Transformational Hoop Dance

Hooping to Restore Sanity

PHOTOS BY CHRIS KOONTZ  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcurious/)

What an ‘insane’ rally! I know everyone likes to make that joke. But it’s true that it was really a bit crazy. I mean, the amount of people alone.. it blew my mind and I have been to a lot of rallies in this town over the years. It being Halloween and a rally hosted by comic talk show hosts John Stewart and Steven Colbert, many of the attendees (myself included) choose to come in costume.. that along with the spoof protest signs made for quite a lot of entertainment.. that is if you could move anywhere to see anything. The crowds were that dense.. wall to wall people as far as the eye could see. I did however manage to find and make my way to another hooper friend of mine, Christine, in the maddening crowd. How did I find her you might well ask? She was holding her hoops up over head of course! (Clever girl!) A whole group of us hoopsters were supposed to have met up at a metro stop, but that was an impossibility considering that most of us did not even make it ON a train to get down there. Now I live far up the track and thought I had a good early start. The train finally came after a considerable wait and a growing mass on the platform, only to stop and be too jam packed to allow anyone in the cars! Sooooo, on to plan B (which should really have been plan A); break out  the scooter! Was actually a mild enough day to scoot on downtown which enabled me front row parking actually on the mall itself. On my ride down I witnessed masses of attendees crowding the streets several blocks or more up from the mall.

So finding Christine was fortunate. I too had my hoops packed down coiled around my torso for the ride. (Thanks be for my home made collapsibles!) However at first glance it would seem that having brought them at all was a silly thing to do (except maybe for their use in finding other hoopers in a place so crowded that no cell phones would work due to the amount of cellular traffic  in that spot) seeing as there was no place at all to hoop. We tried first to climb a wall at the Smithsonium (which we achieved via help from some nearby strong burly men giving us a boost up the wall.. getting down was a bit scarier as we had to jump, then feeling quite retarded when we saw that we could have come down at a much shorter part of the wall albeit whose access was bit crowded by bushes) to see if we could both see something from there (there were far too few big screens for that rally, we were half way up the lawn and couldn’t see a thing of the actual rally/show, and could barely hear it) and possibly get our hoop on a little. But we and the others who had bravely made the climb were promptly asked by security guards to get down. So much for that..

Which leads us to the place where we did find adequate hooping space, the sculpture garden. It was not overly crowded due to it’s sunken from street level design since most rally goers preferred to be above ground in hopes of maybe catching a glimpse of something. However much that thinking was flawed since not only could you not see anything above ground you were smashed in like a sardine helplessly stuck with the rest, seeing not anything more than your neighbors’ behinds. (And if you were luck they would be of the nice and not nasty variety.) A few others took reprieve from the crowds in the garden along with us and seemed to be thoroughly if not entertained at least amused by our hoop dancing (to no music, oh well). It also seemed to be the place for the flow of traffic of those trying to get out of the human sardine cans just above us.

I don’t think either of us has ever been so photographed in our lives. I felt like a celebrity! However I only found one source of photos taken via my internet searches. So thanks to Chris Klontz for sharing the excellent photos! Check his stuff out at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcurious/

We did actually grow tired of hooping below ground at some point (in spite of all of the attention!) and went our separate ways to see if we could find our other lost friends.. It was possible to kind of move along the road ways. I even made it close to the front near the stage but could still not see anything. And all of the prime real estate a top the port a potties was taken. (trust me you did not want to attempt to make a little room for yourself up there, these people were serious about intruding on their prized territories!) All the reachable (And what looked like unreachable) tree branches seemed to be taken as well. So I saw only glimpses on the big screens of the show but the show on the ground was possibly much better anyway. I thoroughly enjoyed the costumes and often hilarious signs.

At the end of the rally when the crowds started to thin, I did as Christine had and stood on a bench holding my hoops high (getting more photos taken of me in the process!). And it was not long before I was able to connect with a couple of hoopers, some I knew and some I didn’t. A film crew also found me and filmed me hooping.. was to be part of some documentary, had to sign model releases and all. They promised to get in touch and since I don’t have their cards nor remember their names nor what the documentary was for.. Well, let me know if you see it out there somewhere!

Ended a lovely day doing ‘Acro-Yoga’ for the first time with a guy named Rapheal who was with one of the hoopers. I got to be the ‘flier’ which is really so much fun. I loved it! I definitely need to try that again! Again, more photos of this (I have not found!) and cheering crowds. (More celebrity time, you know I loved it!) And then to top it off, hooping with a fantastic drum circle. What a day!

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