Bringing Energy to Your Hoopdance

March 16, 2015 Caroleeena DancehoopdanceHoopingPerformanceUncategorized

Energy has many different definitions and all of them can be applied to hoopdance.

energy– Chi is the active life force that animates every living thing. In Chinese medicine, this energy has two main expressions — the inward flow ¬†of Yin and the outward flow of Yang. Yin is the softer, more inviting, inward expression of our feminine energy. Yang is the harder, outward, more forceful expression of our masculine energy.
– Emotional energy is what motivates our actions in social interactions and also in the way we relate to ourselves. Our emotional energy ranges from the height of enthusiasm to the plateau of apathy to the depths of despair. Emotional energy is what causes us to go forth and act or to recede.
– Potential energy is the stored or pent up energy in us waiting to be released.
– Kinetic energy is the physical manifestation of the energy created by our body, our hoop, or both when they are in motion.
– Energy, according to physics, is a property of one object that can be transferred to another object.

When we dance we are animated by our life force and it manifests in what we give out and what we pull to us. Our emotional energy motivates us to act and how we act conveys that emotion to others. We are all an unending pool of potential and many of the poses and moves we use in hooping hold within them the potential for other moves to flow naturally from them. Kinetic energy is the energy we create when we move and when our hoops move and that energy is transferred not only to the next move but to everyone who sees our dance. Dance tells a story. Energy is crucial to bringing emotion to our story.


“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.” – Martha Graham


young beautiful blonde girl expression collection isolated on whiteSo how do we express energy in hoopdance? The same way we express it in every other aspect of our life. For example, consider the difference in the way you walk when you are going to the dentist as opposed to going to visit your very favorite person. Unless you have a crush on your dentist or an affinity for pain and loud noises, you are probably going to have a very different gait, a very different expression on your face, a very different look in your eyes, a very different way of reaching for the door handle…and those movements tell the tale of what is going on with you emotionally.

To make sure our dance tells the emotional tale, we must make choices about the energy we bring to our movement, face and eyes. Yang energy can make our moves sharp and strong whereas Yin energy can make our moves airy and light. Eagerness makes us rush. Anger makes our jaw tight. Fear makes our eyes dart. We can lash out with force or pull to us with entreaty. A touch can be gentle and light or it can land with a mighty pound! Our choices are part of our story-telling.
coppia 3
Some ways to think about energy are:
– Does the movement spring forward or creep?
– Is it a sharp and sudden attack or a smooth and sustained progression?
– Does it flow steadily or jerk in a staccato way?
– Is it restricted, bound by muscle tension that makes it hard to release, or does it pour in a relaxed way from the dancer?
– Does it ebb away or flow forward?
– Does the move have the heaviness of great weight or is light with a tendency to float?
– Does it drip like water from a faucet or pour like a monsoon rain?

We can direct energy by where we look, how we move, the forcefulness of our travel or movement. These things shift focus as clearly as pointing with our arm, our leg, or our hoop.


Feel First, Dance Second

hard vs soft

The energy we bring to our travel, body movements, hoop movements, level changes, direction changes, speed changes, the way we expand and contract, the way we take up and use space, the dynamic changes between our hoop moves and/or dance moves, our facial expression, our eyes, our directed gaze, and the energy we bring to every other variable we include in our dance tells the real story because it conveys the motivation for the action in the first place and the emotional tale behind it. Tell a good story! Let it show in the energy you bring to your face, especially your eyes, as well as your movement. If you’re having trouble bringing the emotion to your movement, face, or eyes, start with feeling it! Feeling it is the first step toward living it.


“Real wealth is ideas plus energy.” – Buckminster Fuller


Bringing energy to your hoopdanceenergy hoopdance

Leave a Reply

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

Powered by and