So just a bit of background info. I moved out to a smallish town with a big problem with outsiders and a extreme protective nature of those from here. I am for very much an outsider. I moved from NYC to WY and it has been an interesting transition. About 2 months ago I found and fell in love with the hoop. It has dramatically altered my quality of living and I feel the need to teach/ offer what I have found to others and have classes/organized hoop jam time.
There are two women who teach classes out here through the YMCA (midday/weekdays)- no formal teacher training- and they are pretty much the authority and who are known as a go to for performances, buying hoops, classes, demos etc. Although I love hoop dance, I am more focused on the fitness aspect and the mental outlet and bringing that to ppl right now. I was asked to join up in their “business” but there is a big gap of cohesiveness and focus, and an even larger problem with ppl trying to one up or out do one another. A lot of ideas were brought to the table by me, in order to consider and do together and they were all done bigger and better by these 2 ladies simply due to the fact that they are already established, have connections and the disposable income to do so. (ex- I suggested collapsible hoops and bought 50ft of bungee they bought 500 ft, I suggested PP tubing be offered and bout 100 ft they bought more) I can’t and honestly do not want to compete. Plus any sales I make, I’d have to give them part which is not why I am going for here, I am not in this to make money right now, if I do great but really just want to get out there- (plus I would be purchasing all supplies so why would I be giving them part???)
Sorry to stray, long story short, I want to offer free hoop classes/jam sessions…I am working on a venue, attempting to make some hoops to have them for ppl to use, (I’m a bad taper :/ its slow goingJ) Does anyone think its counterproductive to be offering these for free, I feel its something that makes me happy and I enjoy just doing it so that is enough for me, but I have been getting slack form some ppl around here, plus I don’t want to upset the 2 women who are established, there is very much a this town isn’t big enough for the 3 of us feeling. I do not feel like I am overstepping or encroaching on their turf, I am offering something a big different possibly…any comments would be greatly appreciated!
I say do it honey! If you want to share the joy you've found in hooping you share it! If they want people to share their money with them due to hooping, let them continue to do their own thing. Start some free jams in the park. If you already have a little hoop schedule you follow (ie back yard hooping once a week) take it to the park at a busy time and attract peoples attention. Post on here and FB and generate some knowledge about your spin jams. I think paying to play with people is silly.
Do what makes you feel good inside!
I think it's totally fine for you to offer classes for free. The other women sound like they're being a bit catty and might get mad, but their politics sound ridiculous. It sounds like you've got a whole different approach and hoop making ideas, and it's different enough that they need to step back and relax. Good luck!
You might consider avoiding the word "class" in order to minimize a negative reaction from the established teachers. They'll probably be annoyed anyway, but less annoyed if you are hosting jams than offering for free what they have spent time building up as a business. You could just put the word out that you are creating a jam and no experience is necessary.
Anyone at a jam can be a teacher or student. During jams, I've seen super beginners very effectively teaching others with more experience a new trick and I've seen seriously famous rock star hoopers busting their butt to learn something someone just showed them. It's beautifully organic. And than you have the back up of being able to say that you are just fostering growth in the community. Anyone who faults you for that needs to get a grip. :)
I agree with the others - host a free jam in the local park, make sure people know you're relatively new to the hoop and just want to spread the hoop love, and enjoy making new friends. Since your focus is more on fitness and the other ladies are geared more toward performance, let people know that. It will give everyone a choice of where they want to channel their hoop energy, toward getting healthier or toward honing their moves in front of an audience.
If someone wants to learn something you don't know yet, you can refer that person to the other ladies and ask her/him to let them know you did. That might help build a bridge between y'all rather than a wall.
Whatever you decide to do, I wish you success with it. One of the things that attracted me to Hoop City is the sense of support and community. I'd hate to see something that brings so much joy to people's lives be turned into just another competitive business environment, and I'm sure you feel the same way. I hope it goes well for you; keep us posted. :)