Introducing Nicole Walsh Stevenson, HoopYogini™ Certified Instructor offering her powerful instruction in Vermont.
Nicole shares with us her passion for teaching, her love of movement and the power the hoop awakens in each practitioner. Included is a three song playlist.
Give us an idea of your background with teaching:
Nicole: Informally I have been a teacher for as long as I can remember, however I have been teaching formally for nine years. I started as a school teacher, and then transformed into a children’s dance instructor. I loved teaching movement so much, that it eventually led to me teaching health and fitness with hoops. I still teach pre-school part time, and travel the state of Vermont teaching students of all ages how to hoop!
How did you start hooping:
Nicole: I was first introduced to hooping in the summer of 2007. I went to a fire spinning camp with my boyfriend (now husband), and like him I was a poi spinner. I didn’t much venture into any other flow arts. That was also the first time seeing a hooper in real life. I was impressed with the tricks and tosses that I saw, but was too insecure to give it a try. As time moved on, I always had hooping in the back of my mind. I didn’t decide to act on it, until the summer of 2011. I was at a yoga and music festival in northern Vermont and saw a whole group of amazing and magical hoopers. Between their flow, grace, and costumes, I knew that I wanted in! from that day on, I have been on my hooping journey!
Give us a memory from a time when you were a student:
Nicole: I had dedicated my first summer off from work to chest hooping. I watched video after video and tried for hours upon hours, days upon days, and so on . . . I finally figured it out! I was so proud of myself I couldn’t wait to show my parents. I thought they would be so proud of me. I waited two weeks after being able to chest hoop, and drove 5 hours just to show my parents. When I go there the whole family circled around me. They were prepared to be amazed. I tried and tried with all my might, but the hoop just stayed on my waist. Everyone laughed while my face turned redder and redder. My parents went about their business while I stayed outside practicing. After 20 minutes had passed, I did it! I amazed everyone with my chest hooping. That was the day I learned the importance of warming-up before a big performance.
As a teacher, share a favorite story involving a student:
Nicole: I just recently taught a bunch of beginner hoop demo classes for a health and wellness conference in both Killington, VT and Stowe, VT. Both conferences lasted a day and had me teaching 3 classes to groups ranging in size from 60 to about 100 people. After class, there were many people coming up and thanking me and telling me about their experience. One woman came up to me and said,”… you know; I am older than 60, and have never been able to hula hoop. I got it today because of you, thank you so much.” She then went on to explain that her resolution is to do 14 things that she has never done before in the year 2014, and hooping was her first. I walked away feeling like I move mountains.
What do you love about HoopYogini™:
Nicole: From a business standpoint, HoopYogini™ appeals to a wider audience. I have had more new students in my HoopYogini™ classes then any other hoop class I offer. What I love about it from a personal standpoint is the confidence it has given me in my life. I have traveled alone to places I never thought, and walked around truly loving and being my truest form of myself.
What do you love about hooping:
Nicole: What I love about hooping is how each hooper has their own style and flare. I know and have seen many great hoopers and feel as though each one has such different flow and expression. When I compliment people about how great they are, it is truly that. I love to see what story they are going to tell and how they are going to tell it. Many times when you are in the hoop; if you truly allow yourself to let go, your body tells you what it needs.
What is your message as a teacher and hooper:
Nicole: Hooping in general has brought me to a new place in my life. A place where self acceptance, happiness, and play are the ruling life values. If something isn’t fun, why do it? If you wake up feeling like a rubber and about to snap, you need to make positive change. Hooping allowed me to beak the bad habits of depression and self destruction. That’s why I want to share hooping with the world!
Nicole’s Three Song HoopYogini™ playlist:
~ Evening Sun by Pretty Lights
~ Street Corners by Wu-Tang Clan
~ Raindrops by Cillo
Learn more about Nicole:
Learn more about HoopYogini™: