Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has a notably enthusiastic, and highly energetic fanbase. One key aspect of EDM culture that really stands out, and separates it from other musical subcultures, are the many props, tools, toys, or whatever else you may call them, all over the dance floor. From glow sticks, to LED gloves, and poi, the talent in the audience goes far beyond sick dance moves. These objects have always been a part of rave culture, but now more than ever, the people behind these tools are turning them into an art, so whether you’re looking at the DJ spinning records, or the person spinning balls of fire, there’s something to stimulate observers, and mesmerize the crowd in every direction your head turns.
One of the items you’re most likely to see at shows and festivals is the hula hoop. A once simple toy that everyone has attempted to use at some point in their lives, has been converted into a visual phenomenon of swirling, colorful lights, projected by incredibly talented Hoopers. Dancers have managed to swirl these hoops around, above, and behind their bodies in ways previously unheard of, and with the fancy LED lights hula hoops have become a truly incredible sights. I had the chance to ask my good friend Vicki Taylor, a seasoned hoop fanatic, a little bit about her love of this exotic, and intriguing hobby, one which she is truly gifted at performing. In her case, her inspiration to give the hoop a whirl, or a spin I suppose, was witnessing what she called “beautiful, inspiring women hooping at a show,” this was combined with her general love for performing, I’ve truly never seen someone as talented at this particular craft as Vicki Taylor.
What really struck me was her ability to explain the love for hooping with so much passion. She described how she felt safe with a stable circle around her, and no matter how much she spins, she can ground herself. This is truly more than just a normal toy because as I continued talking to her, she went on to bring up the symbolism of a never ending circle that a hoop creates. I’ve come to realize hooping is far more than a hobby, but for those who love it, it’s a spiritual experience, an experience that Vicki has almost every day.
The incredible experiences created for both performers and spectators doesn’t end with hula hoops. Many people use LED gloves or glow sticks to create insane visuals with the way they move their hands. People spin fire, and some Hoopers have specially designed hoops also lit on fire before they begin their extravagant displays of jaw dropping circle creations. Regardless of the particular toy, electronic music fans are as talented as the performers they come to see. You truly need to see these people with your own eyes to understand the skill, and passion involved.