Helen War – Helly Hoops

Helen War - Helly Hoops
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

“I decided on my dream then I went about creating it. You can do anything. I can do anything. Forget about everyone else and pursue it.

 
I started hooping three and a half years ago because my best friend at the time went overseas to India and gave me her hula hoop. I decided then and there that I was going to “get amazing” at hooping. I looked at some YouTube videos and I remember seeing a video of Brecken Rivara tearing it up at a festival on Youtube and I just thought – “I’ll never be as good as that”. My mind was so blown. Lo and behold…. I look at that video of Brecken now and I can do every one of those moves. Hooping has made me realise I can do anything, I just have to put time and love into it. A few videos went viral in 2015 and then I was selected for the Electric Forest Hoop Troupe in the US. By October last year I’d flown to the UK and was teaching and performing at SWHoop Convention. Since then I’ve performed at private warehouse parties, Speakeasy HQ, Sub Club, Electro Swing with Mortisville & Friends, Steamphunk Pyrogen, Coco Poco Loco’s Birthday Party, The Town, Earthcore, Yemaya, Rainbow Serpent, Tanglewood, Psyfari, Subsonic, and Spinfest festivals here in Australia.


Flow Journey

When did you begin your journey into the flow arts, and how were you inspired to start?

    I started hooping because my best friend at the time went overseas to India, and gave me her hula hoop. I decided then and there that I was “going to get amazing” at hooping. I looked at some YouTube videos and I remember seeing a video of Brecken Rivara tearing it up at a festival on Youtube and I just thought – “I’ll never be as good as that”. My mind was so blown. But I went to the park and put on headphones anyway and would jam out with a hoop on my waist and it felt amazing. I connected with people smiling, and people would watch and compliment me in the park. Twice people stopped me at the station who were coming home from work – and asked if I was the hula hooper in the park… and that I brighten their day and they loved seeing it. Eventually I found Bunny Hoop Star’s beginner 8 week course… and never looked back. Lo and behold…. I look at that video of Brecken now and I can do every one of those moves. Hooping has made me realise I can do anything, I just have to put time and love into it. My inner voice has changed to “I can do anything.” It has been a steady flow and source of inspiration to meet my heroes and jam with them… and then become my own hero.

Why do you love performing?

    Shining and sharing my light… nothing else feels better than when I am standing on a stage in front of several thousand people spinning plastic circles. Plus I wanted to be a superhero.. And hooping is my superpower (:

How has being a part of the flow community touched your life? How can the flow community make an impact and how do you see yourself being a part of it?

    It has changed my life and I have transformed. I couldn’t have even dreamed of what my life looks like now… I keep dreaming bigger as the hoop community unfolds to me. I never imagined hula hooping to be so welcoming – making me feel at home and giving me opportunities to perform and teach all over the world. I also don’t know any other art form where you can meet and jam with your heroes and they, too, also love your work. I haven’t seen that level of connection in many other communities… it has been like joining a worldwide tribe.

Background

What are your main props/specialties?

    Hooping is my strongest prop and my specialty is being a ninja with them. I’ve been hooping three and a half years now. To be honest I’ve tried sticks and squares but nothing has stolen my heart like hula hoops have.

Where do you like to practice the most?

    In my backyard studio, where I also teach one-on-one and small hooping classes.

Have you received any honorable mentions or won awards related to your flow or artistry?

    On a personal level, the great shift for me came when people started telling me that they were my Number One fan. Each encounter is such a delicate moment.. to share that with someone you admire is so brave, and I know exactly how it feels, because I’ve had the same awe-struck moment when I met my hoop heroes. On paper, I’ve performed at: Electric Forest 2015 (US), Float Fest Austin Texas (US), private warehouse parties, Speakeasy HQ, Sub Club, Electro Swing with Mortisville & Friends, Steamphunk Pyrogen, Coco Poco Loco’s Birthday Party, The Town, Earthcore, Yemaya, Rainbow Serpent, Tanglewood, Psyfari, Subsonic, and Spinfest festivals here in Australia. I’ve been featured on Hooping.org and I once front-paged on Reddit!

Community Involvement

Are you a part of a performance group, flow community, or flow meet-up?

    I currently reside in Melbourne, one of the best hoop communities on the planet. As soon as I arrived here I felt supported and nurtured by other hoopers, and am inspired by the different styles and offerings of performers and teachers here.

Are there any flow jams hosted in your city?

    Hoop O Clock was running and then they bulldozed the building. Go figure. My friends and I are starting that up again as a jam here in Melbourne. But the reason I moved to Melbourne was for the love of the incredible circus community Viral Happiness. Those guys changed my life and saw the light in my hooping, long before anyone else told me so. I followed that feeling and moved down here to be around more like-minded souls who shared my passion for flow arts and exploration. The community that they’ve created here, and that I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of, will stay with me forever.

Find Me!

At which festivals/events/retreats can you be found over the summer and through the rest of the year?

    The Melbourne hoop community is filled with awesome events. I’ll be teaching at Hoopy Happenings in Australia in November, as well as my weekly classes for Hoop Sparx and my private backyard studio classes for the rest of the year.

Videos

 

 

Helly Hoops unedited to Sigur Ros - Saeglopur

Studio jam, unedited. Magic mansion fun times! I want to dance onstage with Sigur Ros. It’s part of my dream. My dreeeeeam!!


Artist Gallery

Photo Credits

Simon of Psymon Photography
Jeff Tan Photography
Bailey Elle Photography