WHD Dance – on hiatus for 2017

I waited as long as I could before I announced this, hoping that somehow I’d be able to put out a choreography for 2017. But life conspired against me in this regard.

There’s no WHD Dance for 2017.

I’ve been choreographing and filming this since 2009. It’s been a big deal in my life every year. A red letter day that I worked hard to make happen. But this year I can’t do it.

Maybe I’ll be back at it next year but I can’t promise. The past twelve months have brought many changes: I am bouncing between three countries, doing new work, and there are health concerns for myself and other family members.

Thanks for your understanding. And thank you for being part of the WHD Dance project all these years.

Ups and Downs on World Hoop Day

I’m sending out greetings to hoopers around the world as we celebrate World Hoop Day. Whether you’re hooping in the privacy of your home or performing the WHD Dance in front of an audience today, I hope you’ll find happiness in your hoop.

Even if I don’t always feel it myself.

Sometimes I am disappointed that after all these years and all this effort, I’m not an A-list hooper, that I don’t get invited to teach at conferences, or have a popular YouTube channel. Honestly, I know that my temperament is not even enough for that to work for me.

On the joyful side, hooping encouraged me to find my body’s power, make new friends, and experience all sort of different ideas. I’ve taken my enthusiasm for hooping around the world and shared hoops with thousands of people in person and online. Wow, what a blessing.

I can alternate between joy and disappointment in the single rotation of the hoop.

Today, though, I am going to unleash my hoops into the rainy day and spin with abandon. Let me celebrate everything I’ve done and all that’s coming, good and bad. I will dance and play and I hope that you will join me, wherever you are.

Happy World Hoop Day.

WHD Dance 2016 – help wanted!

The WHD Dance choreography for 2016 is done and the tutorial videos are online. I am excited about this year’s two part interleaved dance and I think it is going to be one of the most fun ever to teach and perform.

Now I need some help from you.

I’ve already had a lot of help this year. Lysa, Amanda, Bekah and Jenny all pitched in with comments on an early version of the choreo that helped me to refine the dance. My friend, Ark, helped me with the filming on a day she took off from school (because hooping is better than math class). And well-known, festival favorite hoopers inspired me with their moves; when you watch the tutorials see if you can tell who inspired me.

I need some MORE help finishing the rest of the tutorial materials. I have run out of time to do the “rehearsal counts” audio and the “dance with me” videos.  Does anyone want to collaborate and take a stab at them? Send me a mail to spinmatsuri@gmail.com if you have time and interest.

Finally, share the tutorials with your hooping friends, on your social media, or wherever you like. I never quite know if the word is getting out to everyone who might like to participate. With your help, it will.

Thank so much for your support and your participation in the WHD Dance project. Seven years and counting…


WHD Dance, once more for 2015 and on to 2016

On Sunday, I performed at the Kamogawa Hula Festival and one of my acts was the 2015 WHD Dance. This is probably the last time I’ll dance it for a while, because it’s time to start choreographing the 2016 WHD Dance!

I’m excited about what I have in mind 2016 and I hope to have the dance done and filmed by the end of June, so watch here (and on the Facebook WHD Dance page) for details.



Awa Circus Classes in June and July are now open for registration. All the details are here, or go directly to the registration form here.


How to Size a Hoop Studio

When we head indoors to hoop, we start to look for locations where we have enough space.

Some of us are lucky to find a gymnasium to use – enough space for everything you might want to do. The rest of us have to look into dance studios, community centers and other places that weren’t meant for large scale athletics.

When you are evaluating a room to hold classes and hoop jams, how can you tell how many hoopers will fit in it? This is an important question if you are sharing the rental price or trying to cover it with your class fees and still make a profit.

A hooper needs space on all sides for the hoop to spin, and different hooping styles need more or less space. For example, waist hooping needs less space than most off-body hooping. hooper-area
The same space will hold eight on-body hoopers, or 2-3 off-body hoopers. 

How Much Space is Enough?

You can figure the area needed per hooper based on armspan + the size of the hoops you use.  Let’s do the math for four different scenarios.

