– By Dani Perez
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]estivals can be a great experience, or they can lead to unpleasant surprises. Arm yourself with these 5 of key tips to survive festival season in style.
Festivals can be very frustrating, especially with people asking to use your hoop every other minute and then being rude when you say no. It can also be difficult when you’re worried about rain getting on your hoop, people stealing your sacred circle, or stressing about how you’re going to carry it around all day.
Watch out for rude people
The first thing to be prepared for is your inevitable encounter with some very rude people. Accept the fact that some people just don’t understand hooping and they will not understand how important our little plastic circles are to us. Find courage within yourself to stand up to them and to be able to walk away without their harsh words hurting you. You are beautiful no matter what you are wearing or how you are dancing. The people who are insulting you are likely not professionals and don’t know what they are talking about. Understand that you do not have to respond to them at all. You can just continue to hoop and ignore them, they will go away. Never be concerned with their judgments when you say they can’t use your hoop. A strangers rude words are so much less painful than having a broken hoop.
Rain hates your smart hoop
When faced with the worries of rain or moisture, don’t forget a garbage bag. Make sure the bag is big enough to cover your hoop. If needed bring a few garbage bags to make sure no moisture gets in. Rain or condensation can cause your tapes to peel or even get sticky and it is not a fun thing to try and fix. If it is an LED hoop that you are carrying around, bring some electric tape. You can choose to take part of the garbage bag and tape it around the connector, or you can use just the electric tape to wrap around the edges of the connector and the buttons or any openings. It’s important to seal it up tight because any moisture that leaks in can fry the circuits. My best advised is to only hoop in wet weather if you are not concerned with your hoop being damaged. Otherwise, just avoid it.
Watch for sticky fingers
One of the biggest problems that hoopers face at festivals is theft. You leave your pretty baby out for one second to go grab a drink or use the bathroom and when you come back, she’s gone! I can understand this is so devastating knowing that some undeserving person is out there with your hoop, probably doing it harm or not even using it for it’s true purpose.
The very best way to prevent theft is to just keep it in your sight. Do not put it down to use the bathroom, don’t rest it on a wall or a tree and forget about it, and please don’t ask a stranger to hold it for a second. There are simple solutions to take a break from holding your hoop. If you’re standing up and you just don’t want to hold it on your shoulder, rest the hoop on the ground and put one foot inside with it squeezed between your ankles. That way if someone tries to yank it from you, you’re attached and they’ll have to take you with them. When you’re using the bathroom there are a few different ways to keep watch of your hoop. The first way is to have a trustworthy friend hold it.
If your hoop is small enough, take it with you into the stall or to wherever you’re doing your business. You can hang it on the hook in stalls or hold it next to you. Try not to leave it on the ground or resting above you on the stall as someone can snatch it quickly. When you’re ready to go to bed, sleep with the hoop inside the tent with you or lock it up in your vehicle. If it’s going to be sunny and hot in the morning, make sure to lock it inside of your trunk so your hoop doesn’t get damaged.
It’s very important that you nourish yourself throughout the day. Bring water and snacks if possible. You will be releasing a lot of energy from hooping and you eventually will grow tired, so make sure you have some extra fuel before you run out.
Watch Your Feet
Choose comfort over style when it comes to shoes. Your ankles, legs and bones will be so very sore at the end of the day and you must take care of your feet. Take breaks when you can or else by the end of the night, it’s likely that you will be too tired and sore to enjoy the rest of the festival. Sometimes it’s good to take a 30 minute to an hour break. It will benefit you in the long run and you won’t have to sit down everywhere for the last few hours of the festival.
Just be you
The last tip that I must give to you is to remember to be who you are. Hoop the way you enjoy it. Remember that you are there to enjoy yourself, you’re not there to give others a show. So get lost and enjoy yourself, it’s a magical moment. Feel the music and just be free. Also, don’t forget to spread the love to those who need it and to keep your circle sacred.