How you all doing.
So I've been thinking latley about my dance style and my hoop style and how they reflect on eachother.
I know on occasion I'm just hooping and practicing moves for the heck of it.
But usually when I'm "showing off," or "dancing for my public," I like to show a certain type of style that reflects more of who I am and how I dance. I've met this same issue in other dance styles such as middle eastern folk dance, or belly dance, flamenco and many other dance styles.
What I'm getting at is, how do you other male dancers toss around the idea of more "masculine" hooping? What moves do you do and what moves do you stay away from? Do you have any moves that in your opinion, look better when men do them vs women, or vice versa?
I don't deny or repremand men who hoop with more of a "ladies touch," but I do enjoy the thought that there can be a difference and that on occasion, it can be used to an entertainment benefit.
I'd love to hear more thoughts on this. Lets discuss.
i know you're probably looking for other men's perspectives, but when i think of men hooping, i think of more "power" moves, like tosses, extreme jumps, etc...not that ALL guy hoopers hoop that way. also, a lot of direction changes. the first that comes to mind is stefan (sp?) from groovehoops.
Baxter's YouTube video to Aenima seemed like a very masculine style to me. I believe he called it "warrior" style.
Yah stefan is pretty damn neato. And I like grasshoppers hooping as well for it's strength and presence.
You should definitely check out Baxter's videos. In our community, he was the ONLY MALE for a long time hooping with me and Spiral. He has innovated some great techniques on his hoop path which emphasize rhythm and strength. I'm not sure if any guys would have ever picked up the hoop around here if it weren't for Bax offering a masculine possibility in contrast to our feminine hoop styles. Bax sometimes looks like a breakdancer in his sick hoop flow.
I was also really taken by some of the Groove Hoopers. They are all talented, but Malcolm has a wizardlike style with his isolations that really hoopgnotized me. And I remember Wheylan having amazing athleticism with jumps and backbends and the like that were pretty stunning and surely masculine.
I've also noticed that one huge difference with male hooping is strength. Especially when it comes to isolations and off body moves. One male hooper I have found totally inspirational over the years is Rob, now a friend of mine since I've been in Oregon. ;) If there are any old school hoopers out there, maybe you remember the original hooping.org film festival a few years back (before youtube blew up), hosted by Rob and Kara. I watched Rob's "hooping in the tall grass" like a million times. He was just at Baxter's workshop in Eugene, and it was awesome to be in the presence of two such accomplished male hoopers in the same room.
There's definitely a different energy -- and an equally mesmerizing one -- about male hooping. So keep doing your thing, guys! I hope there will continue to be more and more of you in the years to come.
oh and i don't know if one of bax's video is posted as warrior hooping, but he has named one of his movement styles "samurai."
here is a link to it:
one of my favorite hooping videos!
Wow, watching Baxter is pretty amazing, he's unique.
I spent all weekend working on new moves and my own flair, really some great break throughs and some great dancning. Thanks for all your help.
Thanks for the props, everybody.
See you soon,
I have noticed over the past year when I've taught children that young boys are really good at hooping. They are freer in the hips than girls. Young boys tend to hoop really fast and really hard and their moves are swift and strong. One of my best teachers was a problematic hyper active teenage boy - the experimentation in his unique hooping style was out of this world.
In my experience when it comes to teaching men they are harder to encourage - many see it as a female practice. When they really give it a go they amaze themselves and again are surprised at how free their hips are.
A guy at the office tells me that men shouldn't hoop in public, that it makes us look gay. I know that's not true, but it does make me think of the styles. The fashion culture around hooping seems feminized to the extreme. Hooping makes women look extra sexy, so that aspect also gets pronounced. A lot of men won't go there. I mean, I'm sexy in my own way.
I hoop a lot with Baxter. I think his style comes more from his hoop space, a four-foot circle. So his steps are small and he keeps to the same spot. Within that restriction, he has come up with some amazing reverses and throws.
