Ways of Knowing: Mysticism in Hoop Dance Flow (An Atmosphere Gathering Workshop)

I’ve been spending the past few days refining the elements of my upcoming workshop at Atmosphere Gathering, when, mind-mapping over coffee this morning, I had a sudden and powerful recollection.

It was at the Atmosphere festival (in its earlier incarnation as The Big Time Out) about 10 years ago when I really became inspired by hoop dance.  I had taken a hula hooping workshop before, but put the hoop away for a couple of years and forgot about it.  I had found one laying about at this festival: curious me picked it up.

My toddler son and his dad were amazingly preoccupied (napping?) at the time, so I indulged in this playful session with the hula hoop, with an abandon only a mom of a small child and an even smaller amount of free time could, to the beats of amazing live music coursing through my body.

After some time, a friend came up to me and said, “You are really good at that!”

Now, I’m not mentioning this compliment to toot my own horn, but to point out that what my friend was seeing was not my skill set (I could barely even waist hoop at the time) but myself captured in the beauty of flow.  Her kind words only reinforced the “goodness” of my feelings, and sent me on a hoop dance trajectory in pursuit of the flow experience.

Flow in others is a delight to watch, but flow in the self is blissful to feel.  It is a psychological phenomenon where the activity’s challenge meets the person’s skill set. Expertise is not required in order to reach flow.  Indeed, I was a very beginner hula hooper and I was in flow.  This is not to say there are not times now where I feel disappointed or frustrated with my hoop dance flow; yet, it always feels special and new when it does happen.

We can feel flow in any activity: from washing dishes to climbing a mountain.  I find myself trying to become more aware of those times when I am in flow throughout the normal course of my day because these moments can potentially lead to a more fulfilling life.

So now, I find it quite touching that I will be teaching a workshop on hoop dance flow at the same festival where I found it, around a decade ago.  My hoop and I have come full circle (ha ha).

Mysticism in Hoop Dance Flow: Sunday, August 20, 12pm Forest Stage

I love making connections between things I am passionate about, and the circle of the hula hoop is an apt symbol to integrate the oneness of all (mysticism), with the union of movement (flow), and the integration of our ways of knowing.

In the workshop we will:

  • Examine the connection between mysticism and flow

  • Use our four ways of knowing to learn skills and help integrate flow into our hoop dance.  We will be accessing our physical intelligence, our mental intelligence, our emotional intelligence and our imaginations in order to foster flow.

This workshop is suitable for all levels!  As well as learning basic hoop skills for newcomers, I invite the intermediate and the advanced hooper to come and explore their mastered moves in new and playful ways.  In fact, this workshop may benefit the flow artist who is feeling stuck or repetitive in their current flow.  The focus will be on joy and playfulness.  Many people relate to having mystical experiences as children: I invite you to bring the open and curious child in you to this workshop.

Hoops will be provided!

xo The Spin Jinny






photo by Ron Pogue


ArtsWells “Festival of All Things Art,” August 1-4, 2014.

I loved this festival, village, and landscape so much I want to move there.  I still have to convince my family, though.


Atmosphere, Cumberland BC August 15-17, 2014


photo by Ron Pogue



Canada Day Variety Show at the Sid Williams Theatre, Courtenay BC, July 1, 2014

Guest hoop dancer with Island Hula Hoopla


Elevate the Arts, Courtenay BC, June 4-7

Fire show with NOVA Firespun Arts

Solo bellyhoop dance at the Tribal Cafe, hosted by Cathy Stoyko and New Horizons Belly Dance


Taiwanese Lantern Festival, Cumberland BC, February 15

Fire show for sky lantern release (in the sleet and snow!)


Electroswing Speakeasy at The Waverly, Cumberland BC, January 17

Guest LED hoop performance for Speakeasy night with DJ Elizar: old-timey-techno-swing-belly-dance-hoop-fusion!


photo by Sarah Kerr



Tribal Cafe at Elevate the Arts 2013: Arcana Dea Dance troupe member and solo bellyhoop fusion


Tribal Cafe 2012: Blue Lotus (“Romany trail” dance fusion troupe member) and solo bellyhoop fusion


Balkan Brass Wedding, April 2013 as LED hoop dancing bride


Courtenay Winter Fest, 2012 and 2013: fire spinning guest with VestFire Entertainment


Comox Valley Art Gallery Masquerade Ball Fundraiser 2012: bellyhoop dance


Vancouver Island Musicfest, 2009 to 2011 with NOVA Firespun Arts: roaming flow artist aka “Magical Friend”


Vancouver Island Musicfest, 2012: guest roaming flow artist with VestaFire Entertainment


Comox Valley Nautical Days 2009 to 2012:  NOVA Firespun Arts Fire Show


Cumberland Village Works‘ Big Time Out Music Festival, 2008 to 2012: Blue Lotus troupe dancer, solo bellyhoop fusion, NOVA LED roaming


Cumberland Village Works’ Big Day Up, 2011 (on Mount Washington Alpine Resort): NOVA fire show


Island Hula Hoopla’s Happy Love Hoop Show, 2011


Cumberland Village Works’ Winter Solstice Event, 2008-2011: NOVA multi-media spin and glow show; Blue Lotus dancer


Campbell River Pirate Days 2011: NOVA Fire show


Campbell River Rain and Fire Arts Festival, 2011: NOVA Fire show



photo by Sarah Kerr