Top Thirteen Moments of 2013 part one

Everything feels good; there’s a connection with those around and the environment shared.  The unified energy plays in the air as if confetti having fun with a slowed down gravity, immersing all involved in the here and now.  Like fake snow, falling around the retrospective scene in the real life snowglobe of collective consciousness.  The moment: distilled magic of the universe, created, distributed and felt by the lucky ones in that particular snowglobe.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.

Yes I did just bring William Blake into a blog post about hula hooping.  It’s the start of a new year so absolutely calls for a look back over the last.  Welcome to The Hooping Harlots’ line up of some of our top snow globe moments from 2013; sit yourself down, grab the rose tinted specs and make your self comfortable in our memories – hopefully you’ll feel the magic too…

13) Brass

Not to be confused with Bros – they were their own moment in time, I (Andrea) think it’s worth pointing out as a side note that an homage to these guys would make for an excellent fancy dress theme for a couple who can.

fancydress pop fashion bros

Brothers Matt and Luke Goss, together they are Bros.

Anyway, this is about Brass – the sound of it infused with funk and a fair share of oomph.  It featured in many a key soundtrack moment to plenty of festivals this Summer, in particular at Parklife and Kendal Calling.  We followed tradition and took the hoops down to play at the ceremonial opening of the main stage at Kendal Calling courtesy of Riot Jazz Brass Band.  On the off chance that you haven’t heard of this outfit, you could very well be in for a special moment of enlightenment of 2014 with the next video (but also, seriously, where have you been?)! Us Hooping Harlots are big fans.  Fact.  Anyway, get on the vibe: Riot Jazz chaps having a jolly nice time with brass on a boat in the name of Corn on the Cob.  What’s not to like?

Another soundtrack provider with a plenty of brass that featured in our Summer is Bellyflop.  Not only did we hoop along to their performances at Audiofarm and Kendal Calling, we were also honoured to give their videos The Hooping Harlot touch.  Yes, it’s another video straight after the previous one, but, to give you a heads up in case you’d not twigged yet, even though it’s been split into a part one and two this blog post is of the more lengthy variety, with a few de-tours and cul de sacs along the way.  These top moments need justice doing to them, after all.  Here’s the studio jam session with hooping from Lucy Loop:

12) The Best Fancy Dress

As Hooping Harlots, we are into dressing up.  We getting jazzed up for performances, and see a lot of fancy dress – both onstage and off.  When we spotted this genius creation at Beacons festival, we knew it was something special.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the finest fancy dress of 2013 as endorsed by The Hooping Harlots.  Enjoy:

beacons best fancy dress

Wig, cape, glitter: check, check, check!

To give credit where it’s due, there were lots of snazzy dressers spotted at Beacons festival this Summer; we felt right at home in and amongst all the colourful people.  Beacons is a cool little festival in the Yorkshire dales, it’s small enough to get about easily and big enough to get the line up, which is a mix of electronic artists and bands.  Here’s a little snap of some of us Harlots with boys from our entourage, Jack, James and Martin (more on Martin later) plus a tune from Gold Panda who was one of our festival highlights; the electronic loops had us spinning our LED hoops super fast, trailing colourful lights to the music against the night sky.


11) Blue Peter

Going back a few years now, but I once submitted my only copy of a poem about Puffins to Blue Peter.  It was for a competition I was convinced I’d achieve, at the very least, a comendation for (in the form of a Blue Peter badge).  The programme lost its shine somewhat when I  didn’t hear a peep from the production team.  My past disillusionment melted away almost instantly, replaced with a long forgotten admiration for the show, when Jessica Rouge and myself met presenter, Barney Harwood, at Kendal Calling.

blue peter barney

This is the real deal

The programme was reviewing festivals for kids; we had a hoop jam, the cameras got The Hooping Harlots treatment and everything was good with Blue Peter and me.

10) The Prince tribute

Mel and Rach took Prince to a whole new hoop level when they did a special performance to Kiss by Prince for a wedding this year.  The purple velvet leotards were the most flamboyant yet.

in the words of Prince: Sexy MFs

in the words of Prince: Sexy MFs

We are keeping everything crossed at HHHQ that the Prince tour rumours are true.

9) A World Record  broken
Now this is an official, quantifyable, verified achievement.  Before we get onto the details of the record though, a bit of background information: whilst The Hooping Harlots happen to be an all-female, troupe, we are not without an entourage.   As such, let me introduce Mr Martin Stringer, Head of Hooping Harlots Operations.  He took part in a successful record breaking initiative at Kendal Calling which saw the most people dressed as Superman in one place.  Seeing 867 people dressed as Superman was a special thing indeed.  And Our Martin did it with glitter face art in effect.  Nice one, Martin.

superman record

The Hooping Harlots’ own Superman.

kendal calling world record superman

867 of the heroes.  And yes, that cloud was as ominous as it looks.

8) Kay Dent
It’s always a pleasure to hook up with other members of the hooping community, especially when those hoopers have mind blowing skills.  We were lucky enough to hook up with hoop teacher and performer, Kay Dent at Gottwood festival.

kay dent

Hanging and hooping with Kay

Legendary Bristol-based performer and hoop teacher, Kay treated us to some of her trademark foot hooping.

foot 4


And here’s the foot hoop amazing-ness in action.  Brace yourself for some big moves…

It was ace to hoop out in such gorgeous surroundings to a choice of electronic musical treats all selected from the top drawer.  Gottwood describes itself as The mystical little party hidden in the middle of the woods. Gottwood is an independent, boutique, and very intimate underground electronic festival.  Oh, and it looks like this:


Ross Brewer captures the Gottwood woods perfectly.

Good luck from The Hooping Harlots to Kay for her New Zealand trip, where she’ll be teaching at NZ Hoopfest in March!

7) Har Mar Superstar hoops in HK

If you don’t know who Har Mar Superstar is, he’s a singer, he’s popular with the ladies, he definitely has his own ‘swag’.  The image below captures his vibe pretty well:

Chief hooper, Lucy, was hooping for Clockenflap festival in Hong Kong and managed to get her hoop onto the stage, the audience were soon treated to some Har Mar Hooping in his trademark topless guise.  A very special moment.  No pics of this one, you’ll have to conjure something up from your imagination.  To set the scene further, this is Clockenflap:


And this is a personal fave Har Mar tune:

And that’s 13 through to 7 in The Hooping Harlots’ Top Thirteen moments of 2013, hope you enjoyed sharing in them.  Look out for part two for even more magic…


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