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The HoopLab on YouTube

The HoopLab channel on YouTube has 42 clips, featuring various hoopers (myself, Khan, Sharna Rose, Lucian, SaFire, Robb Mills and Grant’s even in there.) Each clip contains only one or two moves and although they’re not exactly “how-to” clips, most have slow motion demos. There is enough material here to practice for years.

Find more: here

HoopLab was an experiment that came and went, a small collective bound through a ning site, working to develop new moves and advance hooping.

Catching Up With Life

Life has been insane. I’m finally starting to feel as if I am leading my life again rather than my life leading me. It’s good to take control and with that I’m recommitting myself to I have a back log of stories and inspiration that I want to share. In the last 6 weeks I taught a new workshop at Firedrums and Hoop Convergence 2010, merging Hoop Technique theory with an idea I’m calling “micro-accelerations”, I participated in a new FireDrums DVD, performed at the FlowShow, taught a weekend long Hoop Technique workshop, premiered the Hoop Technique Trailer at a Flowtoy’s party, all while holding down a 9-6 architecture job. During all of that craziness I’ve spent a lot of time at Flowtoys working in the editing room while watching some of the most talented spinners in the world geek out. It’s been intense to say the least; insane to be more accurate

The timeline is a bit blurred in my memory. Lack of sleep does that to me. It also tends to make me more emotional and handle life’s little bumps far less well. Luckily my friends and family have been patient with me, realizing that this madness will subside and normalcy will return. Thank you to each of you.

I guess I can start with the Flowshow. Neither Brecken nor I could fully commit to a detailed choreographed piece so we strategized for maximum impact and minimum investment of time. She’s been touring the country with Bax of the Hoop Path and her schedule has been packed. Coordinating was challenging. Our piece was basically a hip-hop style hoop battle. We got a kick out of the fact that she and I each won a Hoopie this year, male and female hooper’s of the year. We were hoping to hang our Hoopie’s on gold chains and drop them in a chalice at the beginning of the piece as a joke but decided against it (not to mention it hasn’t come in the mail yet, Philo ;)

It was great for me to rehearse with Brecken. She and I have spent hours talking about how we are to some extent opposite in our pursuits. She’s looking for fluid expression and dance. I’m usually trying to express precise platonic patterns. On top of that, it’s so different collaborating with her than with Spiral. Spiral and I share similar artistic visions. Brecken has a different approach and admirably hold’s true to her artistic vision. It’s a good exercise for me to be tested by someone I respect as much as her. The piece went well, not perfect, but respectable. I wrote a bit on that and you can see the video: here

I’ll continue to catch up with everything in the coming days. My blog topic to do list:
-Spiral’s Flowshow Piece
-Thomas Johansson
-The Glide-Cam (something I built)
-The Hoop Compass (a gizmo I built and was playing with at HoopCon)
-Hoop Convergence
-DVD update
-Okotampe Contact Juggling
-Lightning In A Bottle

Check back soon!

Entertain – Barry J. Holmes


Hahaha :) I love it! Barry J. Holmes, the amazing photographer who took the playa shot that won’s image of the year is publishing a book. The shot will be included in the book. A bunch of A-list hollywood celebrities then us….

This is a collection of my favorite celebrity portraits I’ve shot over the last 8 years. Mostly shot on Location in the USA and the UK, you’ll find a great cross section of images from actors to directors.

You can purchase a copy of the new book : here

Not here to play – Brecken & Rich, FlowShow 2010

Less than two weeks from the DVD release…. then I’m posting a ton of new music here. Isopop is about to drop the hammer :) In the meantime, here’s Brecken and I’s Flowshow performance.

How to make high-performance white plastic hoops.

I’ve been hooping with white plastics since I first began experimenting with them a year and a half ago. When I started my extensive research trying to find a lighter, more rigid plastic for my regular hoop, Patrick of psihoops was one of the first people I contacted. He’s been using alternative plastics for over five years for LED hoops. Back when he started using these types of plastic, the desire for faster, lighter hoops than could be made with black irrigation tubing just didn’t exist in our community. To my (and her) knowledge, Spiral was the first person to start using these plastics for her regular hoops two and a half years ago. She and I each independently went through the trial and error process of ordering samples and finding the right tubing. Once I posted the “Tube Experiment” a while back, these hoops slowly began to trickle into the community as a legitimate option for regular hoops. My original blog was fairly technical, though, and I didn’t outline how to connect the tubing. The desire for that information has been clearly expressed by the dozens of emails I get weekly requesting additional information. Hence, I’ve finally written this comprehensive post sharing everything you’ll need to get started.

If you’re not a DIY type, Spiral and I will soon be selling signature versions of these types of hoops, to our exact specifications, at our workshops around the country. All hoops sold by Hoop Technique will be made of the high-performance plastics described in this article. More info on our signature designs and dimensions will be posted to the Hoop Technique website very soon.

Hoop Plastic Comparison:

There are two primary types of white plastics being used for hoops: High Density Polyethlyne (HDPE) & Polypropylene (PPE). Traditionally, black hoops have been made from Polyethylene (PE).

I hooped with HDPE for over 6 months after finding these plastics. HDPE is a good stepping stone from a 100 psi standard PE. It’s a little stiffer and much lighter, making it faster, more precise, and better for quick reverses than PE. PPE is a dramatic jump though. It’s super, super light and and feels slightly springy, in my opinion. This is the fastest, most precise hoop material I’ve tried. It’s also the most challenging plastic I’ve ever hooped with. You basically have to know where it will be before it gets there, because you’ll barely feel it when it arrives.

