How do I find my hoop dance flow?
A question that is often followed by … how long did it take you to find your hoop dance flow? What tricks really helped you to find your flow?
These are common feelings and valid questions but they really shine a light on some of the biggest misconceptions about hooping and flow states.
The misconceptions are that hoop dance flow comes to you after you have learned a certain number of tricks or you have been practicing for a certain number of days/weeks/months/years.
Or that hoop dance flow is something you have to search for.
Sure you might start to feel more confident, strong and coordinated with practice but in fact, hoop dance flow is something you can access right from the very moment you pick up a hoop and spin in on your waist or hand.
To answer these questions about hoop dance flow and dispel some of the misconceptions it is important to understand what flow actually is and how to access it.
Dr Csíkszentmihályi, a Hungarian psychologist who created the concept of flow, describes the state as
“being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
Ultimately when a hooper asks, “how do I find my hoop dance flow?” they are asking how to access the feeling of focus, be immersed in continuous action, feel enjoyment, make the most of the skills they have and overcome the challenges.
Below are 11 practical ways with video examples to help you actively access your hoop dance flow.
Action is key. You cannot think your way into flow.
- Trick Restriction
Q: What is one of the biggest misconceptions about your art? A: There are a few but the one that springs to mind about hooping is that you need to know a lot of tricks before you can access a state of flow. I strongly disagree. In fact many hoopers report feeling deep flow states from the very beginning of their time with a hoop; simply waist hooping. You see flow is synonymous with focus and release so whether you have developed a wide array of tricks or you have only learned one or two you still have the ability to access flow. I personally practice “trick restriction” by simply concentrating on one trick or one hand position I am able to free up all other pathways and release any blockages to a flow state. I highly recommend it to any of my students experiencing a hoop rut or those nudging up against the flow blocks of anxiety, apathy or boredom with their practice. ✌️ Here is an example of Trick Restriction. You will notice that my hands are only on two points on the hoop and remain there for the whole practice. This free up my entire body and mind to drop very easily into a flow state. Totally recommend trying this practice for 10 to 20 mins at the beginning of your hoop practice to warm up creative movement patterns, allow relaxation of thought, and as a freedom technique then take the sensations into you regular practice time ✌️ #flowstate #freedom #misconception #flow #practice #imtheone #release #movementmeditation #meditation #guidance #restriction #hooplovers #hooping #hulahoop #hooplove #hooplovecoach #joy #love #djkhaled #justinbieber
Part 2 of “you don’t have to know a ton of tricks to access flow” Take your hoop on a journey with you ✨ Trick Restriction (see my last video post for a description of the practice) : One Hand One Point : For this whole practice I only focussed on one “trick” holding the hoop at one contact point with one hand. This frees up any blockages to flow and allows energy to move to other concepts like space, timing, levels, musicality, rhythm, punctuation, pace changes, making shapes, chaos and flow. 💜 Enjoy! And of course a solid @nickiminaj track HELPS! #freedom #dance #chaos #hoopdance #tricks #lightmybodyup #nickiminaj #lilwayne #hulahoop #hoopersofinstagram #hooplovers #flow #flowarts #love #space #time #fierce
To enhance focus by practicing the method of “trick restriction” for one or two songs.
Did you know that even if you knew zero “hoop tricks” you could still find gorgeous flow and dance with your hoop?!? I wanted to show you what my hoop practices look like from the moment I pick up my hoop. I walk into my hoop space with a blank canvas (my body and mind) I switch on whatever playlist I have created and I practice “Trick Restriction” as a warm up. I simply spend a song or two moving with my hoop, at first slow and simply making shapes with my circle and my body. This technique helps to discover the unique and beautiful lines and curves of the body and hoop together. No tricks required just a willingness to dance and be free. In this practice there is no judgement, no right or wrong, no goal. It is a time to allow the body healing movement, a fun and freeing way to warm up and for me always the ideal way to make space for dance and find a sweet balance with tricks I might practice later on. So many Hoopers ask me how to find dance flow. Allow it. Let it out. It’s there already. If the tricks are hindering your flow then pull back a little to find that sweet spot. As in Yoga when the asana is too strong the breath is weakened and it is a perfect sign to soften the practice, in hoop dance when the tricks block the flow it is a beautiful reminder to move in new ways, pick up the feet, glide with the movement of the hoop. #hoopdance #flow #hoop #circle #movement #practice #play #hooping
2. Single focus. Warm up your body and soul by giving yourself the luxury of a single focussed hoop time. Waist hoop. If you cannot yet waist hoop keep trying for the length of one whole song.
Flow Tips : Give yourself the luxury of ecstatic flow with the OG of waist hooping. Dance around your space with pure joy and know your hoop always wants to have fun and will be by your side if you invite it to playfully dance with you . #hooplove #hooping #hooplife #flowarts #flow #play #joy #hoopdance #dancetherapy
3. Shapes. Create shapes with your hoop, set this as your only intention for one whole song. No need to worry about nailing tricks or remembering sequences simply fall into the flow of painting pictures and creating shapes with your hoop.
Flow tips : Spend part of your practice or play time moving as if you were simply creating shapes. Imagine (whether you have an LED or not) that you are light painting. Every move that your hoop makes creates a pattern, a script a shape. Notice in this practice I am making shapes, patterns and painting simply by holding the hoop in two contact points, I can release the focus on perfecting tricks and flow my energy into shape making #dancetherapy #hooping #hooplovers #hooplove #hoopersofig #norules #dowhatyoulove Obsessed with : this song You Know by 20syl and these pants by @thatnewlabel A video posted by Deanne Love 💜 Hooplovers.tv (@deannelovexo) on
4. Your body. Take your focus into your body, specifically the muscles that make your movement. Focus on particular muscle groups and how they are moving or take your attention to the muscles that are moving your hoop.