Spiral, on the other hand, moves all over the yard. Oddly, I feel that Spiral has a style of hooping that is very masculine. Although, she is also ultra-sexy in a feminine way. I think if anything, it's Spiral that I emulate the most. By the way, she's probably stronger than most guys.
Mostly, I have been trying to feel my hoop/body relationship as myself. Who am I as I hoop? I don't really think much about masculine style or feminine as I hoop. If I hooped in public, I might avoid some moves in front of men. I think overt sex-body would make them uncomfortable, but I always forget and find myself getting lost in the hoop and I don't care. Still, I do think about a "manly" style of hooping.
I speculate that in our society, we don't often see men move their hips (notice Baxter doesn't). Because of that, straight men hoopers might favor arm moves and rolling and tend not to gyrate. And you know, it might just come down to that. Funny, huh. Thanks for the question.
In class last night, Baxter was teaching us breaks. To me, they had a very masculine feel. They use a lot of speed that is imparted by rotating the core which gives them a movement that very much reminds me of fencing. Maybe we can convince Baxter to post a video of breaks on YouTube???
Oops, spoke too soon. Here's Ann breaking and paddling. www.youtube.com/watch
Thank you, Patricia! (I hope people don't think I'm a man...)
There is a link above to a vid of Bax's, and here's another one that shows some excellent breaking and current changes:
And here's one that's just paddling:
Kimo needs to post some video and show off his powwow-dance style--another very strong & masculine hooping style!
I CAN gyrate, Kimo. I know I can. Ann, back me up here. Can I not gyrate?
I'm not sure we should get into that here, babe...
You two make me laugh - you are so sweet and funny.
Oops! I wanted to clarify something i posted earlier about warrior vs. samurai hooping. After some research on these terms, I have learned that Warrior style refers to a culmination or combination of various movement techniques. It is sort of an umbrella which covers samurai, breaks, reverses and paddling. These movements together create a kind of visual and mental/spiritual "warrior" style of moving with the hoop.
i so need to post a clip of my boyfriend (astro) hooping...
this boy can hoop...
and its so fun to watch... he dances does tricks...
i cant even explain how awesome it is...
and umm yummy tooo
guys who hoop
that is like the biggest turn on ever
Kimowan, thanks for this response. You made a few points that I was trying to find words for...about social conditioning and gender roles and such, as distinct from "masculine/feminine" archetypes.
Also, thanks for this:
"Mostly, I have been trying to feel my hoop/body relationship as myself. Who am I as I hoop?"
Good meditation, there. :,)
Bax, I think we need a demonstration. I mean, if you want to create belief...
And Ann, I don't think anyone on the planet could mistake you for a man. Gosh, you two are the most insecure people I've ever met!
funny you should mention that...
I have been thinking a video is in order here.
i'll keep you posted.
How about this: a video of Bax "gyrating" and me jumping around in the background dressed as a man.
Then nobody will think we're insecure!!!
My perception of Spiral's style is that is it is very very very ultra feminine - but that is just my perception. I can tell that she is very strong and athletic but that does not make her style masculine to me - like the gentle curve at the center of a very powerful wave. I have often felt that Baxter embodies the male in hoop dance and Spiral embodies the female - I have just never had the chance to express this.
Can we get some invisible hoops in there, too? :)
I was watching a movie the other day that showed many different flamenco performers. The men on it were amazingly powerful and graceful. Some of their body postures could almost be feminine - i.e. the curves they create with the arch of their back, but everything else was very masculine. It would be worth looking at other dance forms to see how the man-style reveals itself. And if you throw sound into your hoopdance, that could be a very unique and powerful way to create a style all your own!!
I saw in another thread Beth write "concerned about appearing gay." For me, it's not that. I am more concerned about other men's responses. Bax once told me that someone at Burning Man called him a "faggot." My male co-workers like to tease me. And again, I think it's only because they can't deal with watching another man move their hips and pelvis. I think straight men watching other straight men hoop notice the inherent sexiness of hoop moves and that disturbs them. Other than Elvis and the Chippendales, we don't often see men thrust pelvises and gyrate. It shouldn't be an issue, but now that we're talking, it seems that body motion is very engendered. Sexuality also comes into play, don't you think?
