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10 ways to be a festival-friendly hooper

It’s festival season! That mean it’s time to spin under the sun to enchanting beats alongside friendly faces and curious strangers.  Hoops can be a delightful addition to a festival scene, the fluid (and sometimes awkward) movements of hoopers give other dancers the permission to move freely, and hoops are a beautiful way to fill an empty space as the crowd warms up to the festival.

Along the way, we hoopers need to keep in mind the other creatures inhabiting this space —  so here are 10 ways to help hoops be a beneficial part of the festival ecosystem.

(disclaimer – most of these are true for all festivals, and some more suited to the smaller, community-focused festivals that I attend.  At mega-music-festivals there’s boozy crowds and tough security to deal with, if that’s your scene then check out this post for more tips)

Hooper Etiquette

DO play with hoops!  Share moves with nervous newbies and pros, play with unfamiliar hoops, and take a time out in your own flow zone.  Watch how others move and let your body learn through mimicry. Have a question? Wait till the dancer stops hooping and ask!

DO respect the space of hoop-less friends.  Find places where you can swirl and swing without scaring the crap outta people.

DO keep hoops tidy
leave them in stacks so that they don’t get tripped over or take up too much space.  If you find a hoop in tall grass or in a roadway, please move it to somewhere safer. If you borrow a hoop from a stack, bring it back to where you found it.

DO treat all hoops with respect. Each one is loved and owned by some one. Special hoops can be surprisingly expensive and fragile, so please be gentle.

DO NOT play with a hoop that is tied up (to other hoops, a scarf, a bag). This means the hooper may not feel comfortable with strangers playing with these.  When it doubt, ask.

DO NOT take it personally when someone doesn’t want to share their hoop, or their time to teach.  Most hoopers love doing both, but ALL of us are humans with our own moods, boundaries, experiences, and ways of communicating.

DO light up the night. Glow hoops are a super fun way to brighten a field, to entertain friends, and to create a bubble of bling for a solo journey.  Dance until the batteries die!  While you’re glowing…please be conscious that our hoops can be BRIGHT and we don’t want this light to take too much away from moonlit wandering, gazing in wonder at the stage’s deco, or the rich dance moments that happen in the shadows.  Let your hooping enhance the space, not dominate.

DO NOT hit people.  Please remember that it is the hooper’s responsibility to keep an eye out for wandering humans.  It doesn’t matter how far away you go, how visible you are, or what state the person is in, you are responsible for your tool.

DO be aware of your delicate hoops. Putting your name on your hoops makes them more easily identified, which can be very helpful if your hoop is trying to find its way home after being taken on an adventure.  To do this in a low-key, removable way, put a piece of clear tape near the joint and write your name with a permanent marker.  When you bring your oh-so-special hoop out to play, you may want to bring along a beater hoop to share with curious friends.

DO find new ways to dance, to flow, to play.  It’s a great way to pass time while waiting for inspiration. For condensed flow-fun, check out the workshop schedule!

Happy hooping!

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