How To Create A Video Hoop Tutorial

April 9, 2014 Caroleeena HoopingMovementPoiTutorialUncategorizedVideo

frame-camera-shotMore and more helpful hoopers are generously making hoop tutorials. This blog is for you. I hope it will help you make more effective, organized video tutorials that make you proud while helping others learn and retain what you have to teach. This blog is based on my own trials and errors over the years. I am going to break it down into three parts — 1. Organizing content, 2. Technicalities of filming (lighting, sound, etc.), and, 3. Presenting your content. Don’t be intimidated by the technical info. Even if you don’t use professional lights, knowing how to direct light will help you make better videos. It will also help you take better pictures. Forever.

With love, Caroleeena


Create an outline of what you want to teach, the points you want to make, and the order you want to present the information. Write it down. You can review it and work from memory or tape it to your camera for reference. Include:
– a personal intro that includes an introduction to, and demo of, of the move,
– a breakdown (in order of progression) of the move with all points you want to hit,
– trouble-shooting of common mistakes,
– variations of the move, and
– points to review at the end.

Remember that people learn differently and plan ahead to teach to every learner–the visual learner, the auditory learner and the kinesthetic learner. Many teachers only teach to the kind of learner they are. The visual learner goes, “See? Do this…” and shows the move over and over; the auditory learner says, “Well it’s like this…” and describes the move in detail using words and sounds and giving step-by-step instructions; the kinesthetic learner says, “You know how when you do this (say, twirl a lasso), it feels like you are drawing a big circle above your head…?” They use analogies to help us “feel” the move. Good teachers use all these methods and teach to all learning styles.

To avoid defaulting to your own learning style, it is helpful to know what it is. Ask yourself: How do you remember people? If you remember them by their face, you are probably a visual learner. If you are great with names, you are probably an auditory learner. If you remember people by what you did together and what you felt (e.g., “We hooped together at that Dead show in the rain”), you are probably a kinesthetic learner. (Note: We all learn all these ways, even if we have a favorite.) Teaching to kinesthetic learners is the one many new teachers have trouble getting their mind around. You can’t do a move for someone so how do you make them feel it? By making them feel it in something else they’ve already done — twirling a baton, stirring a pot, riding a horse, using a lasso… Call on their muscle memory. Use analogies. Analogies are the life blood of the kinesthetic learner.

– Pick your location and background. Choose a place that is hoopable, has good light, and is free of noise, interruptions and distractions. Picking a beautiful place can add ambiance but if you don’t have access to one, don’t let that stop you. If it’s your garage, neaten up a bit to reduce distractions.

– Set up your camera 15 – 25 feet from the center of your shot. If you are using the mic on the camera for sound, the optimal distance is 15-20 feet. Ideally mount the camera on a tripod, even if you have a cameraman, or on a bean bag at eye level to the subject. (A bean bag allows you to adjust the angle. It also absorbs shocks and keeps the camera level and still.)

– If you are using a camera phone, turn the phone sideways! Videos should be shot horizontally, not vertically. Think “landscape” not “portrait”. Think “camera” not “phone”. will not accept vertical videos and they are very hard to edit too. Help stop the scourge of vertical videos.

– Frame the shot and mark the “stage”. Use gaffer tape to indicate how far left and right you can travel without leaving the shot. Figure out how close you can come to the camera without cutting off the top of the head. Mark the sweet spot in the middle with an “X” to help you return to center easily.

Click for larger picture

– Turn on the lights!. Low lighting makes videos grainy and can make it hard for your camera to focus. Shine your “Key Light”, your brightest light, directly on the teacher from a 45-degree angle to the right or left of the camera. This is your main source of illumination. It adds definition but puts one side of the face in shadow. Use a second light, a “Fill Light”, at a 45-degree angle opposite the key light. The fill light should be less intense than the Key light so you can either use a smaller bulb or set the light farther away from the subject. Finally, some people will even use a third light, a “Back Light”, that lights the area behind the subject so they don’t blend into the background. Here is a video about how to create ideal lighting for indoor filming using this three point method:  (There is a lot of good information in here, even for people who only have one light.)

