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This article contains the best fabrics to use, fabrics to avoid, and community approved stores.
Skin-to-skin contact with the hula hoop (or any prop!) is preferred, but finding the right clothes to wear while dancing is still important. Clothing that is deemed safe for fire spinning can also prevent a festival catastrophe - and a party foul that can be very harmful!
NATURAL FIBERS ARE YOUR FRIEND
Cotton is a natural fabric. Most doctors recommend women and men alike to wear it as often as possible. The fibers in cotton are breathable, making it a great choice for hot temperatures.
If fire spinning is something you have not yet tried, cotton is recommended as the most fire safe fabric(Safety Clothing). Denim is also a good choice for fire spinning if you are uncomfortable with exposing your legs during a performance.
Some more materials that cling best to the hoop include linen, hemp, and other natural fiber clothing.
WHAT YOU WEAR MATTERS
Not only is the material which you wear while performing or flowing for fun crucial, the amount of clothing and what articles you choose are just as important. Many tricks require skin-to-hoop contact to properly execute and practice.
Shorts are great for drilling thigh and knee hooping. Bathing suits are also highly recommended; as this is as much skin-to-hoop contact you can get with your plastic circle! Your hoop will stay around your body and slip much less when practicing in a bathing suit. Midriff tops, such as crochet tops, are also a wonderful choice for waist skin-to-hoop contact. Short sleeve cotton shirts are best for shoulder contact. And every hooper appreciates the tank top.
Stretch pants are ideal while hooping. Just remember that natural fibers cling better than synthetic material.
Lightweight shoes with leather soles are the most recommended shoe to allow for quick movements and transitions. Tennis shoes are only recommended if your feet require the extra support while dancing. If in doubt, moccasin it out! Flat shoes are the highest recommended general type of shoe for prop artists, aside from no shoes.
Just as some articles of clothing can enhance your performance or flow, other pieces may take away from your craft.
Polyester and synthetic fibers
Non-stretchy or multi-layered clothing
These items can stall the hoop from moving up and down the body, are dangerous to use with fire, and generally limit your options in flow.
Jewelry can obviously get in the way of movements or become damaged during your performance so many suggest decorating the body with jewels and other non-hanging items. Theater make-up lasts for many hours and is a highly recommended decorative source for a performer.
Although you may believe your gear selections are the best, be sure to take into account the environmental conditions in which you will be. Many suggest wearing the hair up in some sort of fashion, due to overheating on stage and the typical high temperatures in the summer months. Ponytails may get in the way of some movements; so choosing a braid or a high bun may be the most suitable option. Wind conditions may also make visibility and remaining stylish while performing difficult.
QUALITY CLOTHING STORES FOR PROP SPINNERS:
Indika & Citiva Creationz
Indika & Citiva Creations is a hoop and clothing store offering all organic clothing and materials for your next performance. A long time producer and shop owner, Jess Harmon is probably one of the most earth conscious producers in the flow clothes market right now. She uses all organic materials, ships with recyclable boxes, buys in bulk to lessen shipments, built a brand new solar powered workshop in her backyard- and the clothes are beautiful to boot. Eco-conscious is clearly within her mantra, and you will be constantly impressed with the creations she has to offer.
Harmonic Threads is an Etsy shop that provides customizable flow and performance gear. Opening her shop in 2007, Michigan native Olive Marie began a company that is well known throughout the flow community. Being a hoop performer herself, her insights and designs are easily maintained and can be worn in a variety of materials, such as cotton spandex and cotton Lycra. These natural fibers will guarantee your body’s optimal health while performing for hours at your next gathering or performance.
Sweetass Designs is an Etsy shop based out of Vancouver, Canada providing customizable dance wear and performance wear since 2010. With a degree in cinematography and a passion for sewing and fashion design, Nina Jones provides a unique line of flow and belly dance gear that is a cotton spandex blend with lace embellishments.
Umbalove is an Etsy store founded in 2013 that provides flow and performance clothing. Umba, meaning "sister" in Balinese, is also the word for “create” in Swahili. Shop owner Leesah has gone above and beyond to bring her worldly experiences to her clothing collection. Her sleek style hugs close to the body and provides ultimate comfort. The intricate designs woven into the back of the dresses and tops are unique and a wonderful variation to other tops of its kind.
Synergy Clothing is another widely vended performance and yoga store that will surely be seen at a festival near you. Their versatility in design allows for not only casual dance but for the professional world. True to their brand name Synergy creates fashionable and comfortable clothing. The organic, breathable fabrics of these items allow for long wear and your body will thank you for it, especially in warm temperatures!
Zhen Nymph is a clothing website dedicated to providing fire-safe natural materials for your next performance. Beginning with her love of sewing, store owner Henn focuses on comfort in her clothing line. Henn regularly practices yoga and silent mediation. Henn began selling her clothing as she travelled around Europe and Asia. The styles and collective travel experiences bring artistic diversity to a high-quality product.
Carbon38 is a multi-faced online store offering luxurious, upscale brands for yoga and flow clothing for the individual with an active lifestyle. Many of the printed pants you find hug tight to the skin, perfect for practicing for your next hoop or yoga session. Many of the items are also made of spandex, which store owners Katie Warner Johnson and Caroline Gogolak are no strangers to. The duo met in ballet class during training before reconnecting in the dining halls at Harvard University. Warner Johnson has since emerged as one of the nation's most-chronicled trainers, shaping the bodies of Emmy Rossum and Demi Moore.
Onzie is a spandex hot-yoga clothing company that provides high-end graphic leggings for the hot yoga lover and flow artist alike. The graphic prints utilized are mystical and sure to create infinite outfit possibilities for your next festival. Created in southern California by a 20-year-old Bikram yogi, creating clothing best worn when hot or sweating is crucial for the avid hot yoga lover. Spandex also allows the sweat to roll right off of your body, which is always ideal when venturing around a festival. Whether you prefer to stand out with printed yoga pants or simply wear a solid color, Onzie offers a wide diversity of prints and options for all hot movement lovers.
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Wearing natural fibers and still dropping the hoop? Check out our Guide to Hoop Grip instead!
This article was written by Ashley Husk,
A member of Infinite Circles Community and IC Media Teams.
Cover Image Credits: Urban Street-wear from Benjamin Galli on Flickr