Miss Twisted Rose - Alissa Kennedy
San Diego, California
My hooping style fuses flexibility and grace with circus style multi hoop tricks, acrobatics and off the body tricks. I specialize in single and double hoop roaming acts and on stage dance hooping for events. I’m an aspiring contortionist. I can even lick my elbow. Really. I have a rhythmic influence to my hooping. Basically I’ve taken lots of yoga and contortion classes and every time I learn a new trick I just try to stick a hoop on it and sometimes cool things happen. I love multiple hoops with structured circus style tricks and combos, but I also love going with the flow and responding to the music to let it move me. I’m a member of the San Diego based troupe The Hoop Unit. I’m also connected with Circus Mafia.
I enjoy hooping and performing because I like to connect with people and to have the chance to brighten their day and show them some cool tricks! To be honest, sometimes I like to creep people out too (when the context is appropriate of course, hehe). Basically, I just love giving people unique visual experiences and to shake up the norm. Recently I spent a year and a half in Chicago. My experiences street performing were really interesting. There were lots of tourists, but sometimes I would perform in large business areas. I could tell that some people would come out of their skyscrapers just to watch me on their lunch break. They were excited to see something different that day to shake up their routine. I like to deliver the unexpected.
Outside of hooping, I’m a professional model for the hair industry. I have vibrant, unearthly red hair by Guy Tang. I also model for fashion and print for fun. I have a pet California Kingsnake named Sugar. By day I’m a graphic designer and web designer/developer. I embrace my (not so secret) inner geek as someone who is both artistic and techie. I also enjoy photography and shooting on film.
When did you begin your journey into the flow arts, and how were you inspired to start?
I started hooping in December of 2011, so more than 4 and a half years now. I actually was introduced to hooping by attending an art show where there was a small room playing a beautiful video of a belly dancer in the desert who was hooping. I was completely enchanted. I got to meet the featured artist that day, Adelaide Marcus of Art by Adelaide. Years have gone by and now sometimes I perform corporate events hooping with Adelaide! Its like dancing with my muse 🙂
Where do you aim to hone your skills in 2017? Have you taken on any new props or specialties recently?
This year I’m working on honing a stage act of my very own! My hoop mentor is currently working with me to get my act together 😉 Though I have a bit of stage experience its mostly been in groups. Now its time to shine on my own!
I’m also working on adding MORE hoops to my flow, pushing into 3 hoops, 4 hoops and beyond. I’m entranced by mandalas, and I’m adding more geometric hooping into my flow.
I’m also working on fine tuning some acrobatic hoop tricks that I’ve invented.
Is there a particular aspect about the hooping or flow community that you’re passionate about? How do you envision your influence?
As far as the hoop community goes, I’ve recently discovered that I really enjoy creating group choreography! I also enjoy welcoming new hoopers into the community at flow jams and events. I’ve also been enjoying using my graphic design skills to create hoop related things for the community.
What are your main props/specialties?
Single and Double Hoop Roaming Acts. Gogo Style Hooping on Stage with LED Hoops. Print and Social Media Model – Hair and Beauty Industry.
My main props are hoops and multiple hoops. I sometimes also spin fire fans. I feel strongest with twin hoops or 1 hoop acrobatic style blended with contortion. I’ve spent many weeks spanning a couple years focusing on acrobatic hooping while attending open gym at a gymnastics gym. I started acrobatic and flexibility training as an adult shortly after getting into hooping. Even though I wasn’t ever a gymnast as a kid I’ve found a lot of people willing to give me pointers on acrobatics. I’ve also taken circus style classes in Chicago with Mary Jane Schroeder, Dizzy Lizzy and in San Diego with Steve Bags.
Why do you love the experience of performing?
I like to connect with people and to have the chance to brighten their day and show them some cool tricks! Sometimes I like to creep people out too (depending on theme of the show hehe). Basically, I just love giving people unique visual experiences. Especially in Chicago street performing was great. Lots of tourists, but sometimes I would perform in large business areas. I could tell that some people would come out of their skyscrapers just to watch me on their lunch break. They were excited to see something different that day to shake up their routine.
Where do you like to practice the most?
My favorite practice spot is at San Diego United Training Center, a gymnastics and aerial gym. I can try wild acrobatic hoop tricks and just bounce on the tumbling floors if something goes wrong. But a lot of times things go right with practice! I also attend classes with the members of The Hoop Unit weekly before our rehearsals. We’re taking a break for the summer while Bags and Valentina are on tour, but classes and shows will resume in the fall. So far I’ve taken amazing classes with Bags and Melissa Daly. Thanks to Bags, I can now do a 4 hoop split! Whoo! I also visit the Ocean Beach flow jam, Ecstatic Dance and Dance Church on occasion. There is a weekly burn on Fiesta Island and I go to that sometimes too. It is mostly fire, but LED hoops are welcome too. And I finally shoved enough furniture around in my living room to be able to do practice at home a little bit! But mostly, I go out to practice.
In a nutshell, how would you describe your unique style of flow? Are there artists or dance styles that you take inspiration from?
My hooping style fuses flexibility and grace with circus style multi hoop tricks, acrobatics and a blend of on body and off body tricks. I specialize in single and double hoop roaming acts and on stage dance hooping for events. I love multiple hoops with structured circus style tricks and combos, but I also love going with the flow and responding to the music to let it move me. My background includes classic ballet, classic bellydance, contortion, yoga, colorguard weapon line, and even a little butoh. All of these backgrounds influence my hooping, and as a result, I have a unique and expressive style. I get a lot of hooping inspiration from my San Diego hoop community. I’m a member of the San Diego based troupe The Hoop Unit and Circus Mafia.
Are you a part of a flow community or flow meet-up? Are there any local flow gatherings near you?
I spontaneously attend Dance Church in Encinitas which is a free spirited dance gathering that is LED Hoop friendly, Ecstatic Dance in San Diego, and the Ocean Beach flow jam in San Diego and the San Diego burns.
Are you in a troupe or performance group?
I recently joined The Hoop Unit. I’ve had 2 very successful performances with them, including our recent Harley Quinn show for Full Frontal Nerdity. Our recent performance was featured on Hooping.org. My unique chest stand foot hooping trick was a featured moment in the show.
Have you been featured on any online communities?
What was 2016 like for you in terms of performances/festivals/events/retreats?
2016 has not had much for festivals. I’m in my senior year of my bachelors degree in Web Design & Development, so I don’t feel like my school and work combo is letting me get away right now. I end up using all my vacation time for gigs in town and in LA/Hollywood. I have been invited to audition for the San Diego fire conclave, and I would like to join them for Burning Man 2017! 2016 looks like finishing school and gigging around town. San Diego is a vacation destination, so I’ve found lots of opportunities in town to perform. I’ll definitely continue to learn with local classes.