Saturday, April 12, 2014

How to Prepare for a Festival

I've been to about 6 festivals now. Playthink Movement Festival x 2, Flow Camp x 2, Florida Flow Festival, and Kinetic Fire Festival. So what should everyone bring to a festival? Here is what I bring:

Sleeping Arrangements:
-stakes (cause I've lost a few)
-Sun shade
- Tarps (I never seem to have enough). Lately I've been attaching tarps around my sun shade to give me a little more protection from sun and rain.
-Sleeping bag. I really believe this is a must have. I get really cold easy. And any of the times that I've not used one, I've regretted it.
-Pillow. Yes, I have forgotten a pillow before. Although I've started to just bring a small little couch pillow. Then it doesn't touch the sides of the tent.
-string cause I use that for the tarps
-Mat for tent entrance. Oh yes I have gotten a welcome mat before for my tent
-air mattress/cot if inclinded

-Capris, shorts, leggings. Whatever legwear you are comfortable with. I think one year at Flow Camp, I wore just leggings the entire time. It was cold in the morning and then I could just roll those up to create capris later. Or I would change. You won't regret some nice jeans/longer leg-things when it's cold.
-Shirts. Remember you may be hula hooping or fire dancing, so those natural fabrics will be great. Whatever you are comfortable with.
-Costumes! I have a variety of little hats and masks to make any outfit a costume. I also have some sort of belt things that also make things fun and dressy.
-Underwears/bra/whatever you wear underneath your clothes.
-Pjs. Remember I get cold? I usually sleep in 2 layers of clothes plus warm fuzzy socks

-Rainboots. Dewy mornings= wet pants. And it rained all of Kinetic last year. I lived in them. Which reminds me I need to buy a new pair before Kinetic Fire this year.
-Whatever you like to run around in. Vibrams, tennis shoes, whatever.
-Sandals. For those showering times.
-socks cause you never know when you might need some

Pack/sack/the rest of the things things: 
-Spray glitter
-lip balm
-camp chair
-hat/things to protect your face. I like sun visors. I'm a dork
-fan (my mom used to get me a portable one with batteries but at kinetic, I realized a random hand fan was SO much cooler)
-gogirl/portable toilet seat covers
-TONS OF BABY WIPES. Travel ones and a whole pack for my tent area.
-hairbrush, if you are inclined.
-makeup, if you are inclined.
-did I mention rain gear?
-some camping soap
- shampoo, bodywash, pouf/rag/whatever, towel
-toothbrush,toothpaste and mouthwash
-headlamp flashlight thing. I really want to get a fancier one this year. My mother will take certain times of headlamps and make a flashlight bracelet. She always has one handy.
--This is the type my mom gets me:
----this is the one I really want with pivoting head:
-various flashlights/lamps/etc. I found ceiling lamps over the last year. They are circular and will light most of a tent fairly well. I got one for my tent and outside.
-decorative tent things. I really like the $1 chinese lamps from dollar stores. I can light one before dark and that glowing orb can help me find my campsite, especially when it's crowded/more tents have popped up since you left the campsite. Things look different in the dark.
-Extra batteries. Cause something is bound to happen yo.
-Baby powder. Anti chafing is so cool. Actually, I love the gold bond's that you can get in travel packs. When it's 90 degrees, go to the bathroom/tent and just powder that on. It's like quick mid-day air conditioning really quick!
-backpack/fanny pack. I take both and switch between the both.
-Toilet paper and travel toliet paper. I take at least 2 travel toilet papers (they come in little plastic to keep it together) and at least 1 roll of toilet paper. You won't regret it when you go to the porta potty at 2 am.
-all the things in zip lock bags!
-sunglasses, contacts, glasses, all that noise
-Hand sanitizer.
-bandana to wipe sweat off yo face
-laminated schedule x a few
-if you are a menstruating person, emergency period stuffs. I love cloth pads and cups though. Great for camping
-Extra sunscreen cause you'll run out or may want to share.
-pen, notebook, things like that.
-this is really random but something to do while sitting down. I am lame. I am the person that doesn't mind a festival that may sit out time for siestas and lunches. But when you are chilling at your campsite and have no friends, are you going to sit and watch the trees (okay, I have done that). But seriously, a book or something to do productively. I have actually taught someone to knit at my campsite before one year.
-camera, extra batteries and memory cards.
-Wattttter. I like lipton jugs and a few of the big gallons to use as a hand washing station
-tables for the camp site
-EARPLUGS and maybe sleeping aide.
-if you have taken an allergy medicine within 6 months, bring it JUST IN CASE.
-Obviously any medicine you depend on
-Print directions to the location and BACK. Print directions to the nearest convenience store and gas station. Store this folder of different directions where you can reach it (not buried under the camping stuff). Because if you wake up needing emergency stash of something, you can't hear and stuff, you may not be able to find a walmart or something. A lot of places like this barely have service and if you can't get out of a hole to GET service, you can't use your gps.

