Techswan | Josh Philippi
St Petersburg, FL
I discovered hooping while studying music at Florida State University in 2015. Two of my close friends hooped, and I always found myself mesmerized by it. Before I started hooping, I would even have flute/hoop dates with my best friend – we called it Flooping – don’t laugh! Eventually they taught me an isolation, an escalator, a vortex… and I was hooked. I had to stay in school an extra year while all my friends graduated and moved away – the hoop became my best friend. I actually found my flow out of a very dark depression, and the flow arts community truly healed me.
What do you love about the experience of performing?
I love being able to inspire people who don’t hoop!It’s amazing seeing peoples’ reactions to flow, and adding to the experience of an event.
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?
Flow has taught me about perspective, about individuality. You really get to see a variety of personality in the community and how it manifests in each person’s flow. Personally, I find flow to be a form of meditation and healing – I see myself as someone who has used flow as an escape from the everyday and a way to heal my emotional wounds. I try to be a bright light to those in a dark space – every workshop I teach I try to have a talk about persistence and moving forward – this not only breaks that mental cycle of “I’m not good enough” but it also opens for a nice platform for learning.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their flow journey? Which tutorials or guiding principles helped you along the way?
Don’t give up when you can’t get something.View a failed attempt as one step closer – we all drop our hoops, and the better you are, the more times you’ve dropped your hoop.
Where do you aim to hone your skills in 2019? Have you taken on any new props or specialties recently?
I want to teach more, and plan more workshops across the country. I’ve been focusing more on double-hooping, and trying to find more transitions and possibilities.
Is there a particular aspect about the hooping or flow community that you’re passionate about? How do you envision your influence? (performance, teaching, etc)
I see myself teaching more than performing – but I’d also like to get more opportunities to perform.
In a nutshell, how would you describe your unique style of flow? Are there artists or dance styles that you take inspiration from?
I like to fuse tech and flow – I find that most people are either trick-driven or dance-driven, and I find myself smack in the middle for the most part.My goal is to combine both elements in a beautiful way.I think a lot about elements, moods, even other people I want to convey when I move.
What are your main props/specialties?
Single hoop, double hoops.
Where do you like to practice the most?
I like to practice in private spaces outside – I find myself wanting to perform more when there are people around and this takes away from my deep thought and ability to create and practice tricks I want to get better at.
Do you have any flow related personal successes that you’d like to share?
I have been accepted to perform for many big music festivals; I have taught at 3 JAMboree events hosted by JAMhoops Limited
Do you teach, mentor or create tutorials?
I do teach – in person, and over Skype.I also create tutorials from time to time.
Are you a part of a flow community or flow meet-up? Are there any local flow gatherings near you?
I go to a weekly meet-up at Mad Hatter’s Ethnobotanical Tea Bar called WonderFlow. I also sometimes attend Tampa Bay Flow Tribe, a monthly flow jam in Tampa.
What does 2019 have in store for you? At which festivals/events/retreats can you be found over the summer and through the rest of the year? Will you be performing or teaching?
I will most likely be teaching at the Summer JAMboree, and planning workshops in Atlanta, St. Louis, maybe Buffalo. My next workshop is March 3rd in Philadelphia.