Hooping in Public: An introvert’s Guide

Aloha,

In this post you will learn:

*How to hoop in public with confidence, even if you feel like a dork.

*How to perform for the first time despite being shy

*and more!

It's me, the introvert, on TV.
It’s me, the introvert, on TV.

 

This might come as a surprise to you, but despite being a performer & globe-trotting hooping  instructor, I’m an introvert.

For Psychology’s sake, let me point out that nobody is 100% introverted or 100% extroverted. Most people fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

You can categorize me on the “I want to stay home and read a book/cuddle with my dog on the weekend” point of the spectrum.

So how did I achieve all this despite extreme sensitivity to crowds, noises, smells, lights?

Read on to find out.

1) Create an alter ego or super hero version of yourself.

Example: I took a page from my hero, David Bowie, and developed an alter ego. Every time I perform or go out in public with my hoop, I’m no longer anti-social Sarah. I become Terpsichore. Terpiscore is one of nine muses in Greek Mythology. She represents Dance.ziggystardust

2) Be Present.
To quote Daft Punk, “lose yourself to dance.”

If you are genuinely focused on hooping, you reach a Psychological state called Flow. Flow makes the rest of the world disappear. It’s like a runner’s high for hoopers.

Example: I might feel like the music is sooooo loud or people are looking at my weird when I get to a party where I’m about to perform. But as soon as I bust out my hoop and start hooping, I can’t hear anything and all I see is my hoop. (Ear plugs help too).

3)Don’t compare yourself to other hoopers.

Chances are, you can’t do what this guy does. (Unless if you’re Matt Porretta).

hoop_dance

But I’m guessing you have your own style or way of doing things.

As a dancer I had this quote drilled into my head from an early age, “Dance to express, not to impress.”

So basically, hoop dance for YOU. You don’t need anyone else’s approval.

Example: The first time I performed as a hoop dancer, I choreographed the entire 5 minute routine. (My dance background is showing).

As soon as I got on stage, I forgot my routine and pretty much did the same 3 moves over and over.

But nobody in the audience had ever seen a hoop dance before, so they thought it was amazing. They weren’t comparing me to Brecken or Saffire so I stopped comparing myself too.

4) Just do it.
The first time you do something is always the hardest. After that, it gets easier each time.

So you might be a little embarrassed the first time you practice hooping in front of other people. You’ll get over it.

Example: Prior to 2009, I never wanted to be any sort of dance teacher, because that would require interacting with a group.

I got over my foolishness and realized my desire to teach and help people (and create a better world through hooping) was more important than staying inside my shell.

I’m pleased to say using my tips paid off because I’ve taught hundreds of kids in 6 different states so far, and now I get to help people all over the world start their own hooping classes for kids.

Some of my students are shy and have used these tips as well.

5) Attend a small hoop jam or event.
Going to a more intimate, smaller event or hoop class might be a good “baby step” for you and will help you get accustomed to that sort of thing.

Hoop Camp was the first hoop festival I’ve ever attended. It wasn’t a baby step…it was a GINORMOUS step because there were hundreds of people there.

I might have enjoyed Hoop Camp more if I worked my way up to it.

6) Hop on my email list for a weekly dose of insider tips and hooping tutorials each week. It’s free.

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2 thoughts on “Hooping in Public: An introvert’s Guide

  1. These are all so true! I think joining a group of like-minded flow artists has really helped me. We meet in a public park regularly to practice and teach anyone who’s interested in learning whatever we’re doing, so I’m not alone when I put myself on public display. It’s so funny that you mentioned earplugs, because, as a singer, I’ve always used my poor eyesight to my advantage. When I have a particularly bad case of stage fright, I take off my glasses so that I can’t see the audience. (My eyesight is *just* good enough to know where the edge of the stage is, haha!) It’s so helpful, and helps me get lost in the experience.

    1. Thanks Chelsea! I’m glad you found a like-minded group. Just remember to get out there and hoop dance on your own too. 🙂

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