Hooper of the Month – May 2019 – Teaki Hoops
I DARE you…..
To find an Instagram page fill with more colour, cuteness, and flare than the account belonging to May’s Hooper of the Month!
It’s time to confess something first though. I had a hard time choosing someone from Australia this year because I had 2 people I was truly dying to ask. But then I realized… Hey! I make the rules. I can ask 2 if I want to! So, I did....And there is nothing you can do about it! Except, well… you could not read it. But please don’t do that…. Because I have a super fun-filled person you are going to want to follow too!
What other awesomeness will you find on her account??
a stunning vintage style
the most glorious swimsuits
hooping in the pool
fancy circus-y style hoop moves
& messages of body positivity!
What more could you want from a hooper's Insta page?!
It is honestly such a treat to see a new post pop up from her since they typically include her beaming, bright smile or an overall fun photo or video. She is a true gem of the hoop community, a talented hoop artist, and an obviously loving mother.
I believe I first saw this person through a shared video on Facebook. There was this glorious woman isolating a hoop, but with something was using it was a ferris wheel …. That thing was as bird!
You may have guessed who this month’s interview is now …. Congrats to:
Here is her Interview:
What is your name?
Ahhhhh what’s in a name? Everything! I’m constantly naming and releasing parts of my self as characters but they always have Tea in their name. My actual real life name is Tiahna Goldbird. My husband and I made this name up so when we married we both legally changed our name to this, because we weren’t keen on the idea of me taking his name or vice-versa. My business is called Teaki Hoops but people have started calling me Teaki and I think I’m okay with that.
Where do you live and what is the flow/hoop dance community like there?
I live in Newcastle NSW, Australia. It’s a harbour town about 3 hours north of Sydney with gorgeous historical building and a colonial rich history built on shipping, steel manufacturing and coal. The traditional custodians of the land are the Awabakal and Worimi people and for a bird lover like me-this place is heaven for twitching (Birdwatching)
The artistic and flow community here is pretty amazing, I moved here about 2 years ago and the community has given me a really warm welcome and plenty of space to grow and offer hoop related love. We have a semi-regular meet up called Newcastle Fire and Flow where we yoga, acro, spin and set fire to our flow. The artistic community here is strong but not cramped.There is marvellous movement with artists coming and going, we were lucky enough to have the gorgeous Rachel Sullivan or @danceswithcircles grace us with her offerings recently and I hope to put Newcastle on the must do stops for hoopers touring Australia in the future.
How long have you been hooping for and how did your journey begin?
I started hooping about 8 years or so ago, at a regional Festival called Groovin’ The Moo. I’d just returned from a life changing trip to Vietnam where I realised I needed to work with children offering play to satisfy my heart this soon morphed into a deeper understanding that adults need play to-but that’s another story. There was a woman sharing her hoop around at this festival and I gave it a try thinking it probably would fall but it didn’t.It was a huge orange and silver dance hoop and I was so thrilled, I stayed there all day and a hooper was born. Within months, I’d moved to Melbourne and that is where I got all the hooping I could handle. I went to every workshop I could afford and saved for the ones with my hooper hero’s, from dance driven Deanne Love offering weekend courses to Lisa Lottie and Marawa the Amazing putting circus styles on offer I was right where I needed to be to blossom into my own style of hooping.
Generally, why do you hoop and what benefits have you noticed since you began?
Obviously there are physical benefits and from those comes greater well being in general, but hooping has benefitted my mental health the most. My relationship towards my body shifted from being about looks to being about capabilities. Hooping taught me to give myself room to fail and time to learn. You don’t need to look a certain way to rock certain tricks, you know?
Have you and your hoop travelled to other countries/cities together? What were some of your favourite flow communities to visit? Which places are you (and your hoop) eager to visit in the future?
I have taken my hoops to Fiji a couple times and ended up giving them all away! I take a hoop everywhere, like even to the doctors or the shops. Everywhere cause you never know when you’ll have time to kill or a panic attack might come. I’m planning on a trip to the states in 2020 but will get hoops over there for sure. I’d love to go into Hoopologie's warehouse and see all the colours in person!
