Of Houston and Hoop Dancing

So, while I was in Houston for the America the Beautiful 2 Premiere  I got to do many cool things.

If you’ve been around the blog much you’ve probably seen comments from Karen R.  She is a prolific commenter (she even comments when she’s sick and on Vicodin).  My favorite comment of hers is “That, my dear, is the sound of a paradigm shifting without a clutch.”  Then, one fateful day, after reading one of my posts  about our ridiculousness with kids and weight, Karen asked me to “marry her” and she became my blog wife.  It’s been a running joke ever since.  She drove down for the premiere and we finally got to meet in real life where she is even more awesome as she is online:

I also got to see my friend Heather who just moved back to Houston from El Paso.  We realized that we have known each other a looooooong time!  Heather is a super cool woman who was brave enough to take a hoop dancing class with me (more on that in a minute)

Karen wasn’t able to come in until the premiere but we did a fatty and friends meet-up lunch during with the lovely and amazing Rowan (of Punk Rock Hoops) agreed to do a hoop dancing lesson for Heather and I.  It was so much fun!  We got to work in the beautiful Nia Moves Studio.

It turns out that I’m not a hoop prodigy, my record for waist hooping was six times before it dropped, but I did have fun trying this rollover.  For the record, this is in no way an instructional video, this is not how the move should look, I don’t care because it was super fun.

Rowan agreed to do a quick demo so that you could see how it’s really done.  She is a beautiful dancer, and a fantastic teacher.  If you ever have a chance to take class with her definitely do it!

You can’t stop me from posing though!

So, that’s enough of me, but what about you?   I’m always inspired when I see other fatties out there  doing cool stuff.  So if you feel like it leave a comment of something awesome that you have done.  Write about it, link to a video or picture, whatever!

This blog is supported by its readers rather than corporate ads.  If you feel that you get value out of the blog, can afford it, and want to support my work and activism, please consider becoming a member or a one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free.   Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

Published in: on December 10, 2011 at 7:34 am  Comments (38)  

38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ragen, you and I talked on FB while I was training for my first bellydance solo in September. While I still haven’t made it into Turkish Drop territory (youtube “belly dance turkish drop”) because I am, of all things, afraid of /falling/, I did work TWO dramatic level changes into my solo (for non-dancers, that’s a shift in height, whether you go up to your toes or drop to your knees). I don’t have a video to post, but my teachers were all very, very proud of me (as was I)! And I did it, all 5’2″, 220lbs, with my belly uncovered. I’m not ashamed of this body! IT CAN LEVEL CHANGE! *bigbigsmiles*

    • Ooooh, Turkish drops. I used to be able to do those. They’re so freaking much fun.🙂 You’ll get there, and you’ll have a blast.

  2. Oh, man, hooping. I want a hoop. Not sure where I’ve got the room to use it, though, and this time of year, the backyard is 100% out. (Between the dry air and the freezing temperatures, it’s hard enough to keep my skin from dissolving into dust indoors and with handfuls of lotion.) As things stand, though, I adore yoga, Zumba, Hip Hop Hustle (complete with Bhangra and Middle Eastern numbers), Pilates, and TurboKick. I tolerate PiYo because I know it’s good for me. Fortunately, my teacher totally understands.🙂 Hopefully after the start of the year, I can finally start my personal training sessions.

    My weight isn’t the biggest obstacle I’ve got with regards to exercise, though. I’ve got Fibromyalgia and something that could be either RA or systemic lupus. Most days, getting out of bed is a huge achievement, never mind dragging on workout clothes and going to the Y. Once I get there, though, I’m unstoppable.

    Now it’s 3:25 in the morning and I have Pilates at 10:00. Stupid mid-day naps. (And stupid knitting projects that I get within four rows of finishing, only to discover a major mistake halfway down. D’OH!)

    • Susan, you are such an inspiration!

    • You are amazing! If you get a chance to try hoop dancing I definitely recommend it. Thanks!

      ~Ragen

  3. The videos aren’t working for me for some reason. I have always wanted to do cosmic hoop dancing, or hoops with the fire on them. That would be badass.

    • Fire hooping is soooo much fun.😀

  4. I had a super fun time sharing hooping with you, and of course you were amazing. And Heather Michelle had such natural dance mooooovvvesssss, Whoot Whoot!

  5. Awesome things – for the past couple summers, I’ve been on what was basically a community-league rowing team. I managed to work my way up from “Three miles? I think I’m going to throw up!” to “Three miles? Cool!” And in the individual time trials in practice where we had to row a six-person canoe by ourselves and see how fast we went, I was faster than any of the other women on our team and several of the men. We made it to the championship both years, and took home the big trophy once.

    • That’s really cool! It is a great example of what happens when one practices! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

    • This is so fantastic! Congratulations on kicking ass🙂

      ~Ragen

  6. I went to my yoga workshop last weekend, the one with the visiting teacher (and the one I was worried about because I wasn’t sure how a potentially new mix of people would react to my size). Happily, that turned out to be a non-issue.

    The workshop itself was fabulous, focusing on Hanuman and hanumanasana, which is basically the splits. I like hanumanasana on any day I have time to work up to it, but I especially liked the inventive warrior variations and arm balances we did to get there. Sadly, there are no pics of me in the splits. Perhaps I will work on this over Christmas break.