-mini camping stove
-pot, skillet
-food in a cooler  (any tips on great festival food? Although I am a fan of beef jerky)
-plate, spoons, forks
-paper towels
-trash bags (take your trash with you people!)
-energy drinks
-cooking spray
-extra tables
-can opener if needed
-popping popcorn
-basic first aid stuffs (for me just some ointment and bandaides.  I don't go out expecting to get bit by 30 rabid racoons)

Flow life:
-Obviously bring your flow prop. Hoops, if you can bring a few different sizes. I taught a girl to hula hoop with my big flammer hoop at the camp site before. Sometimes you will be able to borrow.
-LED props and charging stuff. You may find someone that has the capabilities to charge it.
-The props I have: hula hoops (regular and mini), fans, flags, poi, flow wand, contact juggling ball
-Fire safe clothing. Natural stuffs like cottons and wools.
-If you plan to spin fire, BRING FUEL. If you are traveling, buy your fuel at home cause you won't find any near the place.
-Be willing to safety! And have a safety! Spin fire SOBER. Go to fire safety classes and listen! (and always double check your fire equipment between burns)
-good things to have that I never have: portable musicy equipment to rock out the campsite or stuff.
-WATCH.  For 95% of these festivals you can't use your cell phone (no service/electricity)
-travel alarm clock (remember noooooo cell)

Speaking of porta potties. Only use your head lamp when you go to the toilet. You don't want to sling the good flashlight your mom got you in the toilet at 4 am. Which I did at Playthink last year.

I personally have to get new capris and batteries for this year for all my lamps.  I really don't know if this is everything. I feel like I am forgetting stuff!  Since I haven't updated my blog in a century, I doubt anyone will read this. Boo.

Friday, October 25, 2013


So it's my birthday this weekend.  If you want to help me sort out my life any, a great birthday present would be some cash.   So follow the paypal linkage!

And I want to say that the hooping community is SO amazing.  The pouring love I've received has touched my heart.  It makes me feel so much better cause I've been feeling so fragile lately.  I believe I am 99% sure that I've gotten good news today.  I mean there could be issues that could rise up.  But we've already hit the one hump but my mother is AMAZING.  She's offered to help me out and overcome this.  I feel so much better.  Maybe it's because after a few days, I realized I am making the right decision.   Maybe it's the love and support from my readership (even the ones who offered to be references!).  Maybe it's because I feel like the biggest hump may be taken care off.  Now the only stress I have is to pack.  I hate packing. :(

Thank you again everyone!  I love you all.  I've actually have hooped a little this week.  And it was an amazing 10 minutes.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Things are Changing...

