Almost everyone has hula hooped at some point in their lives, but not everyone can simultaneously use five hoops at different points of their body; Meet Lyndsay 'Hula Hooping' Hooper, (yes, that is her real surname), a hula hooping enthusiast and entrepreneur.
I interviewed Lyndsay after the Leamington Peace Festival where she had a stall in the name of her business, 'Hooper Hoops', where she sells hoops designed to your fancy.
Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do.
Hi, I'm Lyndsay, a designer and hula hooper! I work as a freelance illustrator and designer. I'm currently setting up a bespoke web design company called Potatomou.se with a friend from Sweden. In my spare time I drool over beautifully designed fonts and jam out with my hula hoops!
How did you get into flow arts?
I've always been fascinated by poi, contact juggling, staff and diablo etc. Four years ago I saw a video of a girl on Youtube hula hooping and was utterly mesmerised. I wanted to move as gracefully and as confidently as she did with this hula hoop. I was living in London at the time and the next day I took myself to Camden Market and brought myself my first ever hula hoop, an instructional dvd and spent the summer teaching myself from the dvd and Youtube and joined a local group that met once a month to jam out!
Where have flow arts taken you?
EVERYWHERE! I've been all over the country to attend and learn from workshops and also to perform. I even went to Spain last year to expand my learning at a hula hoop convention there. It's taken me to a different place mentally as well. That sounds like hippy waffle but its true as it's also helped me grow as a person - in confidence, awareness of my body, reduced my stress levels and introduced me to the flow arts community that are such a relaxed and welcoming group of people.
What has been your favourite experience so far in flow arts?
I can't limit it to one! The feeling of nailing a trick you have been struggling with for ages is an amazing experience. The adrenaline rush from performing. The satisfaction and exhaustion after attending a weekend of workshops. The delight in teaching others to hoop. The sense of quiet and utter contentment at lazily hooping in the grass on a sunny day and getting "in the zone".
Any favourite tricks?
Chest hooping is very soothing but I also love one handed flourishes, (where the hoop twists and twirls round your hand at an awkward angle).
Tell me a bit about your hoop business.
I started making hoops the first year I began hooping and soon people were asking me to make their hoops too. Last year after I finished uni I thought I would teach myself about web design and started making a website dedicated to people ordering their hand made hula hoops. It then grew from there and I'm now looking into running classes locally as well as performing and making bespoke hoops!
Tell me a bit about the work you do involving fonts and web design?
Josh and myself are setting up a web design company that designs and codes websites according to the customers wants and needs. Each part of the process is carefully communicated with the client to ensure they are getting the bespoke website they require. I spend a lot of time in photoshop designing and redesigning websites and talking things over with Josh to see how he can make the code work with the designs. I also love typography in all its forms, although I have an intense dislike for comic sans!
During the autumn of 2011 I directed a documentary about flow arts, called 'Go With the Flow', featuring Lyndsay and her hula hooping shenanigans. The film also features fire hooping, fire breathing, poi and staff. It took us from my quiet little hometown down to a big hooping event in Bristol called Swhoop, which is so worth a look into if you are interested in becoming part of the hoop community as they have events on every year.
Go With the Flow Documentary:
Hooper Hoop's Website:
Hooper Hoop's Facebook Page: