Hairography for Hoopers!

April 12, 2015 Caroleeena DancehoopdanceUncategorized

Hairography is more than just a wonderful episode of Glee:

It is a series of ways of moving the head that transfers energy to the hair so it becomes its own dance prop. To be clear, you don’t have to have hair to do hairography. These moves are also interesting simply as moves of the head. Hair just adds another dimension to that. The hair can be long or short, straight or curly, yours or fake. As far as fake hair, know that weaves are great but wigs work too as long as you use lots of bobby pins or, even better, wig tape. (Wigs are their own animal. I’ll save the topic of wigs for hoopers for another blog but know that I love them and think they add a lot to costuming.) Finally, know that you can do these moves while in your hoop, out of your hoop, or holding your hoop in your hand.

To prepare for hairography, wipe off your lip gloss, because that is a mess waiting to happen, then warm up your neck just like you would any other muscle group in the body. I recommend starting with a few head rolls (chin to chest, ear to shoulder, back of the head between shoulders, opposite ear to opposite shoulder, chin to chest again) in both directions. Start slow and then smooth out your circles until making a circle with your head feels normal. To get a bit more stretch, walk the fingers of the opposite hand along the floor and away from the body. Do big rolls but do little ones too, ones where your chin doesn’t drop, like you’re drawing a circle with the crown of your head. Then return your head upright and look over each shoulder, reaching as far as you can with your eyes. Finally, pretend you are a dog pushing a ball with your nose. Let your chin drop to your chest, lead out and away with the crown of the head until the chin leaves the chest (letting your chest follow), then lift your chin up (like you’ve pushed a ball with your nose) let your head and chest return to normal, let your chin return to normal.

If you need more stretching and releasing the tight spots in your neck, I highly recommend this short yoga video:

Finally, know that if you have very long hair, it can sometimes tangle on the hoop or you can grab it when you grab your hoop. This doesn’t happen often but it can happen. Hair combs and decorations can also hurt like crazy when you hit them with the hoop and drive them into your skull! Hair styling for hoopers could be it’s own blog also. I will save it for another day as well. For now, we will just look at wearing your hair down or putting it in a pony tail. Again, these work for long hair, short hair, and no hair. If you lack hair, pretend you have it but know that you are really working that face so beam with energy and use your eyes!

Now let’s look at examples of highlighting hair! We will start with one of my favorite hoopdancers and hairographers, Beyonce. Notice the way she presents the back and then looks back over her shoulder: Check out her eyes that make blazing contact with the camera.


You know how mama always said, “Don’t play with you hair!” Well, when it comes to dance, mama was not always right. Touch those curls! Don’t be afraid to be cute and sassy.

Work those pony tails! You can display them:

You can wiggle them:

You can spin them with your head:

Or if you don’t want to work that hard you can spin them with your hand:

If you want to wear your hair down, work the reveal!:

Then, like with all dance, it becomes a matter of moving the head in lines and/or in circles. Notice this pose goes side–circle–side. It is a line from one side to the other with a circle in the middle, then a line straight back to the other shoulder to repeat the pattern or follow a new one:

The Quick Nod is a line from front to back. Notice how she uses her hand to get more hair volume.

Beyonce Hair Flip Gif Yesss beyonce,

The Snap Back:

The “Oh and one more thing!” turn back around

The Comb Over

Sustained Hair Spinning

Whip my hair back and forth, which works from side to side as well as front to back:

Short Hair Don’t Care (This is a great way to get your hair out of your face.)

Rock those curls!

The shoulders are a great intro or follow up for hairography making even this quick jerk to the side look great. (Pay attention to the shoulders in a lot of these dances!)

Stroke Stroke hair touching on the opposite side from back to front. This also works with that hands stroking from front to back on the opposite side.

Hair flip

I do this one a lot while I’m sustained spinning sometimes or even just holding the hoop at waist level:

Notice how it appears Brittney is hitting with her hair. You don’t want to hit people but pretending to hit or slap with your hair can help you get the idea of the motion.

Some other pretty hair tosses:

(I wish I could have found a gif of this whole series of reveals. It was epic.)

One half circle in front and look at those eyes! Sharp right in the beginning, sharp left at the end.

Beyonce Hair Flip Gif Preview

Or the eyes can return to center and let the hair fall where it may:

You can look up and then sharp down, flinging it from back to front:

Turn and let your hair catch up:

Work it from bottom to top:

Throw it back out of your face using your head or with your hand:

Second girl from the left. Hot damn!

This piece of hairography is very popular in Voguing and in Bounce dance from New Orleans. You can do it standing up or while on your knees:

lady gaga animated GIF

hair flip gif animated GIF

But this move doesn’t have to be just in circles:

And don’t think hairography is only for long hair

One day this will be me:

Not like me today:


But you wait! One day I’ll be all:

And I will whip my hair back and forth like a muppet!

Til then, I’ll watch the Queen and give myself a sore neck in my living room:

Soooooo, if you didn’t watch that first video to see a whole dance with a variety of Hairography in action…here’s your second chance:




hairographyputting the dance in hoopdance

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