Since opening up the store, I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you lovely folk in person, others we have had some great chats through social media & emails. A common topic we get onto is about how to connect with other members of the Irish Hula Hoop community, so I thought it would be useful to put together a list of places to progress your skills, meet some new hoop friends and have a bit of fun!
This is a non-exhaustive list & I have tried to include as many country wide resources that I know of. If you are involved in a group or organisation that you think would be relevant to include below, feel free to get in touch.
Here are some great groups already established on Facebook that connect hoopers from all across Ireland. In general, the circus community as a whole are a very welcoming bunch and getting active on these groups will open the door into the community.
Irish Hoopers - This is the biggest Irish hooping page where people share all sorts of information like advertising their performance pages, sharing hooping videos, selling hoops, advertising meet-ups, conventions and more. Group link
Irish Hoopers Challenge - This group is much smaller than the Irish Hoopers main Facebook group, and is designed for those who maybe don’t feel comfortable yet sharing their videos to such a wide group. You may be a beginner Hooper looking for advice on your technique and provides a safe space to share. There are challenges & collaborative projects created in this group too to inspire & connect people. Group link
Dublin Fire Community - This Facebook group is extremely active in organising meet ups in Dublin. Regularly taking place on Sandymount Strand, they are a great opportunity to meet fellow flow artists spinning fire poi, hoops, staffs, juggling, rope dart (to name a few). If you are new to fire hooping it’s a great idea to join this group & ask freely if someone might be going to the next meet up that can help you with safety, the process of lighting your hoop and what tricks to attempt safely. Group link
Circus and Juggling Ireland - This group page was set up with the intention of sharing ideas, events, festivals, and so on, to everybody at the same time instead of having to repost to each of their individual pages. This page will be useful as a catchall for hearing hoop related news from all over Ireland. Group link
Galway hoopers - A local group for residents of the Galway area to connect, arrange local hoop jams/meetups and discuss/promote all things hoop in the region! Group link
There are some circus centres dotted across Ireland that offer hoop classes, workshops, memberships to utilise the space for indoor hooping & a great opportunity to meet fellow hoopers. You may even pick up a new circus skill along the way!
Cork Circus Centre - Located on Centre Park Road, Cork City they offer Member Training, Adult Classes, Youth Classes and shows & Events.
Dublin Circus Project - After 5 years in Cabra, DCP have announced they are moving to new a location in The Orchard Community Centre in Cherry Orchard, Ballyfermot. The aim of Dublin Circus Project is to increase participation in and engagement with the Circus Arts and to support emerging and professional artists within the Dublin community. They offer classes, the use of the training centre, youth programmes, social outreach (with direct provision centres), Employment, productions & events. You can purchase a membership at the following rates: Drop-in: €6, 1-month: €33, 3-months membership: €87 & be sure to pay online prior to attending the centre due to new Covid-19 guidelines.
Belfast Community Circus - Located at 23-25 Gordon Street, Belfast, they offer a range of adult circus skills classes that can be a combination of hula hoop & another circus style like silks (for those with aerial experience) or beginner trapeze. Membership costs £15 per year for an individual.
Galway Community Circus - Located in Galway Community Circus c/o St Joseph’s Community, CentreAshe Road, Shantalla Galway.
There are few well known faces in the Irish hoop community offering beginner classes. Classes are always very affordable & offer a more comprehensive level of instruction than simply following an online tutorial. It will be mostly hoopers at the same beginner level as you so you might feel more at ease.
Dublin - ‘Get Ur Hoop On’ with Sarah. Contact Sarah to find out the start dates for the next term.
Cork - Kate has run hoop terms & masterclasses in Circus Factory Cork. You can message her on Instagram with handle @Circus.Cake to find out if there are any upcoming workshops.
Virtual Classes - Irish Hooper Brona, instagram handle @Hoopixie is running virtual classes from overseas. For anyone wanting to learn from the safety of their own home during the current Covid-19 situation, without sacrificing the interactive experience. You can book a slot with Brona by sending her a Facebook/Instagram message or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking. Facebook
While joining a society is a great way to meet people in your new college, it’s not only for students of the school. The majority of the below college circus societies are open to everyone! You can get in touch with members of the societies through the below info and they can let you know about the days/times they meet.
Trinity Juggling & Circus Society - They hold training sessions every Tuesday 7-10pm in Goldsmith Hall. (Note: This may have changed due to Covid restrictions - please get in touch with them directly to confirm)
UCD Juggling Society - They meet every Monday from 6pm till late in the atrium of the student centre (by the big steps). (Note: This may have changed due to Covid restrictions – please get in touch with them directly to confirm)
Dundalk IT - They meet every Wednesday night from 7-9 in the Conference Centre in DKIT. (Note: This may have changed due to Covid restrictions - please get in touch with them directly to confirm) Beginners are always welcome! Facebook
NUIG Galway - NUIG based Circus-skills society. They meet Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6pm to 8pm for their bi-weekly juggling sessions. (Note: This may have changed due to Covid restrictions - please get in touch with them directly to confirm). There are various workshops organised throughout the year specifying in various circus skills, along with practice space and equipment provided!
‘All welcome and ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED to attend any of the sessions!’
NUIM Juggling Society (Maynooth) - The Juggling Society at NUIM practice from 8.30-10pm Tuesday nights in the Large Sports Hall and 2-4pm Thursdays in the small sports hall. (Note: This may have changed due to Covid restrictions - please get in touch with them directly to confirm). Facebook Page
IADT Circus Society (Dún Laoghaire) - As always, the group admins are very keen that everyone is welcome no matter what the skill level. Get in touch via the Facebook group to find out about upcoming meetings. Group link
National Performing Arts Groups/Memberships:
If you decide to take your hooping to the next level and pursue it as a career, these networks are a great place to position yourself/group. They provide a promotional platform and knowledge base for funding options.
Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle Network (ISACS) - They are the main point of information and resource sharing for the street arts, circus and spectacle sector in Ireland. They regularly share opportunities, such as funding, jobs, residences, call outs and events. If you have the drive to become a publicly insured hula hoop performance artist you can buy a membership with ISACS to help promote yourself. You will be listed on the website & advertised through regular newsletters and publications.
The Arts Council of Ireland - This is the Irish government agency for developing the arts. They work in partnership with artists, arts organisations, public policy makers and others to build a central place for the arts in Irish life. This is a great platform to use to hear about grants and funding options. Arts organisations, artists, and groups working within the arts can apply for funding including those developing Hoop Acts.