If you’re shooting outside, make sure your camera and your teacher are in the same lighting. If one is in the sun, the other should be in the sun. If one is in the shade, put both in the shade. Bright sun is great for videos…unless it’s so bright it makes your subject squint. Position the teacher at a 45-degree angle to the sun. This may create some shadows on the opposite side of the face but If you can position a white building opposite the key light, or have someone hold a reflector or even a piece of poster board from this angle, you can effectively create your own fill light. Here is an interesting video on outdoor lighting tips for filming videos:

– Do a sound check: Listen for background noises that will show up in your video such as air conditioners, lawn mowers, cars, or a screaming bird. These things are very distracting and your viewer will have to listen to them again and again if they study your video. Remember to turn off your phone. If you’re using music, keep the volume low. Putting the music source under the mic creates clearer sound but, again, don’t let the music drown out the speaker. Finally, educate yourself about music rights. You don’t want your video pulled from YouTube because of your background music.

– Warm up your Presenter’s Voice. Relax the shoulders, relax the jaw, lift the chin, breathe deep and project from the diaphragm. Direct your speech toward an imaginary audience behind the camera. Speak slowly and clearly in a deep voice, enunciating consonants. Do not mumble. Expel vocalizations through the mouth rather than the nose. (If you think you sound nasal-y, consider nasal cleansing with a q-tip or a neti pot. Drink room temperature water or warm tea. Avoid cold beverages. Avoid smoking, which causes the nasal passages to swell.) Fill your words with energy! Summon your passion and let your enthusiasm shine. Put a smile in your voice. (I recommend warming up with some laughter first!)


– You only have about ten seconds to get people’s attention. Introduce yourself and the move and then demonstrate the move. I recommend saying something like, “Hi this is Caroleeena. In this video, you’re going to learn (***). This is what that looks like…” Demonstrating the move creates the context and framework for learning it. It sets the expectation for the learner. It is the most important piece of your video. Don’t make the viewer scroll to the end to see what it is they’re trying to learn.

– Show the move from multiple directions — front, back, and the side — and in both directions. Videos make a mirror that can be hard to follow, especially if you are right-handed and the instructor appears to be using the left hand.

– Remember to detail proper posture, the muscle groups involved, where the move starts, and any hand positions, planes, grip changes, and/or directions involved.

– Trouble-shoot. Detail things that commonly go wrong and offer advice on how to fix them.

– Share variations and/or transitions to other moves.

– Verbally review before wrapping up (Include written bullet points for those visual learners if you have editing software. If not, include it in the video’s description)

– Offer encouragement! A little cheerleading goes a long way.

– Demonstrate ways to integrate the move and variations into other moves with a little dance demonstration at the end.


– Talk directly to your audience — the person watching the video. Smile and connect. Picture a specific person and teach them. Do this by looking into the camera or at the person standing behind the camera. Pretend the person you are teaching is in front of you. I use a tripod but I put a mirror behind it and teach myself to give me the feeling that I am talking to someone behind the camera.

– Project energy!

– You can do this! You are clearly up to challenges. You took up hooping! Give yourself permission to make mistakes and fail your way to success and to just do it anyway! Perfection is the enemy of progress. Be content to make progress and go for it.

– The teaching is the most important thing, not the video.

– Enjoy yourself. Let your personality and love for what you do shine through. That is as captivating as what you have to teach.


– Avoid any hand to face gestures, especially nose touching, eye-rubbing, or playing with your hair. (Also, if you’re a guy, avoid touching your balls. It really draws the viewer’s eye.)

– Release the habits of “you know” and “like” and “uh…yeah” and any combination thereof.

– Avoid getting so high that your eyes are red, you lose the thread of your thoughts, and/or your video is filled with “and…uh…yeah’s”. Avoid being so intoxicated that you slur your words or lack energy and power.


– Introduce yourself
– Tell what you’re going to teach:
– Show what you’re going to teach
– Break down the move for every learner:
* visually
* auditorily
* and kinesthetically using an analogy to a similar movement.
– Make sure to point out muscle groups involved, hand positions, and proper posture
– Trouble-shoot things that commonly go wrong and how to fix them.
– Review everything verbally
– Include bullet points of important points at the end
– Encourage!
– Do a little Demo Dance at the end.

You can do it!

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