Flow Tips : Feeling “bummed” about your hoop dance, your flow, your personal practice? Release resistance to tricks and dance by taking your attention to the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your beautiful body. Let energy, sensation and dance ripple through them from the small parts in your feet (we have over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in our feet alone!!) through your powerful legs, give some special love to your gluteus maximus (your largest butt muscle😊) while wiggling around, loosen and expand through your upper body muscles, groove the 43 muscles in your face 😍, the muscles in your neck and shoulders that hold tension and resistance pump blood through them releasing and healing and most importantly activate your heart muscle radiate brilliance, energy and love into your movement. Your hoop will accompany you if you allow it, take it on a journey of dance and play. We feel “bummed” when we have expectations and resist, we feel ecstatic when we play 💗 #play #flow #hooping #hooplovers #love #dancetherapy #norules #letgo #workitout #hooplove
5. Same moves, different music. Create a short (or long) hoop dance sequence that you are familiar with and practice it to different types of music. Make yourself a varied playlist.
Hooper tip: when you are feeling stuck in a hoop rut take a short hoop dance sequence you are familiar with, something that comes natural, and give it new life. Put a playlist on repeat and improvise giving new energy and variations to the same flow session. Something new will come out every time! ⚡️⚡️ Just about to upload this week’s flow session tutorial to my YouTube (will put link in insta bio soon) but I thought I would add a few videos here to show you how you can take one hoop flow session and go be it lots of different flavour by changing music, pace, energy and adding variation into the moves. ⚡️ go check out the tutorial, have a play with it then tag me to share your variations. ❤️😍 . #flowsession #variation #hoopdance #hooping #hooplovers #hooplove #rhirhi #rhianna #rehab A video posted by Deanne Love 💜 Hooplovers.tv (@deannelovexo) on
6. Drop it like it’s hot. Celebrate your mistakes. Don’t let drops and mishaps with the hoop shatter your flow and focus, continue to move and creatively dance while rescuing your hoop, make it part of the flow.
Celebrate your mistakes!! Keep dance alive in your hoop practice by celebrating with a full body explosion of unbridled disco dance floor action every time your hoop goes flying. Good ju ju. Keep the vibes high!! 😛 #celebrate #dance #flow #hooplah #hooping #hooplovers Hoop from @superhooperorg A video posted by Deanne Love 💜 Hooplovers.tv (@deannelovexo) on
7. All about the tunes. Create playlists that motivate your moves, fill them with songs that inspire you to dance.
MUSIC! Find hoop tracks that make you naturally move no matter what you are practicing. Although I do get hooked on certain songs and drive everyone crazy playing them on repeat I do love to constantly make new playlists. Always have back up playlists on Soundcloud, Spotify or iTunes so you can inject new flavour to your practice. Let the music guide you. Do you have a rad playlist you wanna share with me? I ❤️ dancing to other hooper’s favs. I am on Soundcloud and Spotify. #playlists #music #hooplovers #hooping #hoopflow
8. The floor is lava. Pick up your feet as if on hot sand, feel a sense of weightlessness. Create patterns or freestyle with your footwork.
Other ways I play with adding dance to my hoop practice…a “game” called Hot Sand. You know when you decide to go bare foot on a scorching Summer’s day and it is far too painful to touch the sand/road with the soles of your feet?? Ha!! That feeling. Pick those feet up, get some air, try shifting from the ball to the heel or other parts of the sole of your foot! Just play! Don’t worry too much about what your hoop is doing in this game just let it roll with you. #play #hooping #dance #hooplove #flow #practice A video posted by Deanne Love 💜 Hooplovers.tv (@deannelovexo) on
9. Find your inner fierceness. Take charge of the moment and hold strong to your intentions.
Be sassy! Work it! Put that hoop in it’s place. You are dancing with a partner that loves to be guided and lead. Show the hoop where to go with a quickening of your energy and an assertiveness in your pace. Oh and lip synching, pouting and winking totally helps! #sassy #pants #hooping #hoopspam #practice #flow #hooplovers
10. Dare to take up space. Whether you have a small practice space or a wide open area utilise the space, move into it, be bold and deliberate with your expression.
How much space do you dare to take up? So many of us spend so much time shrinking to fit into situations, moulds, conditions. Allow your hoop dance time to be bold moments when you grow bigger, taller, stronger and shine out into all the space. Let the memories you create in your hoop dance play spill out into all areas of your life. Have the courage to shine, to express, to take up space. Dare to be the fullest expression of your own greatness. Use your hoop dance practice and play as time to remember how awesome you truly are. Celebrate your body! #love #hooping #practice #play #hooplove #hooping #happyhooper Hoop from @superhooperorg A video posted by Deanne Love 💜 Hooplovers.tv (@deannelovexo) on
11. Stop searching for it. Flow is not a destination, it is a way of feeling that requires action and letting go of resistance.
Some more tips to help you float into flow with every practice
- Set aside a designated, distraction free time and space.
- Enter the practice prepared by being hydrated, ready to play and with a positive frame of mind.
- Set an intention for the play time or goals for the practice.
- Gently witness your emotions, allow them, shift them if needed but stay focussed on the intention or practice.
- Keep going, take action, MOVE into flow.
How do you embrace your hoop dance flow?
Share your break throughs and brilliance with me on Instagram @deannelovexo #hooplovers
Some other ideas that you might like if you are in a dreaded hoop rut or need some new hoopspiration: