MissHoopdidoo – Amanda Lee

Miss Hoopdidoo | Amanda Lee
Orange County, California

Amanda is a Southern California based flow artist with a love of performing, choreographing and organizing events within the community. Her prop of choice is and will always be a hula hoop, but she also enjoys silk fans, fire fans and is now beginning to take Lyra classes with the hopes of one day performing as an Aerial artist on stage. Amanda’s style incorporates her background in dance with hoop tech sprinkled in throughout her flow. She appreciates the diversity and creativity within the flow arts community and celebrates movement in any form and style.

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A Day in The Life of a Hooper

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Flow Journey

When did you begin your journey into the flow arts, and how were you inspired to start?
    I began my flow Journey in May of 2016. I was at a music festival enjoying the magical desert vibes, when a series of swirling lights caught my eye. I watched a hoop dancer in awe effortlessly float through space, manipulating this hoop in a way that I can only describe as magic. At this moment in time I knew that I had to pick up a hoop and learn for myself. I bought my first proper dance hoop at the festival and haven't been able to put it down since.


    I have always been drawn to expressive movement. I danced throughout high school and was a nationally recognized Soloist with my high school dance team. I attended Chapman University as a Dance Major and had every intention of becoming a professional commercial dancer. While I was in college, I also took several yoga teacher trainings and have been a yoga instructor for almost 5 years now in a variety of different class styles: Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Strength (yoga with weights), Yogalates, Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga. I found a special place within myself practicing yoga because instead of performing for an audience I was 'performing' for myself. Yoga opened a door for me into mindful movement and I was finally able to connect to my own internal rhythm and flow.


    Three years into my college career, I began experience intense, chronic pain in both of my hips. The sensations never subsided regardless of what I was doing...I felt pain dancing, practicing yoga, walking, sitting, standing and even sleeping. Eventually, the pain took such a toll on me I decided my best option for relief would be to have surgeries to correct the issue: I had two hip surgeries, one on each hip, one month apart from each other. It was the most difficult thing I had ever experienced; I was no longer connected to myself, my flow or my body. For a while, I honestly thought I had lost that part of myself forever.


    Flash forward to my hoop dance discovery...hooping reconnected me to my body in ways that I cannot adequately express into words. After buying my first hula hoop, I spent five hours hula hooping to the same song. I cried tears of joy, I laughed so hard my stomach hurt and for the first time in a couple of years, I felt my body come alive again. Hula hooping saved my life and continues to do so on a daily basis. It's now my favorite way to meditate, express myself and stay active. I will forever be grateful for the girl hooping who I stumbled upon at my first festival because she was the catalyst for a life that I never imagined possible.
What do you love about the experience of performing?
    When I get into the performance zone, nothing else in the world matters. I am simultaneously aware of every little detail of my surroundings and blind to what is going on around me. I feel the energy coursing through the air and the rhythm of the music vibrating throughout my body. In a way, I feel as though I am being conducted by the energy of the music and the energy of the room; when I perform I feel my flow more than ever and I am so incredibly grateful I can share something I am so passionate about with a crowd of sweet and supportive souls.
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?
    There are no words to truly describe how the flow community has touched my life, but I will do my best...when I used to be a dancer, I had zero self-esteem and felt so poorly about my body and the way I moved. I felt zero support from my environment and I constantly had performance anxiety because we were all trying to beat each other out for the leading role in a performance piece or to be selected as a lead choreographer for a concert. There was never a moment where I wasn't on my toes or holding my breath.


    The flow community has done nothing but support my journey. The constant influx of encouragement inspires me to give my unconditional positive energy to each flow artist I encounter. I feel inspired, creative and most importantly, accepted. The flow community is a safe space in a world that has many dark corners, and I find myself diving deeper and deeper into this magical community. The flow community has connected me with so many sweet souls and throughout my hooping career I hope to connect individuals within the community through meet ups, flow inspired events and a variety of classes suitable for all levels. I hope to create the same safe space for others that the flow community has created for me.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their flow journey? Which tutorials or guiding principles helped you along the way?
    Have fun. Be playful. Get weird. Personally, I found the most success in developing my flow when I let go of what I thought it 'should' look like and started moving my body exactly how I wanted to with each flow prop. If I am unsuccessfully drilling a new and challenging trick, there can be times where I get frustrated with myself... if I notice my mind start to wander down that path, I stop, take a few breaths and then start free flowing to realign my mind and body in the moment.


    Find inspiration within the community. Watch hoopers who you admire. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Everyone in this community is more than happy to help you along the way, so never hesitate to reach out to someone who inspires you!
Where do you aim to hone your skills in 2017? Have you taken on any new props or specialties recently?
    In 2017 I hope to explain my multi-hoop flow and to start practicing with fire props more frequently. I also want to advance my Lyra skills so I can perform as an Aerial Artist (hopefully at a festival) one day! The movement aspect of my flow feels natural to me and I want to push myself to drill challenging tricks so I can incorporate the moves into my choreographed performances and flow!