I don't really know how to write this post.  Some people will have seen this post coming and others, not so much.  It's not really about hooping either. I made a more detailed post of this blog but it seemed to have caused issues. The original post was only up for 30 minutes which makes me shocked that there were people that actually read it in the time that it was posted.  I know I am not posting as regularly as I used to.  I am hoping that once I am settled, that will change.  I keep listening for songs that would make a good video but I can't find that perfect song.  Songs for me to hoop/tape are songs that pull the emotions and the hooping out of me.  Does that make sense?  I

So here is the big non-hooping news:

 I know I have my issues.  I have made my mistakes.  Many many mistakes. I am not the best cleaner in the world, I'm grumpy, I am very sensitive and more.  I have more growing up to do.  I've made mistakes.  I know this.  Either way it has finally came to the climax:  I can't be married anymore.  I've been thinking this for a while. I even told one friend of mine months ago that I didn't see it not exploding by 5 years.  So here I am admitting that I failed at being married.  This is coming from a person that said, "I'd rather be together miserable than get a divorce."  But I never realized how awful it could be living with a person that you didn't feel liked you for being you.  I feel ashamed and afraid I am making the wrong decision.  It's scary.  I have some people I've worked with that are excited for me because they realized how trapped I felt.  One girl said, "you need to find some hippie guy or something that's covered in tats and stuff."  Hahaha.

So, it seems that my birthday and Christmas presents this year is essentially getting the fuck out of dodge. I have a plan. A co-worker recommended the place she lives in which is near a few of my friends. I'd rather get out of my current town anyways. It includes a washer and dryer in the apartment which is a huge plus and they allow animals. Hopefully if I can scrap everything together, I am hoping that I will get the apartment and be moved in by December. Everything has happened so suddenly that it will be hard for me. I have to get a microwave and basics for my apartment. I won't have a TV (but that's okay) or living room furniture. But all really need is a bed and I should have that. I've already made a budget for when I get moved into the apartment. I plan to save save save. The next few months, I'll be kicking up the overtime (which is what I have been doing for the last 3 except for October due to illness). Hopefully I will still be able to make it to some festivals this year. No matter what, I will be going to playthinkfest. I keep panicking that I am forgetting something off my "to get list" and stuff. I'm really emotional. Even if this was my idea, I'm still hurting over this decision. I could cry at a bottom of a dime right now. I'm hoping once I have a good bit of savings, I can start bellydance classes again or take a few classes (spanish, ASL??).

 I was really stressed yesterday when I was looking at other apartments and a lot of them require cats to be declawed. Barf. Barf. Barf. I am not EVER declawing my Morgyn. That is DISGUSTING. But I think it will all work out. I hope. At least if I can get a deposit of some sort by next week, it will. They said they'd work with me. And unfortunately all this stress is bumming me out about my birthday. I'm going to be 26 years old in a week. So yeah, happy (early) birthday to me. I just realized how much I have awful timing since this is just days before our anniversary and my birthday.

Monday, July 1, 2013


What am I up to now a days?  I'm participating in Camp Nanowrimo and I'm teaching myself Esperanto.

What is esperanto?  Esperanto is a constructed language neutral international language created by L L Zamenhof in the end of the 19th century.  The idea behind it was have an easier second language to encourage communication.  It was never meant to replace another native language but to be nice second language.

Would you like to learn Esperanto? Heres some resources to allow you to teach yourself:

  • A free correspondence course through email:
    There is also a snail mail version but I think it's just like this one except through the mail.  I'm currently on lesson five of this course.
  • Computer program that's interactive and such. You can also find a tutor for this one, too.
    I am also using this.  I'm on lesson 4 of this course.  I only just started the tutor on this one.
  • There are mutliple ways to navigate through this one.  I started with the bildoj kaj damandoj.  From what I can tell, it's a poor man's version of rosetta stone.  Then, I found the correspondence course and kurso de esperanto.  After a day or two of that, I tried to tackle Ana Pana which I was able to do after a couple days of more work.  It seems with Ana Pana, I need to go over it a few times/days and then I can grasp it.  Ana Pana also has a tutor ability.
  • is a great resource to find other esperantists.

