Kristen, Pania and Guy

World Hoop Day Ambassadors

Kristen, Pania and Guy

Hoop Drop

Ambassador: Kristen McQuillin (Spin Matsuri), Pania Lincoln (Peace Boat), Guy Totaro, Smile Ambassador From: USA and Japan To: Tokyo and outlying areas of Japan Dates: September 2009 – Present Donation: 300+

About the project: 

Spin Matsuri supports World Hoop Day with fundraising and hoop-making events in Tokyo, and coordinates hoop drops via two Japan-based NPOs: Peace Boat and Tyler Foundation. The Peace Boat has been taking hula hoops to remote parts of the planet on its worldwide cruises since 2009.  After the tsunami disaster in Northern Japan in March 2011, we teamed up with the Tyler Foundation’s Smile Ambassador program to send hoops to schools where children suffer post traumatic stress disorders.  
Spin Matsuri also choreographs and coordinates the popular WHD Dance project.  See photos here.
Our hoop drop ambassadors are Pania Lincoln, Peace Boat; Guy Totaro, Smile Ambassador; and Kristen McQuillin, Spin Matsuri.
WHD Dance at Spark Circus (Thailand/Burma Feb 2013)
Tink performing during Spark Circus (Thailand/Burma Feb 2013)
Spin Matsuri charity hoop making (Japan, July 2013)
WHD Dance workshop @ FlowFest (Japan, September 2013)
The rest are from the tour I did in early 2012 with Guy Totaro and the Niko-Niko Taishi program in Tohoku, Japan. Spin Matsuri made over 200 hoops with money collected during World Hoop Day and I spent a week up north in the disaster zone performing at schools and giving away hoops.
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.