    • These are not my monkey splits, but this is a short clip of me at home going through a vinyasa:

      [Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, please let this embed work!]

      • Damn embed codes! Here’s the link:

      • That’s great! You are definitely flowing!

      • Just watched the video – you are such a great mover. Awesome job!

        ~Ragen

    • This sounds so cool and I love that you were brave enough to just go even though you weren’t sure how the teacher would be.

      ~Ragen

  7. I just want to say how honored I am to be a portion of your blog today! Eeek! 15 minutes of fame anyone?

    As for doing awesome things while *gasp* fat, I’m really big into musical theater (no pun intended). There’s no bigger rush for me than a run of a show for a week or more, running around backstage, dancing like crazy on stage AND trying to remember your lines and music. Getting roles that aren’t type-cast are difficult, but I’ve been very lucky to have some amazing directors that don’t seem to care.

    Your loving blog wife (who isn’t on Vicodin at the moment),
    Karen

    • You so rock my world. I just love it when someone breaks the stereotypes around roles. You rock!

      ~Ragen

  8. What fun. I’m not a hoop whiz either and I even have a couple of hoops that a friend/hoop creator and teacher made for me. I can keep the hoop up for a few seconds and take one step forward or back with my arms squished in to my chest and my eyebrows knitted together. Sexy, huh?

    • Sounds quite familiar – I think I rocked that exact same move! I think that a lot of people probably underestimate the difficult of knitting your brow while looking that awkward…

      ~Ragen

  9. I hoop! It is so much fun! This is me hooping in my backyard this summer.

    I love doing it and the key is a nice big hoop and lots of practice. I’ve been hooping for 3 years and I took a giant leap forward in skill this year because I decided to devote all my exercise time to it. You talk a lot about finding movement that you can enjoy as part of HAES. This is my movement.

    • Whoo! You go, girl!

      I took a hoop class last year, but I *never* managed to get it to go. I did buy a big hoop, so I guess I should try the “lots of practice” part.🙂

      • Lots of practice really is the key. For my first two years, I only practiced once a week. I could waist hoop and do a couple of lifts. Nothing really exciting. Then last fall, I decided that I was going to practice every day and I was going to learn how to move while waist hooping. I did. I eventually said that I was going to learn to knee hoop. Then I was going to pixie jump and learn the vertical step through. I practiced a little every day and I got better. A LOT better.

    • I really, really enjoyed watching you. My trainer has suggested us doing some hoop stuff but we never did. I think I need to remind her. You are very inspiring!

      • It is LOTS of fun. You should definitely try. If your trainer won’t do it with you, look for a local hooping group. (They exist in a lot of places.)

  10. Not sure if I am doing this right, but I am the biggest one in the group and having a great time working out with these other women. It is unfortunate that they changed the focus to WL, so I don’t workout with them anymore, but this particular day was a blast with my honey doing the footage!

  11. ok, trying the link thing one mre time!

    http://www.facebook.com/v/461574285040

  12. I say you did pretty good Ragen. This post inspired me to contact my friend who is a hoop dancer and she sells custom hoops as well. I’m going to make it my new hobby.

    I want to do this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_fqFJyf5SU

    • I’ve fire hooped twice. It is lots of fun.😀

  13. Wow. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as hoop dancing. Of course I know almost nothing about dance in general. You ladies look awesome though! More videos of us all doing cool things!

  14. Hi Regan,
    My sister and friend had been trying to convince me to do a half marathon race for a long time. For people not in the know, that is 13.1 miles. I kept laughing and saying hell no. Then last June when we were over at my friend’s place, tehy were trying to convince me again. However, the friend’s husband snorted at this idea. At first I got a bit sad and said to myself yeah, he’s right. But then I got mad thought screw him! When we got home, I asked my sister to write up a training plan. I completed my first half marathon in August. In November I did the Seattle half, which is an amazing challenging course, and managed to do better than in my August half. I am planning to do 2 more half marathons within the next month and a half. I will qualify for the hal fanatics after I complete my January race. Part of the credit for this, I feel, definately goes to you. Since beginning to read your blog, I am feeling more confident and less uncomfortable about my body. I don’t think i would have gotten mad at that jerk of a husband and started this journey without your blog! Thank you so much!!

  15. I am. as always, inspired by your clarity! I would love to send you a copy of BELLY DANCE FOR EVERY BODY so you could see what
    THE FATIMAS have been up to! Do you have a PO Box? Look forward to seeing you in SoCal!

  16. Another belly dancer here! (Yay for our little presence on your blog). I’m a plus-sized belly dancer and have been dancing for 6 years. I still struggle with not getting as many opportunities to perform compared to my smaller counterparts…but what I enjoy most is teaching this art to other women and watching their relationships with their bodies change.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/andaleedance

  17. I love to hoop! It’s my biggest passion right now! It’s allowing me to open up and experiment with other flow arts like flow wand, contact juggling, poi and fire fans.

    Here’s one of my videos hooping!

    • This is awesome, thank you so much!!!!

      ~Ragen

    • That’s awesome!

  18. Hey, Regan! Lovely blog – so glad to find it as a) I’ve a larger hooper myself, and b) I’d love for your to sign yourself up on my new hooping directory – check it out: http://www.hoopalooza.com/hoopingdirectory

    Happy, Hoopy Holidays, BTW!


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