Shavaun Hairston - ZouZouHoop
@zouzouhoop @nubianspin @pyroxotic
When did you begin your journey into the flow arts, and how were you inspired to start?
- I began my journey into the flow arts January 11, 2014. I was backpacking through Central America and I came across a girl at a hostel on the beach in Nicaragua who was hula hooping. I was completely fascinated with what she was doing so I asked her to show me. I could always hoop on my waist but never learned any tricks. She taught me how to lift the hoop from waist to lasso and I became completely obsessed! A few days later she asked me if I wanted to make hula hoops, completely dumbstruck at the fact that we could make our own hula hoops we partook in the most amazing and hilarious adventure through Leon, Nicaragua trying to find parts to make hula hoops with our awful Spanish! It was one of the best days I have ever had!
Why do you love performing?
- I mainly love spreading the visibility of the flow arts to people who may not know about it. I also feel like performing has dramatically aided in my development as a leader and owning my confidence and sexuality as a woman.
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 used to have a lot of anxiety which caused me to appear to be a shy person which I was not. Hooping has almost completely freed me of that handicap I had on my life. I am much more outgoing and my self esteem has skyrocketed!
Also being a black woman in a community where there are not many people who look like me has allowed me to inspire others people of color to start hooping. I love that between myself, my troupe Nubian Spin, the Facebook page I help admin, Black Hula Hoopers Unite, and the organization Color Flow I am a part of, I am able to bring visibility to black hoopers and help diversify the flow community.
I was featured in an article that touches on this a bit more! http://blavity.com/founder-nubian-spin-brings-visibility-black-hoopers/
What are your main props/specialties?
- Hula Hoop | Fans | Poi | Double Staffs
I am strongest at my first flow love Hula Hoops. I have been spinning 2.5 years now!
I tried fans for the first time at Burning Man 2015 year and bought some right after. So it will be a year in September 2016.
I started spinning poi January 2016.
I just discovered my absolute love for double staff at Fahrenheit Flow Festival June 2016.
Where do you like to practice the most?
- I mainly practice at my weekly hoop and fire troupe practices and drum circle jam.
Have you received any honorable mentions or won awards related to your flow or artistry?
- I have been featured on hooping.org numerous times.
My hoop troupe Nubian Spin was nominated for best performance troupe for the 2016 Hoopie Awards.
I love collaboration and have collaborated with the Hooptown Hotties, Marawa’s Majorettes, Jaguar Mary, Rebecca Halls & Tiana Zoumer for hoop related video projects.
I have performed at Burning Man, Afro Punk, Return to Roots, Hoopurbia, SXSW, Funk Parade, Artscape, Light City, Wilderness Festival UK, Secret Garden Party UK, and many many more!
Are you a part of a performance group, flow community, or flow meet-up?
- I am the founder of the Hula Hoop Troupe Nubian Spin and co-founder of the brand new all female fire troupe Pyroxotic. Both based in Washington, DC! I am very active in the Washington, DC area flow community. I am an admin for a few flow related fb groups: Hoop Dance DC, East Coast Hoop Performers, Black Hula Hoopers Unite, & Flow Tribe DC. I am also on the admin committee for World Hoop Day DC. I host regular hoop jams in DC during the summer months and teach hoop dance and fitness classes around the city.
Are there any flow jams or local meet-ups that already exist in your local area?
- Sunday Drum Circle Weekly Flow Jam at Malcolm X Park, Washington, DC. Hosted by Flowtribe DC
F3 Female Fire Flow Monthly Female Fire Jam at the Fire Garden, Washington, DC. Hosted by Pyroxotic
At which festivals/events/retreats can you be found over the summer and through the rest of the year?
- This year I have decided to branch out to more multi prop flow festivals instead of just hoop related events. I have also decided to apply to teach and perform at more flow festivals.
This year I started by helping with promotions for Ann Humphrey’s hoop workshops when she came into DC. I then went to LA doing social media and photography for Hoopurbia in March. After that my fire troupe had a very large-scale performance at Light City in Baltimore and my hoop troupe, Nubian Spin, had a few spring performance lined up for the Kennedy Center, Broccoli City Festival, and Funk Parade. I then attended Fahrenheit Flow Festival held by the Flow Arts Institute, and I have another big performance with Nubian Spin at Artscape next week.
The rest of the year I am teaching and performing at Return to Roots Gathering, My fire troupe is waiting to hear back if our submission will be accepted to participate in the Burning Man Fire conclave this year. After that I will be traveling for a while and will then focus on World Hoop Day events. And after that I have many solo, hoop troupe, and fire troupe gigs and performances lined up in the DC area for the rest of the year.