Monday, 24 April 2017

Meet the Sparklettes : Lauren

Craig Kirkwood

A story from the life of Lauren: Sparkles Hoop Troupe

Guest Who
I fist attempted to hula-hoop whilst staying with a friend who was performing on tour with NoFit State Circus’ show Barricade in 2012 – I was awful. I gave up on my attempts to hoop until the next summer, when again I stayed with my friend, who was this time working with NoFit State’s BIANCO at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Here I met Esther Vivienne Fuge (co-founder of the welsh hoop convention, Whoop-c, along with Ellie aka Mama Hoops), who gave me lots of encouragement and started me off with some tricks to practice and others to aim for. I’d found a love for hooping and was very excited about where I could take it. I studied YouTube and learnt lots of tricks over a couple of months, just practicing in my garden. Circumstance meant that other commitments took over and I abandoned my hoop. 

Three years later, I moved to Cardiff and heard about Sparkles Hoop Troupe. I went along to one of their rehearsals and was immediately welcomed into the group; it was just weeks later that I performed my first routine with them for Sport Relief in Bute Park! I’ve had the most amazing time with the troupe since, but this is one of my best memories because it was at this point that I felt I’d become part of the team.

I really value being part of the troupe, as I’ve been able to develop some wicked skills whilst making great friends and having a laugh. I grew up doing musical theatre and a variety of dance forms and am very grateful to have been able to re-discover my love for performing in adulthood. I really enjoy working hard towards something and having a fun and supportive group to do this with is fantastic. I adore our routines and being able to share what we do is a great joy. It is through the community sprit of Sparkles that I’ve begun to explore where I can go as a performer; without direction and this nurturing environment I may have let my performing side slip by, but I can now say that performing and hooping is something that I ‘do’. 

Since joining Sparkles, I’ve also been able to transfer my hoop skills to other projects; for example, I’ve worked with writer and performer Dom Farelli to create a comedy show called The Assistants, which follows the evolution of the hoop. And I’ve also brought some of my skills from outside the world of performing to the troupe; for example, I’ve created some of the Sparkles promo videos. Hoop troupe has definitely given me a lot of confidence in my abilities and a general drive to do more!

I would recommend anyone and everyone to join Sparkles Hoop Troupe; it is a great community to be part of, where everyone is supportive and encouraging of each other’s strengths. Whether you are a beginner or advanced hooper, Sparkles will bring out your shine (cheesy but true).

You can meet Lauren this weekend at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival where she will be performing with some of our Sparklettes and Ernie, as well as teaching hula hoop workshops!

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