"And all of a sudden people were beating down my door for hoop dance."
After struggling in an environment in which she was constantly forced to defend the legitimacy of studying African dance traditions, Zamor found herself at the epicenter of a dance revolution. Within three months of her first hoop dance experience, she found herself teaching group classes.
Today, the hoop dance teacher certification course is the latest addition to Zamor's hula-shake empire, which includes group classes, private lessons, instructional DVDs, and performances. It's also a crash course in running your own business.
Over three days, students learn everything they need to effectively teach a hoop dance fitness course, including how to clearly explain and demonstrate the key principles of hoop dance (squat and shimmy, very important); how to make use of imagery and metaphors ("Reach into the honey pot!"); the physiological and psychological benefits of hooping (“Did you know that the most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of a hoop hitting the floor? That's the sound of learning and growing.”); class structures (hoop jam!); and how to deal with the top five difficult situations (a cranky, clumsy reporter in your midst, perhaps). The course also leaves students with a sense of marketing savvy and all the esoterica involved in operating a small business, such as insurance, liability waivers, pricing, and property rental.
"I really respect Christabel as an artist and a business woman," says Candice Schutter, a movement facilitator and life coach from Portland. "She's given us a workable structure that can be used right away to create a thriving business."
But Zamor said she hopes the women take away much more than technical know-how. "The most important thing that I want the teachers to exude, so that other people can absorb it, is confidence," she says. "It's the key to learning hoop dance. It's a feeling. It's not something people can memorize. You just have to believe it." SFBG
The next HoopGirl teacher-training course will be in San Francisco, Oct. 6–8. To register or for more information, go to www.hoopgirl.com.