This week, one of our newer Sparklettes, Louise tells us all about her journey on the train to Fabulousland!
I'm fairly new to Cardiff, I came here late November after travelling around South America and I wanted to find a new city I could settle down in and make my new home. I'm originally from Bath so I chose Cardiff, as it was affordable and near family!I joined the troupe pretty much as soon as I unpacked my bags after moving here! I remember messaging Ellie about potential hula hoop classes in the area and she messaged back asking if I'd be interested in joining a hoop troupe...the obvious answer was definitely!I started hula hooping approximately two and a half years ago. I'd recently graduated from University and I was living at home without any of my friends nearby and feeling pretty low. My old hoop teacher and friend Debby Earle posted an advertisement on Facebook for hula hoop classes in the area, and I decided it would help if I got myself out of the house and tried something new. I absolutely loved it from the very first lesson and it quickly became the highlight of my week, I have a lot of hobbies but it's the only thing I've really stuck with for such an extended period of time.There was the obvious incentive to join Sparkles Hoop Troupe because I like to hula hoop, but for me it was mainly about meeting a group of people with similar interests and finding my niche in a new city.I honestly love everything about the Troupe, as I mentioned I wanted to find my niche in a new city and I found the Hoop Troupe to be an extremely welcoming, non-judgmental group of people who accepted me as part of the team from day one. For that reason I've found the move to a new city relatively easy, I felt like I fit in straight away and it's really helped whenever I miss my old home in Lincoln. It's hard to believe I've only been part of the Troupe for just over four months, it feels I've known everybody here for years!Being a Sparklette has definitely helped me to develop the performance side of my hooping, although I've been hula hooping for years I used to be extremely self conscious of hooping in front of an audience. I would post videos of my hula hooping online, but as soon as someone would stand in front of me to watch in person I'd either stop hooping or feel really self-conscious. There's no pressure to perform in the Sparklettes, but it makes sense to put all that practice and drilling routines to good use! I was really nervous before my first performance with the Sparklettes, but it went fine and showed me there's nothing to fear. If you're enjoying yourself, it shows.
I have a few favourite memories from Troupe, but if I had to choose one I would say the moment Mathilde finally managed to teach myself and Ellie how to do a three beat weave with two hula hoops. I've been trying to learn that move for two years, Ellie for five years, so we were both very excited!
Photo by Craig KirkwoodMy best advice for anyone wanting to join the hoop troupe would be to go ahead and do it! We have a vast range of abilities in the group, so there's no need to feel self-conscious if you can't do any fancy tricks. I've made so many friends through Sparkles Hoop Troupe and I met my current housemate through there, so I'm really grateful I decided to come along to practice for the first time.There isn't any Sparkles Hoop Troupe gossip that I know of...if anyone knows of any though please tell me, I love gossip!