Though many flow artists make visual magic with their hoops, wands, staffs or otherwise for themselves, they undoubtedly add an amazing display to the shows and festivals they attend. Though these niche hobbies may look effortless, it can be hard to figure out how to begin flowing or which toy to start with.
If you’re interested in getting involved with your own moving meditation, check out these tips from some of our “flowmies” on starting out.
As stated above, finding your flow is a process. Some flow artists progress faster than others. Some learn tricks that others may find impossible at first, and vice versa. Some may flow better to EDM music, some to rap music, some to silence.
Do not compare yourself to other flow artists. No matter how advanced you are, drilling tricks every day is key to finding a fluid flow and nailing any trick you want. The rest will follow in due time.
Try Out Many Sizes and Props
Ever see those hoopers carrying around dozens of hoops at a time? Trust us, it’s necessary! Hoops come in various materials and sizes that can make them heavier or lighter, or rotate around you faster or slower. When many hoopers start out, they find bigger, thicker (heavier) hoops are easy to work with because they rotate slower so you can learn hand placement. As you advance and want to learn off-body tricks, a lighter, smaller hoop may fulfill your needs better.
A good rule of thumb is to start out with a hoop that has an outer diameter of the length from the floor up to your belly button, but each person is different. Try to find a hoop maker that can give you a deal on bulk hoops so you can buy a variety of sizes and tubing to find what you like best.
While hooping seems to be the mostly widely spread flow art, poi, staff, wands and rope darts are just as fun to figure out, so make sure to try out as many as possible.
Use Social Media for Inspiration
Instagram is one of our favorite places to find flowspiration. When you’re first learning, it can help you visualize tricks and transitions. If you’re more advanced, it can help you find new tricks to try.
Some of our favorite flow artists are @danceswithcircles, @tippytoes_flows, @thehoopninja and @dancing_with_the_lights. Find other great artists to follow by searching some of the popular flow art hashtags, such as #flowartsfriday, #showmeyourtrails and #gratefulhoopers.
To interact with other hoopers, use the hashtag #stopdropandspin on your hooping video and tag other hoopers to get a game going.
Learning new skills and sharing your struggles is much easier with other flow artists who understand. Many cities host weekly meet ups to flow and learn tricks from others. Another great resource is to search for the many flow arts Facebook groups, such as the Infinite Circles Community. Here you can get help on the tricks you’re stuck on, share your successes and trade props with a community who gets it.
Got any other tips on finding your flow? Tell us on Facebook!
By Sarah Karney
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