Who is Behind Cloud Nine Hooping?
About five years ago, Rachel saw a woman at a river festival gracefully spinning a hoop around her body and was mesmerized. She realized she never even thought to dance or try tricks with a hoop when she was a kid, and didn’t know if she could still hoop. She picked a hoop up off the ground and was surprised at how the simple movement of keeping the hoop spinning was so joyful and freeing. She was hooked.
She spent years practicing by herself in her back yard with her music, with only YouTube videos and DVDs as teachers. It seemed that no one anywhere nearby taught classes. Whenever she brought her hoop out to play, people were delighted to watch and when they tried it themselves usually said, “I haven’t tried this since I was a kid! This is so fun!” And then, “How do you do that trick where…” That’s when she realized it was up to her to bring hooping to her region–Saratoga Springs, NY and Southern Adirondacks. Her mission is to show students they can make moves they never thought possible and feel good about themselves in a way they might never have experienced.
Rachel is a certified AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) group fitness instructor and HoopGirl™ Hoop Dance teacher. In addition she has earned multiple certifications to teach outdoor sports such as whitewater canoeing and cross country skiing. She is usually also an English teacher at Saratoga Springs High School, though she is currently on leave pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing. She is also using her leave to create and grow Cloud Nine Hooping.
Why Cloud Nine?
Cloud Nine Hooping’s mission is to share the joy of hooping and offer hoop dance as a tool for transforming lives.
Using easier to spin adult hoops Cloud Nine Hooping is part of a world-wide movement that has reinvented the child’s toy hoop as a fitness sensation. At Cloud Nine Hooping, we believe that enjoying ourselves while getting in shape is only part of the potential of hooping.
Hooping brings us back into that childhood state of moving for its own sheer pleasure. It can be freeing, like dancing alone in your house. We also begin to relate to our bodies differently, moving more fluidly and holding ourselves more confidently with better posture. Focusing on the interaction between our hoops and our bodies, time and worries begin to fall away and we are fully engaged in the present moment. This is another powerful potential in hooping: the meditative quality of the practice.
Another layer is the creative and challenging dance moves possible with a hoop. Trying a new trick can feel as lighthearted as balancing a spoon on the end of your nose—silly and wondrous when it works. Yet through practice, inner changes are possible. We begin to experience a new kind of self-confidence: we feel our own competence and potential. We see a new move and though at first we don’t know how to do it, and even though it may not work the first hundred times, we have a belief that it will work. This sense of self can carry over into the rest of our lives and change how we perceive our own potentials in our careers and other life dreams.
The name Cloud Nine refers to the elated smiles evoked by hooping and a feeling of floating above cares and worries. It also reflects my goals as a teacher to help people achieve their highest potentials. My classes create a vibrant and supportive atmosphere for a workout, for dance, and for personal growth. Our dazzling hoops use the highest quality materials and delight with their beauty and ease of use.