for now).  I plan on more later, followed by some work with the regular hoop.

19th – I spent 25 min. or so with my regular hoop working on breaks and reversals and adding them into my repetoire of moves I’ve been working on lately. No, I haven’t added anything new.  Not ready yet.  I’m really enjoying playing with these few moves and now adding in the breaks and reversals.  I discovered a neat move by watching the flow segment of Shakti Sunfire on my new “Hoop Technique” DVD earlier in the evening.  I don’t know if she did this exact move or something similar that caused me to think of it. I just went from holding the hoop in front of me vertical to the ground (it was as I was working on breaks in vertical), used my left hand to flip the hoop around so it was in the vertical position behind me and did like a half revolving door (just around the upper body) and put the hoop on my body and went into waist hooping. I’m sure this move has been done before, but it was neat to “discover” it kind of on my own (with some inspiration from Shakti).  As I was working on breaks and reverals, I wondered if I was really getting all the variations Sandra shows in her tutorials, so I spent about half an hour going through all the tutorials in the Breaks & Reversals class that I’d watched before, trying to figure out if I’d missed anything. I had!  So glad I re-visited them! 

21st – This evening I spent 45 min. or so going through some of Sandra’s tutorials in Breaks and Reverals.  Fun stuff.  Learned some on-body breaks while waist hooping and some more off-body variations.  I surprised myself by being able to do the “stiff arm” break while waist hooping. I can’t do it continuously yet (I need a few rotations before I can break it again), but I was happy to be able to do it at all!  Yea!  I really like the knee break in horizontal passing although it’s tricky.  I can get it okay with my left leg, but not so much my right.  I’m not getting the knee break while waist hooping at all but even Sandra says this is a challenging move.  The timing is crucial and tricky.  Stuff to work on!!

23rd – This evening I spent some quality time with my regular hoop.  About 40 min., working on my usual moves as of late, plus some breaks and reversals.  I also spent a fair amount of time waist hooping, which I haven’t done a lot lately.  Nice.  I need to film soon to see if the breaks and reversals are adding something to my flow and to see what improvement I’ve made with weaving, floating and some of the other moves I’ve really been focusing on lately.  Filming always makes me cringe though.

25th – Okay, I picked up the minis for 15 min. tonight and . . . ta da!  I’ve made incredible progress on the 3BW, and I haven’t even practiced for days.  Yes, sometimes it’s good to move a trick to the back burner and let it simmer.  I’m still not totally smooth, so I’m not making a big ANNOUNCEMENT on the main blog yet.  Shhh.  Want to make sure I’ve really got it.  I wanted to just keep practicing and practicing after my 15 min. was up to really drill it into my brain but I noticed after awhile it was getting worse.  Time to let it gel.  Will re-visit it again tomorrow.  Yeeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaw!!!

26th – A bunch of mini practices today with my minis – working pretty much exclusively on the 3BW.  I did 10 min. in the morning after my workout, 10 min. at lunch and 15 minutes in the evening. It’s coming although I still don’t feel it’s really good. I did tape myself last night, and I need to watch it today to see how it looks.  It’s amazing how different things appear when you’re actually doing them compared to watching yourself doing them.

28th – I spent an hour hooping today, mostly working with the big hoop.  I figured out my SI6/SS/SSX workouts were badly aggravating my lower back, so it’s hooping only for the next 10 days or so until I start Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis program.

29th – An hour this evening mostly with the regular hoop.  Playing with breaks and reversals mostly.  I filmed, and of course I was not happy with the results.  I tried to look for the good things, and I did actually see things I liked.  It was helpful, though, to see the bad and the ugly as well.  I realized I need to work more on holding the hoop on a straighter plane in all my breaks and reduce the wobble.  Despite my dislike of filming, it always teaches me something!

30th – 50 minutes this morning with the big hoop.  I relaxed and went slow and really worked on keeping my breaks and reversals either fluid and flowing or sharp and crisp.  I put on a song and practiced only horizontal breaks and reversals twice through.  Then I moved on to vertical breaks and reversals during two more playings of the song, and finally I ran the song two more times again and worked on on-body breaks.  Then I worked a few rounds of the song combinging them.  I think I made improvement!  I need to just relax into it, yet put enough awareness and thought into the flow to keep everything looking good.  I watched a few of the tutorials in Sandra’s Budding One class, which were the vortex, the vortex jump out (both of which I already knew but Sandra showed the continuous vortex jump out, which I hadn’t tried before) and also a vortex skip out.  At first I didn’t see the difference between the jump out and the skip out, but once Sandra broke it down and explained, the differences became clear.  I worked on that too, and it’s a nice variation as the end of the move puts you in a position to move into just about anything.  I was very happy with my practice today!

31st – Sixty minutes of hooping this morning, mostly concentrating on breaks and reversals and working on my vortex jump through and a jump in.

It’s been a good month!

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