Marika Sila A.K.A The Hoop Ninja
Marika Sila, also known by the stage name ‘The Hoop Ninja’ is an Inuit hula hoop dancer, born in Yellowknife and raised in Canmore, AB Canada. Marika has performed for festivals and events around the world but mostly enjoys working in schools-teaching youth- the art of hoop dancing. It all started back in 2014 when Marika was travelling in Costa Rica to attain her yoga teacher certification, where she discovered a new found passion for hoop dancing. Since then, she has dedicated countless hours to her practice and has become one of Canada’s favourite hoop dancers. Marika finds pleasure in supporting and inspiring others in the community and is proud to share her Inuit heritage. Marika has a passion for inspiring youth and is currently focusing on leading youth empowerment projects in schools and on First Nations reserves around Canada. Marika is always happy sharing her talents through performing and teaching workshops around the world.
When did you begin your journey into the flow arts, and how were you inspired to start?
I started April 2014, In Costa Rica while I was at a retreat to get my Yoga Teacher Training. A friend of mine was a hula hooper and on the last day in Costa Rica, we drove an hour into the jungle to a Burning Man Camp, this is where I saw fire hooping for the first time. It was Magical.
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?
I have made so many close friends in the community, in person and internet friends. It is so fun connecting with such talented people around the world. The flow community has the power to change peoples lives, hooping changed my life! and It has the power to improve anyone’s life in this world. The more people we reach, the more love we spread to this world. My partner and I teach youth empowerment workshops, where we educate the students on anti bullying, drug and alcohol awareness and how to protect and preserve the environment. In these workshops we also perform and teach hoop dancing in schools and communities around the world, primarily in First Nations communities.
In a nutshell, how would you describe your unique style of flow? Are there artists or dance styles that you take inspiration from?
I would describe my flow as being dancy, flowy and maybe a little sassy. I take inspiration from dancers mostly and my partner in crime- he’s a Traditional First Nations hoop dancer and bboy 🙂
What are your main props/specialties?
Hooping is my strongest, I have been hooping for almost 3 years now. I play with fire and flow fans as well, l started them about a year and a half ago, and I also play with Poi every once in a while.
Where do you like to practice the most?
In the Anytime Fitness studios late at night. If you haven’t heard of Anytime Fitness yet, you need to find one around you! They are 24 hr gyms and each one has a dance studio where you can hook your own music up to the stereo system! Your pass works for any Anytime Fitness gym anywhere in the world!! It’s seriously the best.
Are you a part of a flow community or flow meet-up? Are there any local flow gatherings near you?
I recently moved to Edmonton, I was in Vancouver for about 5 years and was involved with the wonderful flow arts community out there. I miss my home girls and boys, but now I am starting a new exciting chapter in Edmonton. So far I love it here, but definitely need some flowmies!!
What was 2016 been for you in terms of going to festivals, retreats, workshops, events, burns, etc?
2016, was a year of maturity and growth. The only festival I performed at was Shambhala. I was focused on bringing the youth empowerment program, that my partner and I have been working on.
At which festivals/events/retreats can you be found in 2017?
I am working full time as a teacher and performer for youth in Schools around Canada and the U.S. Over the Summer, I will be performing at Shambhala Music Festival, Burning Man, BassCoast, Symbiosis, and more!
Are you an active performer?
I perform and teach full time. My first performance was with M.A.C Make up, I was a live performer when they launched their 2015 spring makeup collection. I have performed for multiple events and festivals around the world, and now I mostly work in schools and in First Nations communities, performing and teaching the art of hoop dancing.
Where do you aim to hone your skills in 2017? Have you taken on any new props or specialties recently?
I would love to really focus on the dance aspect of hoop dancing, I have recently started playing with mini hoops, which are really fun.