Both of these plastics can change your hooping, but be prepared for a learning curve. After a year and a half, I’m up to 200+ shoulder reverses per/minute with my PPE hoop. This just wouldn’t have been possible with Polyethylene. At this speed you literally are pushing the physical limitations of the material. That limitation is based both on weight and rigidity (as well as size, but material won’t change your hoop size necessarily).

Inside Diameter (I.D.) vs. Outside Diameter (O.D.)

Above, you can see that I’m referencing outside diameter (O.D.) and inside diameter (I.D.). This has often been a source of confusion amongst our community, as hardware stores refer to tubing by it’s inside diameter (I.D.). They care about it’s capacity for moving liquids and ability to withstand pressure. Hoopers care about outside diameter (O.D.), weight, and rigidity. If you were to purchase 3/4″ 100 psi PE, the outside dimension is actually 1″. Compare that to 3/4″ 160 psi PE which has an outside diameter of 1 1/8″. Although the hardware store refers to them both as 3/4″, the outside dimension is not the same because the wall thickness increases with PSI.

Required Tools:

1) Pipe Cutter
2) Pop Rivit Gun with 1/8″ Pop Rivits
3) Drill with 1/8″ Drill Bit

Construction Materials:

I order all of my tube online from McMaster Carr. If you enter the product numbers listed below into the search bar at the top of the website, it will take you directly to the product.

HDPE Hoop Parts List:
Tube A – 7/8″ O.D. HDPE (McMaster Carr #50375K54)
Tube B – 4 in. of 3/4″ O.D. HDPE (McMaster Carr #50375K52)
Fastener – Two 1/8″ pop rivets (available at local hardware stores and online)

HDPE has to be ordered in 25′ lengths from McMaster Carr, so plan on making a few hoops. If you wind up with extra of the thin tube, it makes excellent double off-body hoops.

PPE Hoop Part List:
Tube A – 3/4″ O.D. PPE (McMaster Car# 5392K17)
Tube B – 4 in. of 3/4″ O.D. PPE (McMaster Car #5392K41)
Fastener – Two 1/8″ pop rivets (available at local hardware stores and online)

PPE can be ordered by the foot from McMaster Carr but is a bit more pricey. Currently it costs $1.16/ft. for 3/4″ O.D. PPE.

How To:

Unlike black PE, barbed connectors don’t work for these tubes. The strategy I’ve been using is to purchase a thinner tube and slip it inside the other tubes. This also helps avoid a flat spot on the hoop at the connector because your connector is actually curved. Since there are no barbs on these connectors, we have to fasten the tubing somehow. Adhesives work poorly on HDPE and PPE. I’ve had the best luck fastening with pop rivets, a method I learned from Cosmic Fire.

Step One
Cut your Tube A for an appropriate size hoop. Both HDPE and PPE respond better as smaller size hoops. I would recommend no greater than 40″ in diameter for HDPE and no greater than 38″ for PPE. The smaller the diameter the hoop, the more rigid it will feel.

Step Two
Cut your connector tube, “Tube B”. I’ve tried various lengths. 3″ seems to work well.

Step Three
Insert Tube B half way into Tube A.

Step Four
Drill a 1/8″ hole through both tubes. The hole should not go all the way through the hoop, just through one side. I prefer to put it on the outside face of the hoop. This will be where the pop rivit goes.

Step Five
Pop rivet your connection. For instructions on how to operate a rivet gun, please see this instructional video.

Step Six
Slip the opposite end of Tube A over Tube B, completing your hoop.

Step Seven
Drill for the second the pop rivit in the second end of the hoop.

Step Eight
Install your second pop rivet.

Now you can go hoop. Good luck! It definitely takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.

Hoop Technique – Burn – video

Late one night at the Flow Toys space, Spiral and I decided to take a break from shooting the Hoop Technique DVD and jam out. The dance floor has amazing lighting that transforms the space in an instant and was even more dramatic on the enormous backdrop we had setup. We kept the cameras rolling. Here’s a clip from that night.

This is an original track by Janaka Selekta & Madhu Rose. I’ve been in love with this track for months and am honored that they have allowed us to use it here and on the DVD. Madhu & Janaka have been working on this track for 3 years. The DVD will feature a recently remastered version with new vocals from Madhu.

view the clip on YouTube: here

Screen shot 2009-12-31 at 11.02.48 AM

Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Spiral, Lauren and I just teared up. Thanks Janaka for bringing this track up. I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I’ve heard it. It resonates even more today then it did back then.


Rich Porter – Movement Play Performance


Thank you Laura Mendes for capturing this! I wrote about the experience of this performance here. Also, check out Anah and Rosie as they break it down.

Rich Porter

Rich Porter

This blog entry is a little experiment to see if I can make the first page of a google search for the name “Rich Porter”. If you can link to this entry, it will bump me up in the google rankings.So I’ve found that when I post a blog entry with something in the title, it tends to rank pretty high on google. I’ve always been bothered by the fact that when I look up “Rich Porter”, the main thing I get back is a notorious New York City drug kingpins who was shot and killed in 1990. You can imagine my shock the first time I heard my name in a 50 cent track on the radio (lyric’s here).

Some other places you can find Rich Porter:
Rich Porter on Twitter
Rich Porter on Facebook
Rich Porter on YouTube
Isopop facebook Fan Page

Outtakes from Flow In the Wasteland

Khan sent me a text message last Friday asking if I minded if he cut some video from the left over tape from Flow In The Wasteland footage. I knew there was some decent stuff from the beach with these beautiful hang gliders soaring in the background so I told him to go for it. To my surprise, these two beautiful clips were posted before I returned from the Priceless Campout. How would this have cut into “the wasteland” you might ask? Well, we thought there was a busted up military building at Fort Funston. Turns out there is very little left accept beautiful views and hang gliders. We shot some footage even though it wouldn’t go into the intended clip and here it is.