that’s a circle that turns ’round upon itself


Please, please keep on with yesterday’s debate – I’ve gotten calls and emails from several people fighting the fight – but I absolutely had to post Annie’s video for those who haven’t seen it. That she is able to create the hoop illusion without the hoop ever revolving around her… I dunno, it’s magical, and as she is one of Lucy’s godparents, the Lulubeans will be spending some time in front of the computer screen today.

We Shall Overturn Prop H8! from Ann Humphreys on Vimeo.

12 thoughts on “that’s a circle that turns ’round upon itself

  1. GFWD

    Annie, I’m re-posting 2 of my 4 points from yesterday’s comments:
    3. I believe I have a crush on your abs.
    4. The hoop movement in the Prop 8 video looks like an optical illusion moving up and down your body. Pretty cool.

  2. Annie H.

    Thanks guys! I had to miss last Saturday’s Prop 8 protest march (several cities in NC reprazentin’–I would have gone to Raleigh) because of having to teach a long-ago scheduled hoopshop, and later on I was reflecting on how I was still longing to add my voice to the movement, and I recalled this Akon song and decided to make a vid. The first time I heard it I thought it really *was* a gay rights anthem and sobbed in the car. After a few listens I realized it was a straight love story, but it still has that power to me–I just decided to make it my own personal gay rights song!
    A couple of words on the technique featured here, for all you hoop geeks out there: This is a hooping method pioneered by a formerly local hooper named Spiral, who is quite world-famous now. She and my partner (and teacher and love of my life) Baxter went through a major developmental hoop stage together, this particular technique being a melding of “stalling” (turning in the same direction as the hoop) and “samurai” (gripping the hoop so that it stays totally static). With the samurai grip, the stall can be sustained indefinitely. It is called, alternately, “dynamic stalling,” “sustained stalling,” and “sustained spinning” and it has been my favorite of Spiral’s contributions to the art of hoopdance.
    Though I have not been trained in the ways of the Sufi, the more I learn about Sufi spinning the more I see the powerful parallels between these two practices. Hooping is a spiritual practice for me and I have had the most profound connections with Spirit of my entire life inside my hoop–the most amazing and life-changing being while spinning. There is something about the motion itself that tunes your whole being into a specific frequency which feels something like “being eternally present in the moment.” Having this way to directly connect to Source energy is the biggest healing gift of my life.

  3. LFMD

    Annie, that was beautiful. And, your choice of song had me tearing up as well! Excellent choice. You definitely are in the zone when you hoop. . . .I could sense how spiritual you are about it before I even read your comment.

  4. jje

    Amazing. Beautiful. Wow. And absolutely perfect with that song. I was just mesmerized. I agree with LFMD that it gives off a very spiritual vibe.
    This might be the dumbest question ever – and maybe I should google it, maybe the wiki for the WDs – but how do you keep spinning for that long without getting dizzy and collapsing? All I have to do is one round of “ring around the rosie” with my little boy and I’m staggering around like the town drunk before we all fall down.

  5. Kelly

    Wow, mesmerizing is the word alright … and I was wondering the same too … how do you not crash into the walls? It doesn’t seem like you’re doing the dancer/ figure skater trick of picking a spot at eye level and meeting that spot on each turn … is the key to controlling the dizzy feeling actually “letting go” into the movement? It is all very beautiful and intriguing; thank you Annie.
    (Thank you Ian for sharing this with us.)

  6. Annie H.

    Jje and Kelly, NOT a dumb question at all, and often asked. I wish I had a more complete and informed answer, but here’s what I know about how to learn how to spin (all from my own solo, uninformed practice):
    A) Some people tend to feel dizzy much more easily than others. Luckily, I do not have that tendency, so never had to battle vertigo while learning.
    B) Definitely start small. Best to learn how to turn slowly at first– a few turns. You can S-L-O-W-L-Y increase your speed over months’ time. I didn’t even try sustained spinning until I had been hooping (and constantly turning or “stalling” with the hoop) every day for a year and a half.
    C) The “spotting” technique–i.e., fixing the gaze on one spot, and whipping the head around to re-fix on the exact same spot each revolution–is something that I’m sure would work for some people, though I have used a couple of gaze techniques that are related but slightly different.
    D) The techniques I’ve used with my gaze to enable long spells of spinning are: 1) looking at one area on the inside of the hoop, so that the eyes don’t jump trying to focus on everything as you go around (same philosophy as spotting, but different practice) and 2) softening the focus (similar to the nidra gaze in yoga) so that you are not really focusing on anything–eyes half-closed, gazing into the proverbial “middle distance.” I go back and forth between these two methods.
    I really appreciate everyone’s kind words, and Ian for sharing this video with you. We Shall Overturn!

  7. tregen

    J’adore Anne.
    The hoop reminded me of this Rumi…
    “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want; Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep…” Rumi


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.