Ali Padiak - AliHoopMama
Ali first discovered hoop dance when she was 18 attending her first music festival. Since then, Ali has dedicated every moment to hoop dance & circus arts in improving her balance, meditation, rhythm, physical boundaries and bringing out her spiritual being. With no background in any dance or gymnastics, completely self taught, she has broadened her horizons in the flow arts and circus community such as pyrotechnics, trapeze, aerial silks, lyra, fire eating, and even becoming a mermaid!
Ali offers a one of a kind hoop dance act that brings a totally different and vibrant energy to the table! From nose hooping to multi-hooping from head to toe! Ali has proper fire safety training & is an experienced Fire & LED hooper for over the last 6 years. Equipped with the highest quality props and safety materials, taking all precautions in making sure her surroundings are safe for both her and the audience!
Ali has also taught her hoop dance and circus techniques at various events and establishments. In summer 2015, Ali decided to become a “Hoopnotica Certified Instructor” to professionally teach/instruct hoopers of all ages!
In November of 2015 Ali relocated from Chicago to South Florida. She was then accepted into an amazing troupe of cirque performers that did events all along the south Florida coast and Bahamas…and they were in need of a hula hooper! Ali was honored to join Rainbow Circus Miami and was welcomed with open arms.
When did you begin your journey into the flow arts, and how were you inspired to start?
I began my journey on May 27, 2010. I had arrived at my first music festival and I was going to see one of my favorite bands. walking into the concert area I saw a handful of beautiful girls and they were dancing with hula hoops, manipulating this prop in such an elegant way that I was completely captivated by the beauty. These dancers portrayed such happiness, and light, and freedom it inspired me to try.
Why do you love the experience of performing?
I love everything about performing, its something that has always been inside me. I love dressing up, getting all dolled up with hair and makeup, the amazing people I get to work with and watching their amazing talents, but my favorite part is probably the adrenaline rush you get 10 seconds before you go on. My other favorite part is making people happy and in complete awe.
How has being a part of the flow community touched your life?
The flow community has touched my life by making me more open to people and just learning how to be myself. This community has also taken me tons of really cool places which also lead to meeting other really awesome people in the community.
What are your main props/specialties?
My main prop is hula hoop, though I do dabble in other circus arts such as aerial silks, Lyra, fire eating/other pyrotechnics, mermaid, and still walking. I’m definitely strongest in hula hoop, I hula hoop every day, whether it be for two minutes or eight hours, I have to hula hoop every day. I have been hooping for almost seven years now, aerials here and there for the last three years, pyrotechnics for the last six years, and mermaid and stilt walking just this past year.
Where do you like to practice the most?
Honestly I love to practice the most in my living room because the wall on one side of my house is completely mirrors from the top of the ceiling to the floor – every spinner/dancer’s dream! My second favorite place to practice is the beach, when you live 10 minutes from the ocean its kind of hard not to take advantage of such beautiful scenery. There is just something about the feeling of having a hoop around your body and sand between your toes while the waves crash at your feet.
Do you have any flow related personal successes that you’d like to share?
I have performed at festivals such as Electric Forest Hoop Troupe 2014, Wakarusa, Summer Camp, and Florida Flow Fest. I have also been featured on Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 in 2014 for hooping! You can watch the episode here:
Are you a part of a flow community or flow meet-up? Are there any local flow gatherings near you?
I am part of the SoFlo Community! The south Florida Flow community was beyond welcoming when I first moved down here and are some really amazing people! We are constantly hosting park jams and meet ups.
Are you in a troupe or performance group?
I am an active performer! I am the main hula hoop artist for Rainbow Circus Miami. We mostly due private events but you can definitely take a look on our website to see some pictures of prior events www.RainbowCircusMiami.com
At which festivals/events/retreats can you be found over the summer and through the rest of the year?
2016 was a little bit of a rough year, I up and moved my life down to Florida from Chicago so I’ve been really busy with that all year. I haven’t really had any time or money to go to any festivals. I did teach two workshops at Florida flow fest this year which was really fun and it’s totally held in my “new” town! There is a new space that just opened up down the street from my house called the flow space and it’s actually someone’s backyard but we all meet up about once a week once every couple weeks and we just flow we burn we perform we get to know each other we do hold workshops with each other it’s really a great community down here.