Yeah, it's interesting because I think that hoopers must experience the attention so differently based on their gender. What I meant was that I've never had the experience of anyone saying anything negative about my hooping having a masculine feel to it. Yet I think for guys, there is some discomfort (either on the part of the hooper of the viewer) if there is anything remotely feminine in their movements. Maybe it brings on unwanted attention or even disdain. When you say "I am more worried about other men's responses" do you mean that they might come on to you?
I know that as a woman, I sometimes experience discomfort with the attention that my movements bring. If a man is leering at me, I cannot hoop and have to stop. I don't like that at all. I think that the "inherent sexiness of hoop moves" is an inherent problem with hooping in the presence of non-hoopers. It's often sexualized even if there was no intention to arouse on the part of the hooper. I think that in this way we are talking about the same thing. The sexual component of hooping is hard to deny, even if it's only in the eye of the beholder.
I think that the guys who call you a faggot or make fun of you are revealing their own immaturity. It's too bad. Maybe that's where the context comes in. But at Burning Man?! Give me a break.
Maybe this is just because I am a gay man, but I say "if it feels good, go with it". There is nothing wrong with men having grace or sensuality. However your body moves is who you are. Don't feel limited by other people's perceived judgements. I guess maybe that is one of the blessings of being a fag. I have flexibility to hoop as hard or soft as I like. And if anyone has a problem with the way I hoop, I say "fuck em!" I'm having a good time, and if they wanna have a good time, they are more than welcome to join in the fun!
It's funny, I kind of think this is an area where gay guys have it a little easier. Because we actually are gay, being perceived as gay isn't really an issue, or at least it's less of one because on some level we expect it and have dealt with it for most of our lives so it's nothing new, sad as that is. I've never been called a faggot while hooping, but I have just walking down the street. Even in San Francisco. The irony is, most of the male hoopers I know are straight!
To my mind, it's clearly the viewers' problem and indicative of how rigid and uptight we as a culture are about masculinity. I've heard the same issue come up (though to a lesser extent) amongst male poi spinners as well. Part of it is the wiggle factor, but I think a lot of it has to do with expressiveness as in, real men aren't expressive. Also, it could be that they're aroused by watching you and are shocked SHOCKED that they have such feelings for a man and react by being homophobic dickheads. I wouldn't be surprised if the asshat that called Baxter a faggot at Burning Man showed up at Jiffy Lube later on in the night!
I have had the experience of men asking to try a hoop or show them how to do it more often than experiencing anything disdainful or outright hateful.
Philo and I had a conversation a few months ago about developing a more aggressive style of hooping (for an all male hoop troupe). It had less to do with masculinity though, and more to do with being more...I dunno...aggro and punk rock and leather over being all hippie and dance music and glitter, if that makes any sense. I realize those are very crude distinctions, so forgive me please. It was about bringing a certain aesthetic that we both like that isn't often seen in the hooping world, more than about being "masculine" necessarily.
Beth's question: "When you say "I am more worried about other men's responses" do you mean that they might come on to you? " If only!!
I'm finding this thread really interesting. Khan, I think it's useful to take chances with more variety and experimentation. Seems good to break out of what I think had become the stereotypical hooper for a while. I think all that is changing now. From what I see happening around me, hooping has evolved so far beyond glittery, hippie glam.
The samarai moves, breaks and reverses tap into what for me is a place of power and, for lack of a better word, masculinity. I like the feeling of merging the feminine, spinning hoopflow and the masculine strength of samurai moves. I can't tell where one begins or the other ends. Both exist inside me and I like exploring those places. In general, I enjoy watching a woman display unusual strength and a man to exhibit beautiful grace. It's sad that people are often uncomfortable with expressiveness in men, unless they are expressing aggression or something considered manly. Men, gay or straight, must have some difficulties here.
