An eclectic group of four Valley women, the Heady Hoop Tribe aims to inspire others in the Phoenix area through the creative power of modern hoop dance.
Each member comes from a different background and experience, offering something truly unique to their craft and the surrounding community. Although none of the members are native Phoenicians, they have created a community that is unlike much of what Phoenix has seen before. They teach, perform, host events, and collaborate with local artists Valley artists.
“We want to empower people to play, exercise, meet new people and dance in a creative and fun atmosphere,” said Jessica Figurski, Heady Hoop Tribe’s director of sales. “We love working with other local artists, whether that's another flow artist or community of flow artists, musicians, painters, or poets.”
Ashley Zawrotny, education and community coordinator for Heady Hoop Tribe, says it's important to the tribe to share the positive and healing energy that hoop dance has brought with others looking for a creative outlet.
Most recently, the tribe members earned their Hoopnotica Teacher Training Certification. This certification will help the group provide quality, professional and safe hoop dance and hoop fitness classes to the community.
The tribe emphasizes that hula hooping is not just for kids. It’s a fun activity that benefits your mind, body and spirit, they contest. Hooping can be done with friends and family and is a great workout for those who are tired of going to the gym and looking for something new to learn.
“The tribe is very dedicated and passionate about what they do. They have started the beginning to something that has the potential to expand to other cities,” said Audrey De Hoyos, who has performed with the Heady Hoop Tribe.
Through their growth and establishment as a Phoenix-area staple, the tribe has also run into obstacles – although each one has been turned into a positive learning experience for its members.
When the tribe first started teaching classes and needed to move indoors for the summer, its members learned that most dance studios require liability insurance, performances require performance insurance and vending requires vending insurance. Other smaller obstacles they have run into are part of the business aspects of operating the tribe, like filling taxes, setting up their website, learning about press releases, advertising and completing contracts.
“There were times where we felt we'd take a step forward to take two steps back,” Figurski said. “Some lessons were harder than others but in the past year we have grown and learned so much. It's amazing what starting your own business will do for you, it's definitely not for everyone but I don't think any of us would have it any other way.”
Laura Weimer, events coordinator for Heady Hoop Tribe, says the tribe knew that it’s members could make something big out of their hoop passion and are blown away with how much they have accomplished this past year.
The Heady Hoop Tribe teaches beginner hooping classes, where all levels are welcome and hoops are provided, along with chakra and private hoop classes. Beginner and chakra hoop classes are $10. The tribe does various free community events along with their paid events. Some free events include free hoop jams, fire and drum full moon gatherings and occasionally they will have free performances for local businesses, fundraisers or organizations.
“I love that they incorporate meditation and dance with hooping, but also use it as a creative outlet,” said Christina Earl, who attends classes and events.
The tribe's most recent events include vending at McDowell Mountain Music Festival, performing at Bunny Land Easter Celebration for the Fairmont Scottsdale Resort and performing with Endoplasmic at Crescent Ballroom. Later this month on April 20, they are performing with Zion I in Flagstaff with acclaimed hooper Tiana Zoumer. The tribe will also be hosting a workshop with Zoumer on April 22-23 in Phoenix. May will host their first Hike and Hoop on May 5 and first Family Hoop day for Mother's day on May 12. More events can be found in their monthly newsletter or online calendar.
For more information on the Heady Hoop Tribe, please visit headyhooptribe.com.