Other than that, I have some bad news to share.  When I was at PlayThink, I found out that John had lost his job at work.  I'm the sole provider now.  It seems that I probably will not make it to Flow Camp this year even though it made me cry when I found out.  I also had a great idea which I tested last November for a class I wanted to teach.   I've been spending the last few weeks thinking to myself, "if I can tough it out for the next few months, I'm sure John will have found himself a new job and I can celebrate and spin off all this pain at Flow Camp."  I even already knew I had the time off of work!  Unfortunately at this time, I cannot guarantee that I will have the funds to buy my ticket in time for camp.  So it's 99% scrubbed from my schedule. Other than that, I feel like I've let my personal hoop/flow toy practice fall to the way side.  I just feel so burdened and claustrophobic in my own house that I don't feel like spinning.  Plus I'm having to pick up more hours at work.  Yes, I know the hoop can heal but right now I just feel like being lazy (and maybe a bit woe-is-me). (and I know people have gone through this before and survived and I will survive, etc but can I just feel crappy and stressed a bit?)

  That's one of the reasons I decided to start writing again and learning esperanto.  I may not be able to achieve anything I flippin' want in this life but I can still continue on making myself better.  It's given me such a thrill to be able to learn again.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My First Performance at PlayThink

This weekend was PlayThink Movement Festival and it was amazing.  Fairies, love and movement abounded everywhere.  This was also my first performance.

I want to walk you through it.  My song was New Kids on the Block "Remix."  So I walked onto stage acting all scared, nervous, wall flower, etc.  I was dressed in an ugly outfit.  As the music started and I started my pantomime, I thought, "I'm glad I'm supposed to act all nervous and stuff.  Cause I am!"  My heart was beating like a drum.  I love to speak in public but hooping in front of hoopers....most much better than me...was terrifying.  A random speech is something that isn't abstract.  But art is so much more raw.  Something that people can either connect to or otherwise.  I was scared I'd drop the hoop, no one would understand my story or more.  I "tripped" over the off LED hoop in front of me.  I turned it on and started.  Once the hoop was in my hands, my worries dissipated slowly.   The big part of my performance was transforming into a confident, sexy lady.  Which involved removing the ugly dress and sweater.  Have you ever removed clothes while hooping? It can be hard!

 There was still that nagging in the back of my head but I just tried to feel the music and move.  I hadn't practiced or hooped in weeks due to a new tattoo.  But I had been telling myself just to do my thing.  Nothing super fancy at least.  I dropped the hoop multiple times and parts of my costume fell off in the middle of it (a hair bow I borrowed).  My palm spins weren't as fast as I usually can get them.  I remember the entire time that I was dancing around that I can't step on this girl's hair bow.  Afterwards, I was gulping down water so fast and my heart was racing.  My lungs were burning and I couldn't get my breath fast enough.  I did try to give it my all.

Someone asked me how did it went?  I'm not really sure because I'm my worst critic.  I don't know what the audience thought overall.    And I am hoping someone will post a better version of this soon!  Half of my PlayThink friends missed it!

Although I do have video of my performance, it is very dark.  You can't really see much.  But here it is:

Here was my home test which you can see much better in my very messy living room (I made home tests of every version of performance I was thinking of and showed two people for their input.  These were people that I trusted to give me feedback that this was worthy to perform.  One was a veteran hooper and the other was a baby hooper):

In the next few days, I'll post more about PlayThink.  I honestly can't right now.  In the last week, so much crap has happened to me that I just need more space.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

PlayThink is COMING!

PlayThink Movement Festival is coming! Yes, I haven't blogged any. If I could blog via my thoughts, I'd be golden. Either way, I am so beyond excited about PlayThink. There is still time for everyone to get a ticket! So, what might Shannon be taking this year?

