In our new blog series, we get to know the instructors who will be teaching at this year’s Brighton Flow Festival.
In the third part of our Q&A series, we hear from Chris Gogler of C-Section Hoops about inspiration, the future and how to bounce back after injury.
“Be kind and gentle with yourself and keep on at it.”
1. When did you start hula hooping and how?
I started hooping around 2009/2010. Two good friends of mine Katina and Alice were really into hooping and were both great hoopers with their own amazing styles. They both taught me quite a lot of tricks and moves and I looked online for more tutorials and inspiration.
2. When did you realise you wanted to teach hoop?
I think I realised I wanted to teach when I began making up my own hoop tricks and moves and sequences. I love to explore and create with the hoop, I try to approach my hoop practice with curiosity and a playful attitude. I love to be able to share my research and perspective with other hoopers, in turn, it brings me a lot of inspiration and new energy and I learn a lot from teaching.
3. What is a surprising fact about being a hoop teacher?
I don’t know if this is a surprising fact but I guess a lot of work goes into creating a workshop. I explore and practise for months and years and then try to synthesise my ideas and research and compress it into a workshop. It’s really fun but can also be challenging, I write my workshop ideas into a messy journal and then type them all up on the computer, I like the workshop to have a good flow, so I will often edit my workshop a fair bit until I feel like it makes sense as a whole workshop. My biggest struggle is having too much material that I want to share with everyone and never having enough time!
4. What do you love about teaching hula hooping? What motivates you?
I love seeing people get excited in a workshop. I get a real kick out of seeing someone enjoying a trick or a sequence that I made up or that I personally really like, I love when people have moments of success in a workshop and are proud of themselves and I really love when people are open and willing to try something new and challenging, are being brave and loving the learning process. I love the Hoop community and how open and accepting everyone is, it’s the place I feel most safe and at home in the world, so I guess I’m also motivated by all the lovely people and feeling a part of something really special.
5. Have you had any disaster hoop moments? What did you learn from it?
I think I’ve probably had a few disaster moments. One was during a performance that went really awry, I dropped my hoops countless times and even hit a front row audience member in the face with a hoop; I learnt to pick myself up and keep going, despite experiencing what at the time felt like a massive failure. Through that experience, I feel like I learnt a bit better what need to do in order to have a better performance on stage, lots of practice and a good warm-up before performing are really essential.
One other difficult moment was experiencing a shoulder injury late last year. Instead of resting properly I kept trying to hoop which meant my recovery time took longer. I had to force myself to stop hooping for a while and let my body heal. It was really difficult but it was a good lesson.
6. What are your plans for the next year or two?
Next year my husband and I plan to visit my family in Australia, it will be my first time back in Oz in about 6 years! I will probably teach some workshops whilst we are there, I’ve never taught in Australia so I am really keen to meet some Australian Hoopers! In February I am excited to be teaching at Jungle Hoop Retreat in Thailand! I’ve never been to Asia so I’m excited to do a bit of travelling and escape the Berlin winter.
I’d like to push myself to perform more in the next few years, I’m not exactly sure where or when or for whom but I feel like I was born to perform and I really want to honour the part of me that is a performer.
7. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting to learn hoop, what would it be?
Keep Hooping! There have been many times over the past years that I have been hooping where I felt a little uninspired or frustrated, this is all part of the process and the best thing you can do is be kind and gentle with yourself and keep on at it. I find that going to conventions and workshops has really helped me to make leaps and bounds with my skill level and to feel connected to the wonderful communities of hoopers that are out there.
8. What’s your favourite hooping video and why? (can be yours or someone else’s)
This is just too difficult to answer! There are so many hoopers that I absolutely love and they are all incredibly different!
When I first began hooping I would watch this one video of Brecken hooping over and over again, completely mesmerised by her fluid movements with the hoop.
There is one video by Marianna DeSanctis that I absolutely love, where she is wearing a helmet and kneepads and dancing to Radiohead, that one is insanely cool.
To be honest I personally prefer watching live hoop performances to videos because my attention span with videos is atrocious! I’ve been fortunate to see so many live hoop performances on stage! I really love when a hoop performance has a bit of a concept behind it, a story or a mood or a vibe that it gives off, those are my favourite performances.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Chris!
Learn from Chris 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!).