Your last comment made me smile.
Interesting. Glad to get all these viewpoints. Beth, no, come-ons aren't a concern. This will sound weird. It's as though straight men have some kind of unsaid contract that says I won't flaunt my sexiness if you do the same. When it happens, I agree with what's been said before, there's a wide range of responses from homophobia to "I couldn't care less." I wish it was more the later. I mean I can see it in the eyes of a man watching when they notice the wiggle factor and they turn and walk away. They look embarrassed. So, I guess I feel careful not to embarrass my brothermen, even if I think it's silly.
I'm imagining hooping in front of my uncles like I do now and they would be really embarrassed and I think I would be, too.
Back home in "powwow country," men hoop in public, but in an entirely different way. The social codes aren't the same. It's really more surprising to see a female hooper. She would be a novelty show. The men perform solo. They wear breechcloths in front, back and side panels, too. It would be weird to show butt, but legs are fine. I never noticed how modest men's powwow outfits were until this thread. Again, I find your thoughts interesting. Thanks.
I think it all comes from one place and that is from within and in that place i dont see it as masculine or feminine it just is what it is. I love hoop dance and everyone has there own take on it but i never really thought about how feminine or masculine a man or woman looks i just see t he heart and the energy thats been put into someones passion.
Baxter is a phenomenal hooper but it came from within i dare to say i dont think some masculine voice " said this dance must be manly"
As for Derrik Grasshopper....gee when we first met i was just glad to see another guy out with his hoop who was not afraid to rock it..
As for Karis well that girl is the bomb but he brings it with a mighty punch and lays it down hard!!
Well, these are just my thoughts in the moment on this question, which is intersting for me because i have thought about it. Being a guy hooper in a girl dominated west coast.
Idunnnow as for me i guess my style is very round and i like to keep it on an even hemisphere with a bit of a punch there and something sassy here.
It seems its all about discovery within our magical little circle and every discovery is sooooooo much fun i think every one will vouch for that.
I guess to answer your question, I think i would prefer to leave out the idea that there is a difference, I have seen some hella sexy guy hoopers and some not so sexy girls but there idea of themseleves may be different and who am I to judge this.
Cheerfully yours and letting life happen.........well the best that i can.
One of the rockinest hoopers I've seen is a woman named "M", who incorporated Hip Hop dance into her hooping. I took one Hip Hop dance class after that, but couldn't keep up and looked like a dork, so I didn't continue. But I might give it another try. I've heard a lot of Hip Hop music that I know would be good to hoop to, and especially if you could incorporate some Hip Hop dance moves, I'm sure that would look very masculine! Not that I really care how masculine or feminine I look when hooping, it's all just hooping in my opinion, and I've had good female and male teachers both.
hooping is great for everyone. i always feel soo excited when i meet male hoopers. i think everyone tends to have their own moves with the hoop, we all make it our own way. i've been trying to get my boyfriend to hoop., i think in an atmosphere with more male hoopers he's going to give it a try.! Make your hoop dance your own and you should be just fine.!
Hey, apologies for the thread necro... (if it makes it any better, its tribe necro too, I haven't been on tribe in like three years). But this is one of the first subjects that comes up when searching for a more masculine style for hooping. Which is something I'm currently researching. My girlfriend is an amazing hooper, and she's gotten me sorta interested in it... where no one else has so far. I wouldn't (and couldn't) compare with her style, but the idea of a masculine vs feminine flow together is intriguing (choreographed or not).
I don't know if the people involved in this thread are still active here (or anyone really...), but this thread has some interesting thoughts. I'm curious if the last few years have added anything to a more masculine hooping style (I imagine it has, all of the flow arts are exploding). Thoughts? Research suggestions?
i've subscribed to this channel on youtube. they have guys that teach moves too. Theres is one guy that is all about off body stuff and it looks really cool while still being masculine. Theres also another guy that teaches a triangle move and i'm sure the rest of his moves are the same masculine style. Heres the link or channel www.youtube.com/user/jaguarmaryone