My Flow-Arts journey started off with a beautiful hand-made set of ribbon poi that was gifted to me for my 19th birthday at the end of 2011. I felt a combination of elation, excitement and curiosity when I received the poi. I had absolutely no idea that my first set of ribbon poi would change my life forever.
My first prop taught me perseverance and how to work consistently on a task every day. I was an ‘adult’ but I could feel myself becoming more child-like the more I played. My days were always happy and I always made sure I never missed a sunny day outside. It wasn’t too long until I found my favourite prop – the hoop. I had always been able to hoop as a child and can proudly recall winning those “who can keep the hoop up the longest” competitions. Like many other adults, “playing” with a hoop became a distant childhood memory for me.
As an adult I was passed a hoop and was pleasantly surprised when I could keep up the rotation on my waist. I’ve still got it, I thought as I smiled and speed up the rotations of the hoop. The hoop was cool, however I still wasn’t totally convinced that I wanted to take the hula hoop further than beyond waist hooping. Until I saw a friend of mine gracefully perform the shoulder duck-out while kneeling on the floor. My mind was absolutely blown! The execution was so perfect and effortless; I immediately felt like I had to be a part of this amazing magic. Two weeks later I purchased my first hoop; my life changed forever.
At first I was really shy about hooping. I packed my hoop in the car and took it with me to a music festival. I hooped for five minutes at the back of the dance floor before the music started and before anyone that I knew had arrived. I immediately reverted back to my poi. It wasn’t until a few weekends later that I had my first real breakthrough with my hoop. From then on it accompanied me to the park, the beach, to university – hell even to the club! When I was stressed – I hooped. When I was sad- I hooped. When I was happy – I hooped. When I was frustrated – I hooped. No matter the prior mood – my practices always ended with a full smile.
Over time I began to connect with my hoop on a deeper level. Through my own conscious movement I entered a space where I could explore the deepest elements of myself and could facilitate my own healing through hooping. This connection has increased my spatial awareness and given me a unique stage presence when I flow. Since I started hooping I have had the opportunity to perform for others, create pieces with others and even start my own business – Fires a’light.
Hooping allows me to continually inspire myself and others. As a teacher of hoop-dance, I have become a hoop-mama to many hooper’s in my community! The members of the flow community in South Africa are some of the kindest people you will ever meet. As a community, we all inspire others with our personal growth, our dedication and our bliss in “playing.” Since the flow arts movement is still relatively new in South Africa, joining the movement today means you become a vital part of the foundation of flow arts in South Africa.
The flow arts have helped me reclaim my ‘inner child’ and given me one of the best creative outlets I could have ever asked for. Reclaiming my inner child catapulted me onto the path of self-actualization. The more I create, the more fearless I become. Without fear, every ounce of my infinite potential becomes attainable.
This article was written by Fires a light