On-body hooping

On-body hooping is pretty compact. For each hooper, you’ll want armspan + a bit or twice the diameter of the hoop, whichever is bigger. This doesn’t allow for much moving around, dancing or flailing but it is enough to stand and hoop on waist, legs, and shoulders without hitting anyone.

Armspan is about the same as height, so if your hoopers average 5’7″/170 cm and your hoops are 40″/100 cm, you are looking for an 80″/200 cm circle. That’s about 44 square feet/4 sq m per person. 

Circles can pack into a space more tightly than squares, but a square gives you a little extra room for footwork and it is easier to figure out when you are looking at a floorplan that’s marked in square feet or square meters.

Off-body hooping

Off body hooping needs space to extend the arm with the hoop and spin all the way around without smacking anyone. Some tricks, like the eagle roll or many off-body twins moves, require space for a hoop on both sides.

 Calculate armspan + two hoops.  Using the same example sizes as above, you’ll need a 12″/370 cm circular space, or 144 square feet/14 sq m per hooper.

That’s quite a bit of area, so if you aren’t going to be doing a lot of twins play or eagle rolls, you can figure it by armspan + 1 hoop which is about 81 sq ft/7.5 sq m per person. 

Overhead hooping

Ceilings! Hooping needs more height than most dance activities, so you’ll find lots of dance and yoga studios with low ceilings or lights hanging down into space we need for mandalas and overhead passes. The perfect ceiling is really, really high for throws. Unless you’ve secured a gymnasium, you need to think about the space above your head. With lower ceilings, you’ll need to limit the overhead tricks .

A good overhead height will be height + arm + hoop  and for sake of simplicity, let’s call the arm half the height of the body (it’s usually a bit less than half). For your 5’7″ hooper with a 40″ hoop, you’ll want about 11 feet/3.5 m of clearance.

Other space in your space

When figuring out the number of students that will fit into your prospective studio, don’t forget space for yourself and for the inevitable gap between instructor and students. You may also need space for people’s coats and bags, extra hoops, and other gear.



So many classes and workshops. Let’s play and learn all summer. And be sure to check the Spin Matsuri Facebook page and Awa Community Circus Facebook group for more events, workshops, and fun.


夏サーカスキャンプ (安房コミュニティーサーカス)

Summer Circus Camp
日本と外国の講師 • 命令言語: 英語、日本語、フィンランド語など。
1週コース:毎日朝9 – 12、 20,000円 又1日コース:4000円
お申し込み: awacircus@gmail.com


Kids’ Circus Classes with Inari and Tink
6月の水曜日 4回(6/1、15、22、29)
7月の水曜日 3 回(7/6、13、20)
16:30 – 17:30


Adult Circus Classes with Inari and Tink
6月の水曜日 4回(6/1、15、22、29)
7月の水曜日 3回(7/6、13、20)
18:00 – 19:30


One Day Circus Workshop with Inari and Tink
7月3日 (日)• 12:00 – 17:00 • 5000円



Moyashi Yoga


4th Sunday Spin
5/22, 6/26, 7/24, 8/28
13:00 – 15:00

Moyashi Yoga Summer Schedule


Yoga twice on Tuesdays! Morning and evening sessions. A bright cheery waking up yoga in the morning and a relaxing yin-style session in the evening. Starting on Tuesday, May 17 and running through July.

Social Circus Day Show (video)

We put together a little circus show on April 2 for our friends and neighbors. It was the first circus at Satoyama Design Factory, but definitely not the last. Thank you to Elli, Megumi, Noriko, Ark, Eri, and Tod for getting up on stage and to Chris and Trouble for their help off-stage.


Social Circus Day, in pictures

Social Circus Day was a huge success here in Japan. The photos really tell the story. A fun show, followed by a talk and the launch of the Awa Community Circus, then playshops that included creative warm-ups, juggling games and hula hooping. It was inter-generational with kids, parents and grandparents playing together and also represented a cross-section of our community in terms of lifestyles. The photo booth and dress up corner were popular, too.

Big thanks to Elli, Tod, Elli, Megumi, Noriko, Ark, Eri, Chris, and Trouble who helped out on- and off-stage. You are fantastic supporters and the day ran smoothly thanks to all of you. Hooray for #socialcircusday !