What inspires your hoop dance flow?
Sometimes it’s a particular song or music that moves me into the flow space but usually I’ll have a story to tell and an emotion to release that I’ve not planned, it surfaces through the movement and often I’m surprised by what comes out.
What hoop move/technique are you working on at the moment?
I’ve been working on Juggling 3 hoops and have reluctantly circled back to 2 hoop on body splitting drills after getting very rusty while learning to be a Mum. The juggling has been a bit of a long time coming, I’ve gone to lots of workshops but the timing never clicked till quite recently, it requires deep focus and tall ceilings so I can only really drill these when my son isn’t hanging off my legs. But I always try out moves I know I can’t do in the vague hope that I’ll actually pull it off. I give myself a minimum of 20 fails per hoop session- that way I know I’m still pushing my boundaries.
I had a really humbling moment at a hoop convention last year when I realised I’d lost the ability to split hoops on the waist and ‘under the bum’ during my pregnancy. I was crying on the inside and sat out of the workshop in total grief. That particular split had been so hard to get in the first place, I was absolutely devastated. A lovely and extremely talented artist who was photographing the event noticed I was looking a bit lost and he came over to chat, in doing so he interrupted my thought pattern and just chatted with me about parenthood and life out of the Melbourne scene. It wasn’t anything specific he said but just the act of noticing I was struggling and chatting me back into the room was enough to remind me that we are practicing to be in the moment, not in the past. We reap what we sow and it’s okay to see a season with out something. This act of kindness called me back to the room and to the realisation that if I’d done it once I could do it again and it’s not a race.
What’s your “go-to” hoop technique/method/trick/style at the moment?
Oh more hoops is definitely my go-to for challenging myself and bringing myself into the moment but pairing my practice back to one hoop and dancing has come forward for me recently. In the beginning drilling tricks and getting those flashy hard earned multiple hoop moves gave me an awesome sense of achievement and no extra room in my head for other thoughts or worries. Now more and more I’m turning back into the dance and holding space for those thoughts and dancing from the heart. Restrictions on tricks like no hands or reverse direction only has refreshed my practice and allowed me to face what I was using tricks to escape from. I recommend trying it. Oooooh I have also been taking my hoops and student into the water over summer and it’s really cool! Swimming in Circles has been such an amazing way to hoop this past Summer. It all started with the cross section of exploring the concept of how a mermaid might hoop and the epic Ester Williams water ballets.
After struggling with joint pain my doctor suggested water aerobics and so of course I tried it with a hoop! All summer I got really into exploring what was possible in the water and what looked great.
Who are some of your favourite hoopers/flow artists to follow online and what do you love about them?
I’m keen on the Queen; Deanna Love (@Deannelovexo) and of course Marawa the Amazing (@marawa) both Aussie babes rocking their own styles and being mega community makers. Oh and Ruby Hooping for her work with curvy hoopers in the states. They are all amazing leaders. I do have a soft spot for man hoopers like Bencirka (@bencirka) and Nick Guzardo (@hoopdweamz) but right now my favourite is Malia Walsh (@maliacirc) he is so funny and a boss mamma. As for new hoopers I’ve just began following a pin up who just started hooping with her flock of chooks @poultrystories.
Do you have a favourite hoop maker? What hoop do you use and love?
I make my own hoops mostly because shipping into Australia is quite expensive and I think hoops fit people a bit like clothes, you should be able to have a try and touch, feel the hoop in movement. I get my supplies from Hoopologie or our local hardware store and make lots of styles and designs, my most popular hoop is a 120cm hoop that coils down for travel. I rock a 90cm hoops for splitting and 75cm hoops for multiples moves like the box split.
What advice or wisdom would you share with someone who is struggling with their practice or feeling in a “rut” at the moment?
The hoop is limitless, if you want expand and grow then hunt down the failures. Go to a different prop or dance training class and apply what you’ve learned to your hoop practice. You get out what you put in, so put yourself in your hoop.
Thank you so much again to Teaki Hoops for answering my questions! Many of the above mentioned hoopers, hoop companies have been linked above. If you’d like to check her out, here are some of her links!!
Hoops and Hugs