Yes you read right, Kuwait!!! In December 2014, Flowground has started the The Arabian Hoop Revolution, and was the Winner of 2015 Hoopie Award Video of the Year!

Looks like things have kicked off and Kuwait’s caught the hoop fever, spread by our lovely Dalal Al Mohanna, a fellow Flowground fairy, and one of the most beautiful princesses of the desert, I have ever come across. Dalal has a very delicate flow, it almost feels like she’s fluttering on air when she’s playing around with the hoop and I can personally watch her for hours.

Dalal promised us some special videos specifically made for us so we can get a glimpse of her magic. For now, though, we’ll have to make do with her mesmerising pictures and enchanting words. However, if you’re as impatient as I am, check out her instagram for some sneak peeks!

Dalal flows like a soldier. She means business with the hoop. And with her choice of weapon she’s recruiting, what she called, in her words “an army of hooping goddesses”. And I can’t think of a better hoop warrior to build such an army of goddesses. But enough of my ramble, let’s see what Dalal has to say!


IMG_0216

Photo courtesy of Farah AlRasheed

1) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from? Where you grew up? What is your profession?

I’m from Kuwait, I was born in ‘92.
I grew  up in a wonderful home with big gardens that had rabbits & pigeons  under a lemon tree, & peacocks sometimes puppies, lizards, and  tortoises around palm trees. I spent most of my time outside with them watching the clouds pass by.
I currently hold a BA in anthropology and minored in international relations.
For  the time being, I am slowly fighting social stigmas by giving hoop dance workshops, doing yoga, & traveling as much as I can until I start my Masters.

2) How did you start hula hooping?

I’ve  always loved dancing, since I was a child, & danced at home  whenever there was music. My mother used to put on belly dancing music  and record me crazy dancing in a tutu. As I grew older I used to lose  myself dancing at my friends’ birthday parties.

As more time passed,  & I got into university in 2010 there was no more room or space in  my life to dance. Not only is Kuwait not dance-friendly, but the focus in my life has shifted: university took over, and life  took me on a series of roller coaster rides. In 2012 my widowed mother got sick  and I had to take care of her through the hardest months of our life until she passed away in 2013.

Turbulent months of grief and readjustment swept over and through them I came across a video of a  hooper on Instagram.

I was completely blown away. It was magical and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I followed this enchanting creature and  watched her flow and hoop for months on instagram. One day in the summer  of 2014, I decided “that’s it, i’m getting a hoop” and went on a short mission to find a hoop in kuwait. I found one. I was obsessed and it  became my semi-secret hobby. In the safety of my bedroom and around my 7 cheshire cats, I hooped and hooped and danced and hooped and spun myself  into a magical place of freedom, flow, and unconditional love.

It  probably took me weeks to be able to just spin the hoop around my waist,  let alone learn the enchanting flowy tricks of the sorceress of a  hooper I found on instagram.
I focused more on flow and just dancing  with the hoop, attempting and creating more moves as I went. I’d watch  different hoopers dance, I’d get inspired & try to add a sprinkle of  their dances into mine.

It slowly became my not-so-secret hobby & I shared it with my amazing and encouraging friends & family.
Months after that, with inspiration & encouragement, I started teaching.

IMG_0219

Photo courtesy of Farah AlRasheed

3) What does hooping mean to you? How does it influence your life? What positive changes did it bring about?

As I stated earlier, life was a little stormy prior to picking up the  hoop. The hardships gave me a nagging need to escape, release, &  self express. Hooping became a place for me to go after having a crazy study night, it became a shelter for me  to go when life became even stormier, it was a magical dimension that I enter to become my honest and complete self. It became a platform for to me to think & grow.

Another amazing thing the hoop  taught me was to be conscious of my body. Before hooping I felt physically weak and suffered from lower back pains. I started yoga a  year into hooping, and the combination is spectacular. It makes me feel  stronger, healthier, more graceful, more balanced, more centered and connected, and of course, happier.

Through the hoop I met  amazing and beautiful people that I will forever cherish in my heart,  both in Kuwait, & especially in Dubai. Teeba created a beautiful  world that i’m so lucky to be a part of. The hoopers in Dubai are my number 1 flow-fam. I love the sense of community  that comes with hooping. As a person who comes from a background of  “lone-wolfery”, it was definitely a blessing, & a breath of fresh air that fills my heart with love and smiles.

IMG_1532

Photo courtesy of Farah AlRasheed

4) How much time do you spend hooping daily/weekly?

Every morning when I wake up and almost every night before I sleep, & almost always in between.

5) What is your favourite music to hoop to?

Good music of any kind. I usually over-hoop to earworms.

6) How many hoops do you own?

A lot….. & I want more.
I mainly hoop with a couple of my 30″ polypros though.

IMG_1533

Photo courtesy of Farah AlRasheed

7) What is your favourite hula hoop to hoop with and why?

My  favorite hula hoop is the first real hoop that I ordered & owned. I  got it a YEAR into my hoop journey. Its a 30″ holographic polypro. Its  special because I ordered it from my muse (Rachel Sullivan), the hooper I  found on Instagram. Its perfect & beautiful & magical.
My other favorite hoop is a beautiful teal 30″ polypro that was gifted to me by my first hoop sister M.

