July's Hooper of the Month
Happy July Hoopers!
’Tis the season of hooping outdoors and hopefully, often! It’s also the season that I teach a million children hula hooping. (Which is maybe a contributing factor to why to blog post is so late) It is just nice to have the time to properly sit down and write this blog!
Let me be frank, I am IN LOVE with this hooper. Although I have never met him in person, his creativity and passion shine through his hoop dance via the magic of Instagram. I have been following him for at least a couple of years now and have always been entertained whether he’s using one hoop or four! The best way for me to describe his style in words would be: Tech-y Flow-y Dance-y Fun!
It’s not often to see technical hoop moves paired with this level of gracefulness, but somehow, he pulls it off! Typically set up in front of colourful backdrops, while in fabulous clothing (or sometimes not in much…), this German hooper always has something stunning to share. I was honoured he took the time out of his busy teaching and travelling schedule to answer my questions (From a plane!) Shouting out a big congrats to the one, the only ….
CHRIS GOGLER aka: C-SECTION
Here is his interview:
What is your name?
Chris Gogler aka: C-Section
Where do you live and what is the flow/hoop dance community like there?
I live in Berlin, Germany. The hoop scene in Berlin is influenced in part by the geography and culture of the city; for example many people would rather travel short or bike rideable distances so often hoopers will stay in or near their own areas to hoop. But we have a really nice scene of lovely, friendly and creative hoopers and when we do see each other it's great.
How long have you been hooping for and how did your journey begin?
I started hooping when I was around 20, that's 9 years ago or so. Two dear friends of mine Alice and Katina were into hooping and took the time to teach me and skill share with me.
Generally, why do you hoop and what benefits have you noticed since you began?
Hooping is currently my favourite form of creative expression. Throughout my life, I've always had some form of creative outlet or other. It's a vital part of who I am and how I am.
Hooping helps me to stay active and has a positive effect on my mental health. It helps me to find beautifully tangible moments of calm, joy, success and passion.
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?
Yes, I've been fortunate enough to teach and perform in a number of cities across Europe. I couldn't pick a favourite as each place has its own unique flavour. I can say that all the places I've been and hoop communities that I've met have shared a common thread of kindness and openness that constantly blows me away and leaves me inspired and humbled.
However, I do love the way the hoopers in the UK get all glittered up for workshops and conventions; I just love sparkles.
I'm looking forward to going to going back to Vienna on late August to teach, Vienna is such a beautiful city and I have some lovely friends there. I'm also looking forward to going to Brighton in November for Brighton Flow Fest. I'm teaching alongside some wonderful Hooper friends of mine so I know it's going to be great. I've never been to Brighton before!
I'm also looking forward to teaching in Australia early next year and at Jungle Hoop Retreat in Thailand in February! I can't wait to meet some hoopers over the other side of the world!
What inspires your hoop dance flow?
When I'm creating a new act I often get inspired by certain imagery or ideas and build on that to create my act. Sometimes, I'll save a file of images that relate to the act I'm building. During my training I get inspired by music. I'm constantly looking for new music to listen and train to. My favourite thing to do is to 'discover' an album for myself through movement; I often hear an album for the first time whilst training and love how it can creatively influence me.
What hoop move/technique are you working on at the moment?
I'm work a little bit on basic juggling with 3 hoops and splitting 4 hoops on body, but currently my training with those two things is pretty sporadic and inconsistent, so maybe they're more in the category of 'things I want to train more.'
I'm working on a few ideas for new sequences. Currently, I'm a little stuck with one sequence trying to do a waist wrap with one hoop and a back roll with the other. I don't feel too frustrated about it though. I feel like some things just need time and often they come at the 'right' time, which is often when you let go of the frustration and the tension and allow them to happen when they're meant to. I used to get quite impatient and frustrated with myself before realising that it was a big waste of my energy and in the long run wasn't helping my progress.
There are some tricks and ideas that might just take a very long time to learn and perfect. If you really want to get them you'll take the time to learn them and perfect them. You may as well enjoy that time and try to enjoy the process whilst you're at it, otherwise you spend a lot of that journey feeling frustrated. As a person I'm often outcome focused. I'm trying to change my mindset a lot and enjoy the journey. I have a feeling life is more fun that way.
What’s your “go-to” hoop technique/method/trick/style at the moment?
I think my 'go to' style is just my own style. I guess, I'm quite influenced by ballet. I notice that my hooping is quite upright and that I focus on lines and pointed feet a whole lot (when I'm training in ballet shoes)
Who are some of your favourite hoopers/flow artists to follow online and what do you love about them?