Background

What are your main props/specialties?
    Single Hooping, Doubles Hooping, Dancing (GoGo, contemporary, improv etc.), Silk Fans
Is there a particular aspect about the hooping or flow community that you’re passionate about? How do you envision your influence?
    I have an incredible love for teaching and envision myself teaching hoop classes for as long as I can! I love the hoop community more than anything and am planning several community meet ups in the hear future with the hopes of connecting the flow community in Orange County on a deeper level. My goal in a nutshell is to connect, inspire, and teach because I love this community more than anything.
In a nutshell, how would you describe your unique style of flow? Are there artists or dance styles that you take inspiration from?
    I have a contemporary dance-inspired hoop style and I gravitate towards escalators, isolations and their variations. I focus less on tricks and more on the shapes I want the hoop to make around my body. I have found that the less I focus on the moves, the more natural my flow feels and appears to an audience. Some of my biggest inspirations are Taylor (@taylor_flows) and Morgan (@missmojangles), however, I am truly inspired by everyone's unique style,
Where do you like to practice the most?
    I prefer to hoop outside and enjoy finding beautiful, yet private, areas to flow. I like to change my environment because I find new scenery definitely inspires a new style of flow. If I am in a hoop rut, I like to find a new hoop spot to spark a new style within me.
Do you have any flow related personal successes that you’d like to share?
    I have recently unlocked a new style of doubles flow and am absolutely addicted to finding new pathways with two hoops! I hooped my heart out at Electric Forest this past weekend and gained so much self-confidence in myself and my flow. I am eternally grateful for all of the sweet souls that came up to me and thanked me, I hope they understand how much they touched my life with their kind words and gestures. I also just began teaching hoop classes; even though I have been teaching yoga full time for five years, I was so nervous about teaching hoop dance because I didn't want to let anybody down. The entire experience was so fulfilling I honestly cannot wait for the next one!

Community Involvement

Are you a part of a troupe or performance group?
    Extraordinary Arts LLC (LA Team), Fate Events Dance and Performance Team
Do you teach, mentor or create tutorials?
    I create weekly tutorials for my Instagram and have just began holding local classes!
Are you a part of a flow community or flow meet-up? Are there any local flow gatherings near you?
    I attend Venice Glow Flow 1-2 times a month! Venice Glow Flow is a weekly meet up every Wednesday on the Beach in Venice - everybody brings their LED hoops and good vibes; typically a live DJ is there playing amazing music! I hope to create a flow meet up in Orange County! My first flow meet up will be at the end of July and I am in the process of finalizing all of the details! I planned a flow meet-up at Electric Forest Weekend 1 and over 30 girls showed up! The entire experience was so fulfilling even thinking about it makes my tear up! My goal is to go back to EF every year for as long as I can and hold a meet up each year I go!
Are you one of the community members that helps to organize any of these events? Do you want to share details of how you take a leading or participatory role?
    Typically, I organize an event or have a fellow hooper help me so we can spread the word as much as possible. I love graphic design and social media and design promotional photos and videos from scratch to post to my page announcing the events I sponsor. I have just began to feel comfortable assuming this leadership role with the community and hope to continue to hold many more meet ups and events. At first I had so many doubts (which is normal), but after my first few events, I truly believe I can do this and I want it more than anything!

Find Me

At which festivals/events/retreats can you be found in 2017?
    Performing at Oregon Eclipse in August, Performing with Fate Events once a month at Flyway at Fox in Pomona, Dream Retreat in Malaysia (as a participant!), Venice Glow Flow (whenever possible). I also plan on auditioning to perform at Suwanee Hulaween!
Are you an active performer?
    I am an active performer and member of a couple performance groups! I am part of the Extraordinary Arts LLC LA Team (there is a chapter in New York and New Hampshire as well) and I am heading up to Oregon Eclipse with three of my team members to perform this August! I am also a member of the Fate Events Performance Group - we do monthly performances at Flyway Fox in Pomona with various eclectic themes. I have been previously booked to perform at Earth Jam Festival in Northern California as a hooper and character roamer. I was also featured in the Hooptown Hotties 'Halo' music video featuring 16 girls and 36 LED hoops - the production was shot underneath an edgy bridge in LA and was a celebration of girl power and the hoop community in general! My goal is to increase the frequency of my performances in the upcoming months; I want to make performing a major aspect of my hooping life!

Tutorials

Beginner Single Hoop Tutorial: Extension



Beginner Single Hoop Tutorial: Anti-Spin



Beginner Single Hoop Tutorial: Tips for a Smooth Chest Roll



Beginner/Intermediate Single Hoop Tutorial: Wedgies




Intermediate Single Hoop Tutorial: Chest Roll Combination




Intermediate Single Hoop Tutorial: Wedgie Kick Up

Happy #flowartsfriday flowmies! Some of you have been asking me about this move and I finally got around to making a tutorial! It's not the end of the world if you're not doing wedgies yet promise! Give it a try anyway 😘 The first time I did this, I was being lazy and trying to pick up my hoop with my foot and hit myself in the face 😂 after the brief shock had passed, I thought it would be a fun move if done without so much force 🙈 even though your foot is flexed, it still has a relaxed quality…at least for me, that's been the most helpful in controlling the speed and placement of the hoop! Notice how on the way up during the kick, the hoop hinges and wraps around your ankle!! Happy Hooping!! #hooptutorials #hooptutorial #misshoopdidootutorials

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Intermediate Single Hoop Tutorial: 360 Wedgie Turn



Intermediate/Advanced Single Hoop Tutorial: No Hands Wedgie Transition




Advanced Single Hoop Tutorial: The Toss and Turn




Intermediate Hoop Doubles Tutorial




Videos

Single Hoop Flow



Electric Forest 2017 Weekend 1 Meet Up

I am still in absolute awe that all of you sweet hoopers came to the meet up – thank you so much for sharing your good vibes with me and the hoop community in the forest. I'm not going to lie, after the rain on Thursday I was pretty bummed out, but seeing all of your shining faces on Friday shifted my entire outlook and was honestly one of my all time favorite moments. You are all so beautiful, inside and out. Thank you thank you thank you, just for being you because you are MORE than enough 💞 shoutout to my flowmie @michemoonflower for collaborating with me and @scottmichaelmvmnt for capturing this beautiful moment on film 😘 (p.s. Don't mind my squeaky voice I was too excited 😂) #forestfamily #ef2017 #electricforest #homesweethome

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Bassnectar @ Electric Forest 2017





Doubles Flow


Single Hoop Flow



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