I have never considered to hula hoop, in Finland, for three reasons.
One, hula hooping is foreign in Finland. Two, it is cold here. Finally, I find myself become a shy person when thinking about hula hooping in Finland right on staring Finnish people’s faces. :) Anyways..
I met Katie Sunshine and found hula hooping to be fun and sexy! Right after I watched her showreel, I contacted her for an exclusive interview to get to know her as well as to introduce hula hooping in Finland!
Before we dive in, check her out in this video to realize what I mean. I will see you on the other hand.
Katie, where do you come from?
I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Arkansas where I still live today. I teach art to elementary students (ages 5-12) which keeps me busy most of the year.
What do you do on your spare time?
When I’m not teaching, or hoop dancing, I love to paint, be outdoors, camp, garden, go to music festivals, and play with my two wonderful dogs, Molly and JJ.
How did you come to attach yourself to hooping?
I became interested in hoop dancing when I saw another girl doing it.
I was at a music festival in Northwest Arkansas and I saw this beautiful girl dancing to the music and doing tricks with a hula hoop. I had never seen anyone do that before and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her! I decided then and there that I wanted to be a hula hoop girl just like her so I bought a hoop from the department store and started practicing! That was almost five year ago!
Is hooping a fad?
Hula hooping is definitely experiencing a surge of popularity right now but it has been around long before I even started and I predict it will be around long after. Although the attention hooping is getting right now may diminish eventually, hoop dancing won’t, and therefore I don’t consider hooping a fad.
How about seeing hula hooping as an art form?
Yes, hula hooping is an art form, it’s a performance art.
Hoop dancers not only need to be aware of hoop and what it’s doing, but also their bodies and the shapes and forms their bodies are creating with the hoop.
Personally, I do not have a background in professional dance, but I still love to dance.
What is going on in your head while you hula hoop?
When I’m performing, I try to be aware of what my arms are doing, my fingers, by back, my legs, my hair, and I choose music that I like so that all this movement is natural and free-flowing.
For example, when the beat slows down, I may start a sustained spin to mimic the fluidity of the song and when the music speeds up, I go back to a traditional hooping where the hoop is making rotations around my body to match the beat of the music.
Is the hula hoop industry competitive?
I wouldn’t call the industry of hooping competitive. Hooping was born out of the festival-going, music-loving, supportive hippy community which values expression and “doing what feels good” over competition. I find this to be true when I meet other hoopers and they always prove to be generous people with good hearts who are supportive of each other, always ready to share tricks, and dance together.
However, hula hoop artists can get paid for a variety of things such as performances, hoops they make, teaching workshops, and selling ads on Youtube videos.
Can you make a career out of hula hooping?
Personally, I make my living as a teacher teaching art during the school year and I hoop as a hobby. I do make some money from the ads on my Youtube videos, but not much. I really consider hooping as my hobby. But, careers can be made! Hula hoopers can sell hoop supplies, ready-made hula hoops, their services as performers or instructors, or instructional videos.
Hula hoop is great for exercising / fitness purposes. Do you agree?
Hooping can burn 400-600 calories an hour so it’s a great cardiovascular exercise. It builds core strength, balance, and focus. Also, hooping is fun! When you’re hooping, it’s hard to not smile which makes it a huge stress-reliever.
When you’re not feeling stress, you’re in better health!
I have to say that you have a good taste in choosing costumes when you hula hoop, Katie.
Costumes are important in hooping. I try to choose costumes that reveal certain areas of my skin such as my knees, shoulders, back, and stomach because the hoop will stick better to areas of exposed skin rather than to fabric.
Also, different fabrics have different frictions with a hoop, you want to make sure your clothes are not going to make your hoop slip and fly off your body! Finally, your costume is a way to express who you are as a performer.
How many hoops do you have?
It’s hard to say exactly how many hoops I own since I started giving them away as I “outgrew” them. I own 6 LED hoops, 1 fire hoop, and too many regular hoops to keep track of!
Where do you usually hoop?
I’m most comfortable when I’m at a music festival hula hooping. I have the live music to inspire me and usually there are some other hoopers there I can dance with!
Finally, our diamond team mate Charlotte wanted me to ask what star sign you are.
I”m a libra, and I believe some astrology is true. Sometimes, it’s too uncanny to deny!
Thank you, Katie!
To see places where you can hula hoop in Finland, hover over your mouse to a city name from the top navigation bar and click on anywhere you would be comfortable to hula hoop!