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The Hoop of Self Esteem

Wonderful article written by Lara Eastburn about the Hoop of Self Esteem. Check it out.

You’ve all seen my Big Daddy hoop in class and asked, “What is THAT for??!!”. “It’s the HOOP OF SELF ESTEEM” I say with a sparkle in my eye. It’s true, this hoop is the hula hoop Mack Daddy, THE Man. I love my Big Daddy hoop. I bring him to classes and jams with me so that I can help ANYONE to hoop, it’s also just a whole heap of fun for those who can already hoop. This bad boy will make a hooper star outta even the biggest “I can’t” hooper wanna be. Don’t even get me started on tandem hooping with it…yes, two people ONE HOOP. More on that later…

I keep these Hoops of Self Esteem close by for many reasons, as Lara Eastburn so beautifully writes in the above quoted article:

 We all know that the larger and heavier the hoop, the more slowly it orbits around the body. That was part of what was happening. I found, though, that every time that hoop slammed into me as I was learning to hoop, I was also discovering my own body and mapping how it moved. With every revolution, I would think to myself, “Aha, there I am.” That was 11 years ago now. I don’t know if I would have become a hooper without “Silverado”, my giant, brutal taskmaster. I might very well have given up without her tutelage. Which leads me to wonder how many people do give up before they even get started because there’s nothing in the room bigger than a 42 incher.

Size really DOES matter. I always hear people say “smaller is easier for hooping, right”. It couldn’t be MORE WRONG. The larger the hoop the BETTER. A larger hoop rotates and orbits around your body much SLOWER, giving you MORE time to react and respond to it’s movements. NO DANCE BACKGROUND REQUIRED. You don’t have to be coordinated. Hooping actually BUILDS balance and coordination.

I was beyond delighted when I attended my Punk Rock Hoops Teach Training course in Surfside, TX to find out that one of our first tools we learned how to make. I learned from Rowan and Blythe and PRH how to make this colossal hoop collapsible for easy travel so it is accessible to all people, not just those who drive a huge SUV or 4×4 pickup. I can now carry this hoop more easily and all the time to my classes and jams, not just when the weather is nice enough to drive with my little 2-door convertible top down to class. It’s actually easier to travel with than MOST of my regular hoops. I traveled with my Hoop of Self Esteem back home to Atlanta on a plane as a carry-on. Easy breezy.

I love these two sisters, here is what they have to say about The Hoop of Self Esteem and their inspiration to always have one at a class or jam. Excerpt from Lara Eastburn’s article on

Part of a duo with her sister BlytheRowan TwoSisters came up with “The Hoop of Self-Esteem”. Her inspiration came from her own disappointing first experience with a hoop. Says Rowan, “I left my first hoop class in tears. No one sized me to a hoop that matched my dismal skill level, my well padded body and my amazonian height.” So when Rowan started teaching, she knew she needed a solution that would bring hooping success to anyone. She explains, “We added a hoop to our class set of beater hoops that me at my worst could hoop with, the hoop that ANYBODY could get to stay up after 15 minutes or less of practice.”

We’ve now made the Hoop of Self Esteem a regularly available item in our webstore and available regularly from HoopEssence. We want to make certain that everyone can achieve success in hooping opening up so many doors for transformation in our lives. Just the happiness that it brings is enough to make huge changes in lives, communities and even the world. I’ve made Hoops of Self Esteem for my lovely Mother (pictured below) and my Father. They both LOVE their hoops.

A huge Thank-you to our friends at Punk Rock Hoops for all the hoop learning. I definitely am a much better person after attending the Punk Rock Hoops Teacher Training course. You can get your hoop loving learn on, too this coming March with Punk Rock Hoops before the 3rd Coast Hoop Dance Retreat, Hottie Hoop Camp.

Big Love from Hotlanta!

XOXO ~ Rebecca



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Honoring “The Circles Beneath Our Feet”

What a beautiful article by columnist Lara Eastburn of Hooposophy. Please read the article  below as copied from

“The Circles Beneath Our Feet” by Lara Eastburn

As Americans push our burgeoning bellies away from abundant tables this weekend, many of us will recall in some way the story of “Pilgrims and Indians” and of “The First Thanksgiving” we have heard repeated since our school days. It is a problematic story, to say the least, and one that does little to recall the complicated role and history of Native Americans on today’s cultural landscape. But since 1990, November has also been Native American Heritage Month, a time to study and reflect upon the history and contributions of Native Americans and cultures. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that it coincides with a time in which we also celebrate all that we have to be thankful for. For many of us, hooping has taken its place near the top of that list. We are grateful for the bit of magic it has brought to our lives, the dash of sometimes inexplicable wonder that we experience when stepping into and moving within a circle. And it is Native American Cultures that may have more to tell us about that magic than any other.

Though the cultures and beliefs of the Native American peoples are richly varied, the significance of the circle abounds in a great many of them. As hoopers, we immediately think of the mesmerizing and story-telling Native American hoop dance. But we might just as easily think of the Medicine Wheel or dreamcatchers, the bonds of our families and “tribes,” or the cyclical nature of seasons and of life. Each of these is, in the translation of Native languages, referred to as a “sacred hoop.” But it is from the visions and teachings of a Lakota (Sioux) shaman named Black Elk (1830-1950), as told to those who would write them down, that most of us today can learn of what the hoop and circle may have meant to the Native peoples that once danced upon the soil where we now find ourselves:


Black Elk: Heȟáka SápaBlack Elk

“Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle […] and so it is in everything where power moves.”


Black Elk was no more thinking of our modern hoopdance than the 13th century poet Rumi, but his words cannot help but send this hoop-lover into a heady spin. Nothing could ring truer to any of us who has felt the touch of an entire universe inside a dance that moves in circles. You just want to drop everything and jump into your hoop right now, don’t you? Before you do, I offer you the following excerpt from Black Elk’s Sacred Hoop Vision. Known as “The Sunset Prayer,” it strikes me as an ideal meditation before your next hoop vision and the perfect blessing for this weekend’s holiday meal:

“Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy… But anywhere is the center of the world.”

On this Thanksgiving weekend and in these last few days in which we are called to reflect upon Native American Heritage, I choose to think about those who danced in circles upon this ground long before my European ancestors knew it existed. I will quietly repeat the words of Black Elk as I turn, digging my heels into the circles deep beneath my feet. And I will be conscious of the history twirling there just beneath the surface, in the soil between my toes.”