Thursday, December 8, 2016

Make Your Shadow Dance

Eons ago, I donned a full-body turtle* costume and danced next to a busy Tallahassee, Florida street.  I was an introverted 18 year old who would NEVER have danced (alone) in public, but that costume freed me and allowed me to move in ways that would never have occurred to my unmasked-self. At the time, I recognized what the concealment did for me and was grateful for it. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Years later, I took up a new hobby…hoop dance. I am still an introvert and not a performer, but because I concentrate on my hoop, I lose most of my awareness of the world around me. I can actually hoop in public now, and with joy. To repeat, I’m still not a performer. If I’m hooping in public it’s because I’m practicing or happily teaching someone (or many someones) how to hula hoop.

So I’ve grown in that aspect---I can (hoop) dance in public, no turtle costume required. However, even after years of hooping, I still have not overcome the self-conscious inner voice that insists, “You are not a dancer.” Ad nauseum. I have tried various ways to silence (or at least mute) that voice, but nothing has worked yet. But do you know what I realized will work? Making my shadow dance in ways that I won’t…that shadow that is both me and not me. I can’t wait until my next practice session.
And this is Deanne Love's Instagram post that helped me make a connection between that turtle costume and shadow dancing:

P.S. I haven't written a blog post in months, but I'm so excited about this new inspiration for breaking the chains of self-consciousness that I wanted to share it with my little corner of the world. I hope that it helps someone add more joy to their life just as I know it will for me. (I KNOW this, people! Because if a turtle costume can help, then shadow dancing most certainly will.)

*I was the VHS movie rental manager for Turtle’s Records and Tapes. I did say “eons ago”…

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tips for choosing the best hoop size and weight for you

Freshly made kiddie hoops!

One of the benefits to the hoops I sell locals, is that they include a custom fitting session and free mini-lesson. I make new hoopers a hula hoop specifically for the measurement that they provide. And then when we meet to complete the transaction, I let them try some other sizes.

Just as in Harry Potter the wand chooses you, my hoops choose the person. Okay. That's a stretch (analogies are not my creative forte), but even a relatively minor difference in a hoop's dimensions can sometimes affect how it feels around one's waist, so it's a treat to be able to try out a few options before making a final decision.

If you are purchasing your hoop from someone other than Alphabet Hoops and need to specify a set size and weight

As for life in general, a large factor in one's hooping success is attitude. To choose a hoop size:
  • If you are confident and are thinking "Of course, I'll be successful!" --- order a hoop that reaches the top part of your navel.
  • If you are unsure about your ability to hoop successfully and are thinking "Well, maayyyybbeeee I'll be able to hoop!" --- order a hoop that reaches from the floor to one inch above your navel.
  • If you are positive that you can't hoop and are thinking "There is no way that I can hula hoop, I don't care what size the hoop is!" --- order a hoop that reaches from the floor to about the middle of your rib cage.
In all cases, I recommend a heavy hoop --- 160 PSI --- for beginners. This ensures and encourages newbie hooping success, after which hoopers can more confidently explore other hoop sizes and weights.

Good luck and may you have years of happy hooping ahead of you!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Welcome to Alphabet Hoops!

As I announced on my Alphabet Hoops Facebook page, I'm scaling back my hooping activities to spend more time on The Felted Fox. But I still love hooping and don't want to entirely remove all the information I've created, so here are all the links that were previously in various locations on my Alphabet Hoops web site.

If you find this page and are local to Marietta, I'm still making and selling hoops for my friends and neighbors! And they still include a free mini-lesson at time of delivery! Click one of the links below for more information about ordering a hoop, making your own (!), and hula hooping in general.

Online Hooping Tutorials

Do you want to be notified of local Marietta hooping events?! When they come up, I post them to the Alphabet Hoops Facebook page. Be sure to like and follow us there if you want to be in the hoop...uh...loop!
Are you looking for products with fun hula hooping images? Visit my store for some cute options!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Split personality

Long story short:

I had a hobby, Alphabet Hoops.

It had a was accessed via

I found a new hobby,

I moved all of my blog content from, to Because, you know, I thought I'd scale back on the hooping.

But it turns out hooping is a life long passion and I can't resist introducing it to newbies.

Therefore, I'm resurrecting Alphabet Hoops so that I can minimize confusion when people go to and find themselves at

This also means I can stop explaining to new hoopers why my website has a split personality.

This is a quick explanatory post. (I'm so relieved about getting back the address! It had been locked and unavailable for several months.)