Dealing with criticism and/or suggestions from non-hoopers

This has happened to me a a couple of times - I finally get the courage to show a video to a friend, and their response is, "yeah, your tricks are great, but you need to dance better." I've always had a really sore spot as far as dancing goes, I never dance at nightclubs or anything like that, and I've always felt like I have way less grace than average. That "natural" type of dancing just doesn't come to me, I just look awkward. Anyway, I feel that hooping has taught me to dance a lot, it's taught me body awareness and a lot of confidence, and I'm really trying to incorporate my whole body into my moves, not just the necessary parts. I'm making progress every day, with each new practice session I feel like my flow is developing and I'm able to dance more, but it still really hurts when a friend tells me that I need to dance better. I want to say, "I'm working on it, dammit!!!" It also makes me feel like my tricks are useless and that no one cares about them because I'm not the most naturally graceful hooper they've ever seen. It makes me want to never take a video or show one to anyone again. Sigh.. any advice for coping with this?

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"I'm working on it, dammit" is a fair response. Especially if followed by, "Can you help me?"

I'll bet that 90% of the time, the answer will be a blank stare as the critic realises what they've just done/said. And the 10% of the time that the answer is a Yes - rejoice and revel in the learning!

Thanks so much :-) I struggle with these feelings of inadequacy sometimes, and it makes me think that I don't deserve to be hooping, if that makes any sense, haha. That I should leave it to the pros who know how to move their bodies correctly and just stick to the things I already know. Like I'm trying to be part of this club of "real hoopers" or "real dancers" when I'll never really fit in. Man, this sounds really lame now that I type it up, haha. In my head these seem like legitimate thoughts, but when I write them down I see how ridiculous they are. 

Basically I want to be able to hear these comments, which are actually constructive criticism, and not get emotional about it. They're never things I haven't thought of anyway, they're always things I've been working on or wanting to work on, so you would think I wouldn't be upset by them, but somehow a trigger goes off when I hear these things and it's like a domino effect with the 'i'm not good enough' thing. Man, I guess I need to go to a therapist, haha :-P

seriously, ask them to try it!!! try not to care what they think anyway. anyone that is a true friend should be really supportive! what hooping has done for you confidence wise is a MUCH greater takeaway than a comment your friend makes. you will have hooping and all its great benefits for your entire life!!

Amanda is absolutely right. Have them try dancing while hooping and then explain how their comments make you feel. Everyone's hoop dance is a work in progress from the very beginner to the season pro.

Sorry to hear that the people you've asked haven't been very supportive :( I would probably stop asking these individuals for their opinions, because "you need to dance better" doesn't sound particularly constructive to me. If thats the best they can do then I'd probably avoid asking.

Unless they are going to be more specific "you could try moving your feet around more" or "put more energy into your movements" etc. whilst ALSO praising the stuff you can do "love how you nailed trick X" "I can see how you are improving all the time" then it's just going to kill your buzz. Some people aren't so good at giving useful feedback. They may have good intentions, but if its not helping you then you have to avoid or dismiss the negativity!

Sigh, i feel ya.  I basically put it out there, with or without support and regardless of the criticism that i encounter.  Because its my journey and how i document and share that is my choice.  I get alot of my criticism from my hubby who isnt a hooper.  Usually hes not critical of my skills, when he is though he echoes what im thinking secretly, "youre just not ON, why arent you killing it like you do when the cameras not on"  which answers my own inner questions, that i ask myself why do i feel the need to document.  Or I get some criticism of my presentation, my efforts to tie in trancsedental moments and subconscious work.  But thats who i am.  I try to roll with constructive criticism, even though im such a hermit, RL and Interwebz wise its rare i get face to face critisicm or online either.  Just keep hooping, let someone that is ultra critical try it, then see whats up.  Keep pushing. 

yeah, if they say you can't dance make them dance and record it... then say... see not as easy as it looks huh?

Don't be discouraged! "If you only do what you know, you'll never know very much."-Tom Krause
The dance aspect is the hardest part for me too. I was always the girl that was afraid to dance before I started hooping. I can figure a trick out pretty quickly, but actually making it look graceful is a totally different story. It sucks when I finally nail something and happily show my achievement to my boyfriend only to hear "You just look so funny when you do it" in response. "I'm working on it, dammit," is EXCATLY what I want to say.

About a week ago I recorded my practice and I felt like I really let loose, so I was excited to play it back, but when I did I ended up really bummed out and self conscious because of how I looked. So I tried it again, but this time I played music I was very familiar with, I stuck only to very basic tricks, and I focused all of my attention on keeping my shoulders back and relaxed, keeping my hips lined up with my shoulders, and pointing my toes any time I lifted my feet. It felt fluid and when I watched the video it made a gigantic difference. I actually felt pretty the second time around. :) Maybe that would help you, too?

Thanks Autumn, I'm going to try that! 

Only a couple of days ago I finally managed to do a move I have been trying on and off for a few months to have my boyfriend say 'that looks so easy' - I wanted to punch him!!! Instead I hand him the hoop and say you try it then....he soon shut up.

Everyone can dance and in most cultures, everyone does dance!  Men, women, old, young...  It is not something reserved for people with years of training.  Dancing is an expression of joy (or other feelings).  There is no right or wrong way to dance.  Music and dancing have been around longer than written language as a form of communication.  


But, I know how you feel.  The way I feel when I hoop often doesn't translate visually the way I think it does.  My vertical chest hooping, oy yoy yoy.  I feel like I look like Hoopalicious but when I see myself in a video I'm more like Dorkalicious. 

I guess the biggest advice I can give you is just rejoice in how YOU feel when you hoop.  I think all of us hoopers can relate to the fact that we do it because we feel really freakin good doing it.  And give yourself time.  Don't compare yourself to other people, and embrace your own style.  I bet you look beautiful!


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