event / interview

Hooping with Marawa

Words by Tara Kenny, Photos by Jo Duck

Karl Lagerfeld created serious fashion hoopla with his hula hoop inspired beach bags for Chanel’s Spring Summer 2013 collection. Michelle Obama was recently snapped hooping for charity on the White House lawn. At the Kenzo party for Vogue’s Fashion Night Out in Paris last September, it became official: hula hooping is hot! Even better, according to professional hula hooper, Marawa the Amazing, “Anyone can hoop—fact!”

After falling into the mesmeric and addictive internet viewing void that is Marawa’s hula hoop video trail –at the VFNO party for Kenzo, hooping what appears to be a ring of fire on Britain’s Got Talent whilst Simon Cowell looks on, suitably impressed and even captured as a GIF holding no less than 133 hoops magically in motion like a woman possessed (in stilettos, FYI)—I’m sceptical about Marawa’s definition of “anyone”. “Everyone can do it, even if you have no rhythm. People who are generally uncoordinated and can’t dance can still hoop, because you don’t have to keep timing. I have not had a failed student! The more unco you are, the bigger hoop you need,” she insists.

Although it might be true that even the most rhythmically challenged of individuals can aspire to one day feebly twirl a single, lonesome hoop to what is likely to be hilarious effect, not just anyone can make like Marawa and reinvent the wheel (pun intended). Where the circus school graduate’s bread and butter work consists largely of performances with the renowned global circus shows La Clique and La Soiree, Marawa’s notable independent endeavours have seen her hula in many places a hoop has never been seen before.

“My point of difference is that I am way more interested in fashion and music than circus, so I’ve performed in a lot of shows where you wouldn’t really get a hula hooper, just because I’ve convinced someone that it’s been a good idea. Hula hooping is a multi million-dollar industry, but it’s very hippie. It’s all about being at one with your hoop, fluffy leg warmers and Burning Man, which is cool and has it’s place and time, but personally, I’m much more interested in a stylised performance”, she explains.

This theatrical, unorthodox approach to both hooping and it seems, life, has seen Marawa hoop everywhere from St Tropez to Nepal, Moscow and more, form a troop of lil’ hoopers dubbed Marawa’s Majorettes and recently, create a Smartphone app with the potential to teach a generation of digital natives how to hula. What’s next? “Am I going to be spinning hoops in a leotard for the next 20 years? I mean, I totally could…” she ponders. If the hoop fits?

Marawa will be holding three introductory hula classes from the 13th-15th of December in Melbourne. Bookings via http://www.marawatheamazing.com.