Henna Matanuska (@hennamatanuska)
For her vast and impressive creativity, her dedication to experimenting, creating and growing and constantly pushing the boundaries of circus and art. Henna has always reminded me to follow my interests and creativity with steadfast integrity just as she does. Especially in times when I doubt myself.
Emma Kenna (@hoopingmad)
For her impressive technical skills, wicked combos and fabulous personality. Emma taught me so much of what I know and continues to teach and inspire me. I feel like Emma is a huge part of the heart and soul of the European hooping scene. Everyone who has met her knows how generous and kind hearted and hilarious she is. I feel like she is in great part responsible for upping the skill level of hooping and hoopers around the globe.
Lila Chupa Hoops (@lila_chupahoops)
For her constant creativity, insane skill level and incredible style. Lila constantly blows me away and inspires me. I've learnt a lot from her and always look to her for new inspiration.
Sky Flow Artist (@skyflowartist)
Sky is a big inspiration for me, she is immensely creative and is constantly inventing new and creative hoop trick and dance fusion. We still plan to work on 'Hoopllet' - which is our ballet + hoop fusion style - the next time we're back in the same city again.
Marianna deSanctis (@mariannadesanctis)
Marianna has been a big inspiration to me for a long time. She has a unique way of moving and dancing and exploring with the hoop. I love to watch her move and perform.
Morgan Jenkins (@missmojangles)
I met Morgan a few years ago and was blown away by her spirit, her passion, and her love for hooping. Her dedication to the art form, to pushing the boundaries of hooping and creating a clever fusion of dance and hoop skill especially her signature lyrical hoop style, is inspiring and impressive
Gail O'Brian (@gailobrienhoop)
I've learnt so much from Gail. She is an incredible teacher and a huge inspiration to me. I'm inspired by her amazing technical skill, her attention to detail and her powerful stage presence. Gail is a great example of someone who can turn an impossible idea into a reality through hard work and dedication, but she makes it look beautiful and effortless in the process.
Kristin Lahoop (@kristinlahoop)
Kristin is one of my local hoop friends and one of my biggest inspirations. She's constantly exploring and expanding her repertoire of movement and skills. I've seen her transform on stage presenting anything from hilarious comedic clownery to intimate fragile expressionism.
Tal Fransky (@talfransky)
Tal is a wonder to behold. She moves like water or silk. I love her style and the way she dances. She has a powerful presence; one of those people where the room lights up when she enters it. She is a big inspiration to me!
Buket Rin (@buket_rin)
Buket is probably one of the strongest people that I know! And one of the most talented. I've been intrigued and inspired by her since I met her a few years ago. I'm so inspired by her hard work, dedication and creativity.
Helly Hoops (@hellyhoops)
Helly is constantly inspiring me. I love the way she moves and thinks. Her hoop dance is unique and expressive and like no-one else’s. She has badass skills to match her general bad-assery.
Do you have a favourite hoop maker? What hoop do you use and love?
I'm currently using Goldilocks hoops from HoopSpin in UV pink and UV blue, I've taped them with a layer of transparent indigo sunrise tape that I got from fancy tapes (they're still UV reactive through the tape!), on top of that is a layer of crystal clear tape to protect the transparent tape and inside the hoop is a thin layer of 3M grip tape which is my favourite grip tape. Some people find the 3M grip tape to be a bit too scratchy on the skin but I got used to it pretty quickly; I love it for any planet and globe type stuff with more than one hoop.
What advice or wisdom would you share with someone who is struggling with their practice or feeling in a “rut” at the moment?
My advice to anyone stuck in a rut is to give yourself a break. Don't beat yourself up about it, be kind and gentle with yourself. Sometimes you need to change your focus for a bit, let go, try something different, shake it up, change your routine. Sometimes you just need a bit of a break in order to get back to it with renewed strength and power.
Having said that, often we think we are the masters of our own little universes, we wait for the magical motivation to take hold of us from some unknown wellspring inside and when it comes all will be right again. However, sometimes you just have to get up and do things even when that motivation isn't all there. Someone once said to me: motivation follows action. Sometimes getting up and getting started is the key to finding renewed motivation.
Each person has to find what works for them and gauge what is the best method based on how they're doing at the time. I use a mix of kindness and being firm with myself, I'm not super disciplined.
Thank you so so much again to Chris for sharing!
You can follow him as well!
Hoops and Hugs!