One of the more challenging things for a new hoop dancer to learn is to transition in a fluid flow from one move to the next. When I was first learning to hoop I was thrilled by each new move I could add to my repertoire. And each of them independent of the others looked pretty good. Things got a little more interesting when I started attempting to string them together in a way that made sense with the music, thus creating a hoop dance.
There are times in life, as in hoop dancing, when it seems the chasm between where we are and where we want to go from here is unbridgeable. And yet, none of us would be where we are today had we not persevered through those gaps. Hoop dance is all about transitions. Each dance is as unique as the day and the dancer. Coming into a place of responsive flow that allows the hoop to move effortlessly from the waist to knees to chest to a behind the back hand-off creates the dynamic tension that makes the dance interesting to both the hoop dancer and those observing.
I am continually awed by how beautifully hoop dancing reflects life. I had a therapist years ago who used to remind me to be patient with myself because I felt most vulnerable in the transitions, and for many years it was true. I would hold steadfastly to my position until I just couldn’t stand it anymore. As much as I wanted to feel free and uninhibited, my fear of what might happen if I did something different overwhelmed me. I talked and talked and talked about the changes I would make and finally, finally something would click inside me and I would shift. Only then could I bring myself to make a change.
It still takes time for me to make big changes but my hoop dance practice and teaching has shown me how liberating it is to let go and let joy lead the way. These days, unless I am introducing a new move, I don’t think about how I’ll get the hoop from my waist to my shoulders and over my head. Transitions are just part of the dance. You can’t dance if you don’t move. The right moves are the ones that fit the flow of the music of the moment. That’s what I call dancing with Life.
How has your hoop dance enhanced your life?