I met Tink aka Kristen the World Hoop Dance choreographer a few years back at my first hoop camp and her hair was hot – electric pink. I took a great photo of she and BJ, co-owner of Astral Hoops because his hair was awesome in flaming orange! What a glorious year that was. Tink and I have kept in touch, because she is the mastermind behind the WHD Dance and toured the globe last year in pursuit of uniting all hoopers together to get that dance synchronized by the world. Since this year’s dance has already been crafted with thanks from Hooping Life movie to score the song from Basement Jaxx, I wanted to give her props by making her Ambassador of the SEASON! She and her Tokyo amigos have donated hundreds of hoops around Japan, Asia and on the Ocean through the use of the Peace Boat. How else could we give hoops to Antarctica scientists?
Here’s what I asked in italics and her responses inspire me.
How did you get into hooping?
I started hooping on August 20, 2008, when a friend dragged me unwillingly to a hoop dance class with Deanne Love in Tokyo. I saw myself as a clumsy brainiac loser and I was sure I would hate it. Talk about wrong self-perception. I fell in love that day.
Who is your hoop role model and why?
I don’t have one. I have hundreds. I am inspired by all of the hoopers who share their creativity, time and expertise. Our community has a lot of generous souls.
Why did you want to become a WHD Ambassador?
I feel compelled to give hoops to people who need something to relieve stress or brighten their day. In addition to raising money, building, and delivering hundreds of hoops via Niko Niko Taishi (Japan), Peace Boat (worldwide), and Spark Circus (Thailand/Burma), I make it a point to gift hoops to new hoopers no matter where I am.
Do you feel your recipients’ lives have improved and how?
We all know that hoops have a lot of benefits and I’ve seen one I never expected: trickle-down happiness. It’s usually children in a community who receive the hoops directly. Surprisingly, adults benefit as well by seeing their kids happy and healthy, by getting a break from everyday stresses, and even from playing with the hoops when the kids will share.
What initially inspired you to create the official WHD Dance and how is this year’s going to be different?
As my first chance to celebrate World Hoop Day rolled around in 2009, I saw that there was no global activity that hoopers were doing together. It made sense that we could all share a dance no matter where in the world we were. So I put together a video tutorial for a very simple choreography – just some tricks sequenced together – and put it out for people to try.
This year is the 5th WHD Dance and it’s turning out to be a terrific celebration. The song we’re dancing to this year is the theme song from The Hooping Life movie. Basement Jaxx are so much fun to hoop to! I’ve been collaborating with Malcolm Stuart and Beka Hoop who created choreography for the song’s music video. We’re going to have two versions of the dance this year – the standard all-levels dance and a more complex one. All the details you’ll want to know will be on Spin Matsuri from April 22nd.