Every Tuesday and Wednesday night, a handful of BU students gathers in a small basement gym behind the George Sherman Union. Within minutes, hula hoops, flow wands, and electronic poi balls materialize and are flying through the air as Ariella Darvish (CAS’15), president of the BU Hooping Project, teaches them how to master flow arts. Flow arts draws on both ancient and contemporary movement disciplines and includes hula hooping and toy spinning.
“Flow arts is the practice of making your body become one with your toy, and trying to make your toy do the absolute coolest things it can do,” says group vice president John Hall (CAS’15).
The club was launched in 2012 by Rose Kreditor (CAS’14) as a way for students to learn together, motivate one another, and share various flow arts techniques with fellow hooping enthusiasts. Kreditor had instantly become hooked when she was introduced to hooping the year before by another student. She bought up every hula hoop in the Boston area she could find on Craigslist and began organizing meet-ups for BU hoopers. After several months, she approached the Student Activities Office about making the BU Hooping Project an official University club.
“There is a community aspect to it that you just don’t get when you’re at home by yourself watching instructional videos on YouTube,” says Darvish, who took over as club president when Kreditor graduated. “It’s a lot easier to learn when there’s an actual person teaching you.”
On Wednesday nights, Darvish and other senior members of the club teach beginners the basics of hooping. One of the Hooping Project’s goals is to make hula hooping and flow arts accessible to anyone. Joining the club is free, although donations are accepted. Tuesday nights are reserved for club members to hone their craft, away from the cold or the confines of a dorm room. (In warm weather, members meet on Marsh Plaza for outdoor spin jams.) Music sets the mood as Darvish, Hall, and the assembled students practice routines and refine tricks. Some members even find something akin to spiritual release in these practice sessions.
“It’s kind of like yoga in a sense,” Darvish says. “When you’re flowing, it’s just you and your circle, and nobody can really tell you how to do it. And when you leave, the world starts again.”
For more information about the BU Hooping Project, contact Darvish at email@example.com.
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