A little hoop dance practice from this past spring. Sometimes I get so consumed by the world that I need to retreat for a while. My favorite refuges are music and the hoop. Both have the power to change my mood and my mind within minutes. Together they work like magic to shift my experience. It’s not that the things going on in my world are any different but I don’t care as much after spending some time reconnecting with my own heartbeat and the rhythm of life.

Hoop dance has allowed me to change my life in some important ways. Some have been blatantly obvious–within weeks I became lighter in body, mind and spirit. Other changes took longer to see–I felt awkward and clumsy pretty much every time I learned a new move–in time, it all got to be a bit easier and more natural. The more I practiced, the smoother and more graceful the moves became. Unlike some women I know, who have taken dance lessons since they were tiny, I never took a dance class until I was in my 40s. (Okay, in the 1980s I did take one group dance lesson at a Country/Western bar. My ex and I were not good dancer partners. He stepped on my toes. I kept trying to lead. We did a lot more laughing at ourselves than dancing. Despite our best intentions, we never managed to get it together, on or off the dance floor. But that is another story from another lifetime.)

There is something about the hoop that allows the body to soften and move with ease. For me and many others, the hoop offers access to a reservoir of innate grace that was not otherwise available. Hoop dance restores the spirit, opens the mind and gives the body permission to move and groove, pulse and twirl itself into a state of joy. That’s the reason so many of us love hoop dance and why we never seem to get too much and are thrilled to share our good fortune with the world.

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