Sadly after such a brief dalliance my video editing software no longer works, so as with Gail’s workshop, I also can’t make a montage of Emma’s workshop either, boo! I am looking into it but unfortunately next month, as I just took my car to the garage. Same with a few things actually… new portable speakers for hoop jams (£15) and….. my fire kit! I’m getting 4 bendy wicks from bendywicks.co.uk – a real relief as I thought I’d have to import them from the US from Synergy hoops. I’m only going for 4 as I’m a total newb, as it leaves more space on the hoop for me to grip. So hopefully soon I can join the full moon montly spins down at Waterloo…
So first I’ll do a summary of Emma’s workshop, which funnily enough was around the corner from my first ever North London house, in the Factory. I’ve been looking at this space for a while as I’m keen to get into some street dance to help my footwork (dreaming of being the new Baxter… well one can dream anyway!!) but was seriously put off by the prices. It’s a pretty neat gym and space though. I was pretty excited too, a) Emma is wicked, b) her last workshop at Swhoop gave me some pretty cool ideas.
The first workshop was using your feet. This was more literal than I expected, as it was foot hooping! We learnt foot passes from standing, lying down, getting used to passing from hand to foot on a vertical plane, and the shoulder stand. I have done foot hooping before but I’ve always done a half version of he pass, so I finally perfected that. I did genuinely think I broke my nose when hooping on my back. Polypro to the nose 3 times! But I learnt a cool start to get it going with the opposite foot (apparantly courtesy of my friend Clare in Tasmania!), which really seemed to help me. I’ll definitely be practicing more in Summer – too snowy to lay down at the moment! Also linked in with the foot work was an over the back duck in – this is mega helpful to learn and if I can just stick my arm in I will stop hitting the side of my face!
The secod workshop was transitioning with twins. This was avoiding Emma’s usual style of Poi-hooping and using more circus style, with hoops frequently on-body. This involved a lot of knee hooping with one and helicopter with the other – a bit like rubbing your belly and patting your head! Also a lot of lifts/step outs with one hoop, twin vortexing (slightly sickening – actually the whole workshop involved a little too much spinning!), also discovered stalling and floating for the first time (desperately need to work on both!!), twins isolations (seeing as my normal isolations aren’t so hot I really need to work on these as well!). I definitely want to get into more twins work but I think there’s quite a lot I need to work on with one hoop first!
The final workshop was Fancy tricks and flourishes. A lot of this connects in with one of Emma’s other workshops, with Folds – all about getting into crazy grips with the hoop so it unravels in several twists. first up was “twiddling”, where you make a semi-paddling motion with your hand and the hoop passes from the palm side of your fingers to the other side, causing it to spin – when fast enough creating a grip free helicopter move. Another useful trick for the collection was a circus twist – bringing the hoop down from above your head, pinky first, and twisting the wrist over and under and back to above, making a very loud “SWWOOOOOOOOSH” noise 🙂 and then incorporating into different moves e.g. isolations. We covered palm spins (also at Swhoop…. need to practice, I cannot do these for the world). A quick brief on body wraps as well as covered by Gail – although I always think I’m really bad at these but Emma told me they are actually pretty decent, I should just aim for an extra turn around the body, hooray! We also covered escalators, a few folds, wedgie tricks… this workshop was packed with a lot of little goodies to come away and play with! I will try and make some montages once I have editing software again, as it’s usually the teachers wishes not to have the secrets fully divulged but I would love to show everyone a little taste of what they miss out on!
Another recent change in life – I’ve decided to bite the bullet and go vegan. I’ve always had quite staunch views on conservation and the environment, and after a few friends changing over recently I watched a few documentaries that in short, horrified me. Not so much animal abuse – I am well aware this exists in the world and is wholly unnecessary in the food trade. But the waste of water, land, the fact that in the US a company named Monsanto patented life in the form of soy beans, putting local farms out of business (also that livestock are fed soy beans because its cheaper than grain or pasture). So I’ve decided to do my bit for world good and ditch the animal produce, try and buy organic/small business when I can afford it, and use biodegradable detergents. A lot of people have expressed concern about my health but I already live a semi vegan life anyway (always been a very vegetable-based veggie). After a week of part time veganism my body has started rejecting cheese I eat (cheese being the last bastion of vegetarianism), so I am well on my way. I feel happier already in being less involved with commercial agriculture. I have decided to stick with honey though – in the UK bees are dying out, and if we can find any way to improve their numbers it is definitely a boon. Just a note though – don’t but Spirulina in bread dough. I have bright green bread for work!
Lastly, just thought I’d share some cool pictures – I went to the original capital of the UK, Winchester – if you are a history buff like me it is totally worth it, looking at a bunch of ancient dead kings. Very chuffed!! (Sorry about the non-rotating image)