The Heady Hoop Tribe, an eclectic group of four women who aim to inspire others through the creative power of modern hoop dance, bring a sense of community to Phoenix.
Each member comes from a different background and experience, offering something unique to the community. Although none of the members are natives, they have created a community that is unlike anything Phoenix has seen before. They teach, perform, host events, and collaborate with local artists in Phoenix.
“We want to empower people to play, exercise, meet new people and dance in a creative and fun atmosphere,” said Jessica Figurski, director of sales at Heady Hoop Tribe. “We love working with other local artists, whether that’s another flow artist or community of flow artists, musicians, painters, or poets.”
It’s very important to the tribe to share the positive and healing energy that hoop dance has brought with others looking for a creative outlet, says Ashley Zawrotny, education and community coordinator for Heady Hoop Tribe.
Most recently, the tribe members earned their Hoopnotica Teacher Training Certification. This certification will help the tribe provide quality, professional and safe hoop dance and hoop fitness classes to the community.
The tribe emphasizes that hula hooping is not just for kids. It’s a fun activity that benefits your mind, body and spirit. Hooping can be done with friends and family and is a great workout for those who are tired of going to the gym and looking for something new to learn.
“The tribe is very dedicated and passionate about what they do,” said Audrey De Hoyos, who has performed with the Heady Hoop Tribe. “They have started the beginning to something that has the potential to expand to other cities.”
Along with their many successes, the tribe has also run into obstacles and it’s been a positive learning experience for them. When the tribe first started teaching classes and needed to move indoors for the summer, they learned that most dance studios require liability insurance. Performances require performance insurance and vending requires vending insurance. Other smaller obstacles they have run into are the business sides of everything, such as filing taxes, setting up their website, learning about press releases, advertising and contracts.
“There were times where we felt we’d taken a step forward to take two steps back. Some lessons were harder than others, but in the past year we have grown and learned so much,” Figurski said. “It’s amazing what starting your own business will do for you, it’s definitely not for everyone but I don’t think any of us would have it any other way.”
Laura Weimer, events coordinator for Heady Hoop Tribe, says the tribe knew it could make something big out of its passion and are blown away with how much they have accomplished this past year.
The Heady Hoop Tribe teaches beginner hooping classes, where all levels are welcome and hoops are provided, along with chakra and private hoop classes. Beginner and chakra hoop classes are $10. The tribe does various free community events along with their paid events. Some free events include free hoop jams, fire and drum full moon gatherings and occasionally they will have free performances for local businesses, fundraisers or organizations.
“I love that they incorporate meditation and dance with hooping, but also use it as a creative outlet,” said Christina Earl, who attends classes and events.
The tribe’s most recent events include vending at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, performing at Bunny Land Easter Celebration for the Fairmont Scottsdale Resort, and performing with Endoplasmic at Crescent Ballroom. On April 20, they performed with Zion I in Flagstaff with acclaimed hooper Tiana Zoumer. The tribe also hosted a workshop with Zoumer April 22-23 in Phoenix. May will host their first Hike and Hoop on May 5 and first Family Hoop day for Mother’s Day on May 12. More events can be found in their monthly newsletter or online calendar, http://headyhooptribe.com/.
• Kelly Kleber is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.