In our new blog series, we get to know the instructors who will be teaching at this year’s Brighton Flow Festival.
Our first teacher in the hoop-seat is Andeli Zumbuhl from Switzerland. Creator of the SilknHoop and passionate believer in the healing power of flow, here is Andeli to tell us more about her life in hoop.
“Remember – there is no right and wrong in hula hooping!”
1. When did you start hula hooping and how?
In 2011, I’d been playing poi for over a decade and wanted to try a new flow arts tool. A friend of mine told me about Reni Hardmeier in Zurich who teaches hula hoop.
I wanted to find out more, so I went to her class and Reni gave me this big hula hoop. I was not good! Waist hooping was a mess! But then there was this moment where I understood it and that feeling inside me. This was the start of a big love and a life change.
2. When did you realise you wanted to teach hoop?
My first experiences in teaching were as a Poi teacher in 2013. I didn’t have any experience in teaching, but I realized that I can teach people something and felt comfortable from the beginning.
After 3 years of hooping, I was ready for my first hoop class! I started with children, I told myself, if that works, I am also able to teach adults. It worked (some of the kids are now in my teen class!) and I created my first adult hoop class and haven’t stopped since.
3. What is a surprising fact about being a hoop teacher?
I never thought it would be possible to do a job with so much pleasure. I’ve always been creative but never has anything made me as creative as my hula hoop.
On the other hand, sometimes there is this fear, which is new to me as a self-employed person: Are my classes filling up enough? Can I get my share of the family budget this year?
Above everything is the joy but I work still one day a week in my “old real job” just in case something goes wrong.
4. What do you love about teaching hula hooping? What motivates you?
I’m always surprised by the variety of people who decide to take a hula hoop class. They come from different age groups and backgrounds and with their own stories, but all of them have this little craziness in them that makes them want to play with a plastic kid’s toy.
When we are in class and a smile spreads over their faces, what I call a hula hoop’s smile, then I know I’m doing the right job and go home fulfilled.
5. Have you had any disaster hoop moments? What did you learn from it?
Oh yeah! Chest hooping and knee hooping! It took me two years to get both! I cried; I threw the hoop against walls. I stopped practising for a month and almost quit hooping altogether! I was jealous of others who could already do it and I am not a jealous person!
Although I was frustrated, I never stopped practising. It was here I learned that you must work for it, if you really want something, and if you practice, you get it! This is something not just for hooping, this is something for life!
6. What are your plans for the coming year?
For the coming year, I have decided to do a dance sports education certificate for children and teens so I can to teach hula hoop dance at Swiss schools.
Also, I am very interested in working with people with mental health problems, which comes out of my experience in my previous job. This is a big wish for me, and I want to start realizing it!
Internationally, I would like to spread my love for SilknHoop more, a very different way to play with hoops! Overall, I will keep on running my local classes and spreading my love for hooping in my small town in Switzerland.
7. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting to learn hoop, what would it be?
Be yourself, do not look, feel yourself! Move in the room, do not be static and what are your hands doing? Remember – there is no right and wrong in hula hooping!
8. What’s your favourite hooping video and why? (can be yours or someone else’s)
Wow, that’s a hard question! Let me think…
My favourite video with me in it is my SilknHoop video (see the video at question 6). This video was not planned, it was at Hoopencircles in Italy, where the beautiful Liri Delbari approached me after the Gala show. We had 2 hours to film early in the morning after the Gala Night (my makeup was from the night before!) I was not aware how beautiful SilknHoop can be and I am very proud of founding and exploring a completely new way of hula hooping.
One of the favourite videos I have made is this video I made with my teenage class. The idea came from them – they found the right spot for the filming, created the 2by2 sequences by themselves and performed solo freestyles in front of the camera. I did the filming and editing. It was a lot of work, but we had the best time ever in class over the summer and this video shows the happiness of hooping!
Overall, I love this video from Nick Broyd. I love the way he plays with tricks and how he flows, and I love this male style so much. I have learned a lot from Nick over the years. Nick Broyd is my favourite hooper, next to Brecken Rivara.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Andeli!
Learn from Andeli and three other amazing teachers!
Book your ticket for the Brighton Flow Festival taking place on November 16th 2019 at the King Alfred Ballroom. A full day of workshops and play (and hanging out after!).