Classes I am thinking of:

  • Poi Stalls
  • Poi 101
  • Fans: More than Fanning
  • Fan: Dance
  • Intro to Contact Staff
  • Deciding between intermediate fire eating and intermediate contact staff.  
  • Fire Safety
  • Intro to fire eating  (I figure the more I can practice doing it, the more comfortable I will be with having flame in my mouth. shudddup)
  • Flow Wand
  • Whip Crackin'
  • Bellydance basics
  • Intro to stilts
  • Virgin burn for my poi or staff on Saturday
  • And maybe others. I haven't decided! 
I am also teaching a class. I am teaching Kids Hoop! Based on my experiences with 4-H and YMCA and all that fun stuff.  Either way, I am getting so amped for Playthink.  I feel like Playthink is my festival home.  It's exactly what I want in a festival for the most part.  I love all the other festivals but there is something magical about Playthink. Maybe it's because I feel like Paige will listen to input from everyone.  It's a magical experience.

So now that I am getting used to the festival thing, what would I pack?  I am forever an overpacker.  If you've never been to a fest, this might give you a few things to help facilitate your packing.

  Here's my list of things:
  • Pants (1-2 pair. It gets cold at night)
  • Shorts/capris (enough for most days)
  • Underwears/bras/socks/whatever
  • PJs and warm winter socks for night/layers again
  • ear muffs (my short hair makes my ears get cold at night)
  • Maybe a hat to sleep in
  • Jacket/rain jacket
  • Costume clothes
  • Shoes (variety.  I like rainboots for dewy mornings or rain)
Home Away from Home Things:
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag is a MUST. I have avoided sleeping bags for years but let me tell you, it makes a difference.
  • Extra blanket
  • Sunshade thing if you have one.  
  • Camping chair
  • Camping table
  • Foods
  • Canteens/water bottles (I really love the gallon jugs from lipton)
  • Energy giving stuffs (I like monster rehabs and vitamin waters with electrolytes) 
Other stuffs:
  • Sunscreen
  • Bugspray
  • Trash Bags
  • hat/visor
  • Camp stove/cooking utensils/eating utensils
  • Camp soap/paper towels
  • Toilet paper/campers toilet paper
  • Shower supplies/toiletries/stuff like that
    • portable toilet seat covers
    • GoGirl (portable female urination device)
  • Glow Sticks
  • Pen/paper
  • Lighter
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Batteries/Camera/Camera card
  • Watch
  • An extra class schedule/map
Prop fun!
  • Hoops
    • LED hoop
      • Charger or extra batteries
    • Fire Hoop
    • Fire hoop tools (quick wicks)
    • Day hoop
    • Minis
    • Maybe other hoops?
  • Poi
    • Fire Poi
    • Day poi/sock poi
    • LED poi (I LOVE SpinBalls. SO soft and so cheap)
  • Fans
  • Flow wand
    • Long string flow wand
    • Short string fire flow wand
    • Short string LED flow wand
      • Charger
  • Belly dance belt/veils
  • Flags
  • Contact staff
    • Practice staff
    • Fire contact staff
  • Yoga mat/blanket and whatever yogis need
Are those all the props I have?  I always forget something (it seems to alway be my contact juggling ball).  Either way, these are a few of the things that I pack.  What about you?

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Daily Dance reminder

If you follow FYEAHHOOPING, you would have seen this picture this weekend:
That is my latest set of ink to celebrate my 2 year anniversary and some other personal milestones. This was done in Lexington, KY at Bleed Blue tattoo. Jamie did the tattoo and she was fantastic. It took her about 20-30 minutes to draw/set it up and about an hour or so to tattoo it. Hooping changed my life. Even if I stopped hooping tomorrow, it would never change the fact that everything changed when I found the hoop. It's sore in a few spots but other than that I feel like it's healing fantastically. I really want the bulk of the healing to be done like now. (you hear that body, HEAL!) I only shared this on tumblr and it was featured on FYEAHHOOPING. It's also gotten about 45 notes/reblogs/likes.