8) Who is your biggest hoop inspiration?

Rachel Sullivan (@danceswithcircles). I hope to meet her one day to thank her for being my inspiration and muse.

My students are also my muses because they remind me of my beginning journeys and their will and curiosity to learn is inspiring

9) Have you gone to any hoop retreats? If yes- can you share your experiences with us? Do you have a favourite retreat and why?

Not yet, but I plan on going to one next spring.

IMG_1530

Photo courtesy of Farah AlRasheed

10) What is your most memorable hoop memory? Tell us the story.

Meeting  my first hoop sister, M & flowing with her. I’d been a lone wolf  for over a year, and after a series of synchronistic events
I found  myself traveling to India with strangers and it turns out I was  traveling with the only other hooper’s sister.
When I got back to  Kuwait I met her, we flowed together & she gifted me my first “real”  polypro hoop and gave me so much love & technical knowledge about hoops and hooping. She was amazing and such a perfect hooping  ambassador/magical being. We also spun fire that day & it felt  magical sharing my passion with someone that completely and utterly  understood it.

Another magical moment I found with the hoop is through teaching. The sparkle & I see in my students eyes once they  get the trick is priceless. Seeing them in the meditative state of flow  where they’re one with the hoop makes my heart burst! I love the feeling! Its exhilarating & addictive. I feel like I’m literally  sharing my happiness with other people and it feels very rewarding &  very special.

A third magical moment happened recently, I went to Dubai for a hooping business trip and stayed with the beautiful fairydust fairy, Rana. The experience was heartwarming, and her whole being is utterly energizing and inspiring, but what was even crazier to me is that she MAKES HOOPS. & she made a couple of them for me, in front of me. It was crazy to witness the making of something that I utterly love and enjoy.

Magical moments with hoops never end though..

Every performance, every encounter I had with hoopers was magical.

IMG_0221

Photo courtesy of Farah AlRasheed

11) Have you faced any challenges hula hooping? If yes please elaborate.Because  i’m a self-taught hooper who just went with the flow, I didn’t know  some of the basic things about hooping, like hooping both directions.
After  over 6 months of intense hooping everyday in one direction, I started  feeling random pains in my body, especially my already weak back.
It  took me a while to make the connection but once I did and after the  initial strangeness of hooping on my odd side, the pains went away and I  felt balanced and stronger (yoga also helped with this).

I  also got tennis elbow (or hooper’s elbow) from hooping too hard &  too much in my beginning (not so balanced) days. That condition lasted  for weeks & gave me a great lesson in learning how to be mindful with my body & learning my limitations.

12) Have you tried any other flow arts? If yes- which one(s) and how was your experience? If not, which flow art would you be interested in trying?

Poi. love it, & it helped me understand many double hoop movements. I pick them up every once in a while and hope to learn to flow with them with time. I’m grateful to have come across a poi-er & teacher in Kuwait.

I would love to try the levi-wand next!

IMG_1531

Photo courtesy of Farah AlRasheed

13) What advice would you give someone who is new to hooping and just starting out?

I’d  tell them that hooping is a means of expression, so find your  individual inner flow. Dont be afraid to lose yourself in it, because  you’ll always be found.
Always hoop both ways, & be mindful of the balance of your body.
Try to always record your practices. You cant see flow when you’re in it, so watching your practice gives you so much power and insight.

14) What quality do you most admire in a hooper?

The ever-present willingness to spread love & knowledge.

15)  What hoop move are you currently struggling with/trying to perfect?

Still trying to perfect the wedgie.
Hoop-dancing with my left side in general is always part of my practice.
And of course forever chasing the flow.
I’m also trying to smooth out my twin hooping.

16) Do you have any current or future projects you would like to share with us?

I started an event in 2015 called “the Art of Yoga show” with a really good friend of mine, Cami. It’s basically a showcase of different performances, from artistic yoga with music, or spoken word, poi performance, flute players and of course, the hoop. It’s a very cozy and serendipitous event that honors the physical arts. We try to do it twice a year.

A few months ago I modeled for a 3 hour painting class in a place called Manifesto13 in Kuwait. Their theme was movement. It was such a wonderful experience. The studio was buzzing with creative energy. I hooped while they painted. It started  with slow and controlled strokes and movements to fast and dynamic. It  was magical seeing how they transported my hooping onto a paper in  different & unique ways.

I am currently working on my 5th beginners’ hoop dance workshop. My intention with these workshops is to instill a culture of dance into Kuwait where women can feel beautiful and free to express themselves and be themselves. To be a dancer in Kuwait is taboo, but somehow the magic of the hoop is overcoming the darkness of the stigma.
I’m thinking to start an intermediate course after that & hopefully start teaching children as well. An official flow jam will happen very soon in a secret garden in Kuwait, and I’m very excited for that.


Thank you Dalal for sharing your story. We look forward to seeing you in action, whether in video, or real life!

Hoops of love,

Farah