I hate exercise. Unless I’m tearing it up on the dance floor, I really have no desire to engage in any strenuous physical activity. The only athletics I participated in was my years of ballet in middle and high school, and I eventually got bored of that too (plus I wasn’t too flexible).
I thought I would never find an activity that was interesting and fun. Until I met LaChrisha Favors, owner of the increasingly popular Circle Motion Hoops and trained “hooper”. She has been teaching and performing her hooping techniques in Huntsville for the past three years, and has performed at over 75 events in the Rocket City.
Blending exercise and self-expression, Circle Motion Hoops offers an exciting experience for fitness buffs, couch potatoes, and everyone in between. Always the gracious entertainer, Favors agreed to spend an hour talking to me about upcoming Circle Motion Hoops events, as well as what life is like for the top hooper in Huntsville.
When did you first start hooping?
Before I moved here I lived in Georgia, and my friend that lived next door introduced it to me. I saw her hooping around and I thought “What is she doing over there?” She was doing crazy things with the hoop and I thought it was just magic. So when I asked her about it she ended up showing me a couple of things. Next thing I know, she gives me a hoop before I moved to Huntsville, and that’s kind of what I did.
When I first moved here I didn’t have a job, so that’s what I did all the time: look up hooping tutorials and videos on youtube. There was only one other hooper in Huntsville so I teamed up with her to do performances and host workshops; then I started teaching my own class at Lowe Mill and it just kind of blew up.
Were you athletic before you started hooping?
No! Haha, actually I was in band. People always ask me if I had some sort of dance background, but I have rhythm from being a music major and I think it really ties in to me being able to hoop. I have to hoop with music or else the movements just become repetitive.
Education is kind of my first passion for one; I was a Music Education major, so it made sense to start hooping classes. I’ve been teaching music for the last 8 years or so, and it was just second nature for me. I taught my first classes here in Lowe Mill, at the Flying Monkey on the second floor, and in this environment they just kind of accepted it.
Hula-hooping is very familiar to a lot of people, so it was accepted as either being a fitness thing or an artistic thing. I kind of fit it into the realm of art and self-expression. I’ve had all ages in my classes but my main demographic is middle-aged women because this is very familiar to them, hula-hooping was what they did growing up. But hula-hooping is really great for fitness, I lost 25 pounds within my first year of hooping, and keeping the hoop moving on your body really strengthens your core.
How do you learn new moves when you practice?
I told you earlier that music is a big motivator for me, so I usually put on music and get lost in the movements, and seeing what the hoop will tell me to do.
I’d never really thought I’d get into it, but after seeing someone doing it you’re like “I gotta do this!” so my husband purchased me one for our anniversary out of the blue. It was terrifying my first time trying it out, I kept it around my waist for the most part. The fire is on spokes that stick out from the hoop so you are able to grab it, and you don’t really have to worry about your clothes catching on fire. The main thing is to keep the hoop moving so the flames don’t rise up. The sound of the fire and the brightness is probably the scariest part, because you can’t hear anybody when you’re hooping.
What was the coolest place you’ve ever performed at?
At the Anti-Fashion Show, it’s an annual event that happens on the second floor at the Flying Monkey Theatre. Crazy, wacky, kooky outfits; I had to wear a lot of crazy things in the anti-fashion show, but I also got to hula-hoop at the same time. So I’m walking down the runway in heels and hula-hooping at the same time, posing and everything. You think it would be hard hula hooping while walking in heels, but I did alright!
Right now I just have the beginner class called Hooping 101 based more around people that want to drop in. I do also offer workshops that are a little more advanced and intermediate that cater more to people that have been hooping a little bit longer.
So what events do you have coming up in December?
First there’s World Hoop Day, a big international thing that celebrates hooping and dance, which is on 12-12-12 at the Flying Monkey at 6:00 PM. Most of the proceeds are going to the World Hoop Day Organization; they have ambassadors all over the world that get a bunch of hoops together and give them out to orphanages and lower income areas. We’ll have live performances, people in aerial hoops, hoop performances, a little kid group that is going to perform and it’s going to be super cute. One of my past students actually started that group, she really loves hooping and I’m just happy to be spreading what I call “hoop love” in the community.
Our next event is our 3rd annual Hoops for the Holidays Charity Party is happening at the Flying Monkey Theatre December 15th from 12-4. I will bring blank hoops and tape and be teaching people how to tape up and decorate hoops that we will end up giving to a local charity. Last year it was a Boys and Girls Club and we ended up making a big day out of it and passed out 40 hula hoops. And kids love hula hoops! This simple little plastic circle brings them so much joy, and to be able to spread something like that is amazing. Like I said it’s all about community for me and showing everybody that this can be whatever you want it to be, it can be fitness, it can be art, and it can just be something fun.
Hooping Classes start back in January on Tuesdays 6-7 pm in the Flying Monkey Theatre. For more information on events, classes, tutorials, and purchasing hoops, visit the Circle Motion Hoops website or like the Circle Motion Hoops Facebook page.
World Hoop Day
Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Location: Flying Monkey
Hoops for the Holidays Charity Party
Date: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Location: Flying Monkey
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