I’m not a dancer. I never have been. When I was about six, my ballet teacher told my mum that I may as well not bother coming to classes anymore as I was never going to be graceful. When my friends went to dance lessons through their teens, I was in my headbanging phase and the idea of prancing around in a frilly skirt made me want to apply even thicker eyeliner, turn up the death metal and run away to join the circus.
So this weekend, when somebody came up to me and asked if I was the choreographer for a music video shoot, I found myself pretty taken aback.
Let me put this into context. In 2015, I decided to challenge myself to learn to do something new. As well as not being able to dance, I couldn’t hula hoop either, and so decided to kill two birds with one stone, chase my circus dreams and go to hoop dance classes.
As you can see from the kind words my hoop instructor put on Facebook, I fell in love with the sport, practised every day and made it a part of my life.
Resultantly, a lot of the ‘free’ time I’ve had so far in 2016 has been dedicated to training, learning new skills, teaching and even attending my very first hoop congress! Still, a good few people ask me what it means to be a hooper, not realising there’s so much more to it than just going round your waist. I recommend searching the hashtag #hoopersofinstagram on, well, instagram, or hooping on YouTube, and checking out all the awesome videos that are on there. You’ll be amazed by what you can do, and how much joy can come from a little circle!
I share that joy with some lovely ladies in particular, the Scottish hoop troupe Sirens of Spin, of which I am a member. When explaining to a friend at work how much fun it is being in a hoop troupe, she revealed she was filming a music video for her band and asked if we’d like to be in it. And so I ended up spending the past month choreographing, teaching and practising a hoop routine for the music video, and for a girl that was famous for her two left feet, that felt pretty awesome.
The videographer even asked me if I was the choreographer – to hear someone refer to me in such a professional manner felt ridiculous, and wonderful! The band loved our routine and asked me to do a solo, too. As strange and niche a topic hooping might seem to most, I just can’t believe that it’s allowed me to do something that I never thought I would achieve; being decent at dancing!