Alissa Kennedy - San Diego, CA
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.
q & a
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.
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.
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.
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.
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