Taylor Flows, aka Taylor Duffrin, is a specialty performance flow artist based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her love of hooping blossomed in March of 2014 where Taylor was scrolling on Youtube and witnessed the first hooping video she had ever seen. The style and grace of the hooper in the video, Grace Good, moved Taylor so deeply she ordered her first hoop within an hour after watching. From that point Taylor knew that she wanted to make hooping a huge part of her life and began performing a year after starting. Her love of performing all began at her first casting for Suwanee Hulaween 2015. Taylor has performed at festivals all over the United States including UpNorth Music Festival, Disc Jam Music Festival, Tipper and Friends, Lunar Tide Music Festival, Sonic Bloom Music Festival, Kosmic Kingdom and The Buku Music and Art Project. LED single and double hoops, fire hoops, fire fans, dragon staff, poi, palm torches, and fire eating are all apart of Taylor’s performance repertoire.
As well as performing, Taylor also loves to share the art of hooping through teaching. Taylor was invited to instruct at The Hula Hoop Institute’s Hoop Dream Retreat in Malaysia in May of 2017, Rendez v’hoop 2018 (Paris Hoop Convention) and has taught many workshops within the US.
When did you begin your journey into the flow arts, and how were you inspired to start?
I started hooping in March of 2014 because I accidentally stumbled upon a hoop video on Youtube of Grace Good.
I was so entranced by her movement and grace (haha) with the hoop I knew I wanted to dedicate myself to being that good one day.
What do you love about the experience of performing?
I love performing because it allows me to share my art in a pure and raw form with an audience. I love connecting with people and doing what I love and performing has definitely been something to connect those two passions of mine in one activity. There’s no greater feeling than performing and making eye contact with someone in the audience who is appreciating the work I put into this art form.
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?
The flow community is a completely expansive part of why I have stuck with hooping over the years. It is fantastic to connect with others who share the same passion and encourage each other. The flow community has also been a huge, inspiring learning database when I feel as though I am in a rut. The flow community as a collective whole can make an impact by allowing flow artists to grow together, by helping each other and pushing each other to knock down perceived impossibilities <3 I see myself being apart of the flow community by encouraging members of the community and teaching. Sharing knowledge is something that is so important to me about being a part of this community.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their flow journey? Which tutorials or guiding principles helped you along the way?
Never give up and never get discouraged when you drop your prop. Always find a creative way to pick up your prop when dropping it, it allows you to rewire your perspective when you drop your hoop. You are giving yourself an opportunity to practice something different and new! Adapt to the way that a child handles playing with a toy, just keep trying and trying and trying. Everyone is here to watch you grow and flourish. I was never a huge tutorial watcher when starting, I liked to feel things out on my own to create my own sense of transitions and flow. Play around with things in your own style and way 🙂
Where do you aim to hone your skills in 2017? Have you taken on any new props or specialties recently?
I aim to get a lot more into teaching in 2018/2019 as well as solidify dragon staff and double hoops more.
I would like to get back to Europe to teach another workshop and hold more workshops in the US.
What are your main props/specialties?
Hoops, fans, dragon staff, poi, fire eating, fire dancing
Is there a particular aspect about the hooping or flow community that you’re passionate about? How do you envision your influence?
I am passionate about the way that hooping activates a certain freedom in flow artists. That it allows us all to express a sense of individuality without the confines of words/language. Hooping is a universal language within itself that allows us to be our purest selves, I think that is the most beautiful part of hooping/flow arts. I want to influence others by taking this vantage point in the fullest extent, always being myself when flowing. I want to inspire people to be themselves and allow them selves to express as such.
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 say I have a more dance influenced flow. I never took dance growing up, in fact I played softball my whole life. I think I have been searching for an outlet like this my whole life to be able to express myself in a creative manner and you can see this when I flow. All the pent up creative energy while growing up has infused my style now, allowing me to channel emotion. A couple of artists that have deeply inspired me have been Grace Good and Alexis Collier.
Where do you like to practice the most?
Outside in my work parking lot and in my sun room at home.
Do you have any flow related personal successes that you’d like to share?
Teaching at international hoop retreats/conventions.
Forming the flow troupe, The Flow Dynasty.
Performing and teaching at festivals/events all over the US.
Are you a part of a troupe or performance group?
Yes, The Flow Dynasty
Do you teach, mentor or create tutorials?
Yes, yes and yes!
Are you a part of a flow community or flow meet-up? Are there any local flow gatherings near you?
There is a small flow community in Milwaukee! There are not any flow gatherings near Milwaukee but a couple of flow festivals in northern Wisconsin.
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?
I am not one of the community leaders but I aspire to be one day!
At which festivals/events/retreats can you be found in 2017?
In 2018 I will be hosting a San Francisco workshop, teaching at the Summer Jamboree, and performing at; PrideFest Milwaukee, Kosmic Kingdom Music Festival and 515 Alive Music Festival.
Are you an active performer?
Yes! I was booked for Suwannee Hulaween 2017, Lunar Tide Festival 2018, and Kosmic Kingdom 2018. I perform at festival and private/corporate gigs as well!
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