Self Recording (An Interview with Stepfhanie Connell)


If your a hooper like me, then you’ve watched plenty of videos, yet what goes into a video? It’s an addiction much like hooping itself and with the way technology’s growing making it much easier to download and watch. Early days of uploading required you to wait all way. Gasp, it’s true. Some of us have been spoiled with a 3 minute upload, while pioneers in the field had to wait hours for an upload. Yet it’s brought me to this place where I was compelled to ask some key players in the hoop community about certain aspects of the video process and get some insight into The Hoop Video:The Process


Stepfhanie Connell of Yamni Arts has been flowing, growing and performing for six years. Her live performances are evoking, drawing you in, feeling the emotion, power and sense of her dance. Stepfhanie’s video’s are all the same, she develops into the essence of the song, character’s and all at the same time gives it her personal touch.”It is like performing in front of people there is an exchange of energy involved and I love that exchange . I really live for that,” says Stepfhanie, this and setting Intension before she even starts.”Am I doing this for myself, for viewers or someone in particular? Am I going for perfection, like in a performance setting or am I going to flail around? Do I feel silly, serious, sexy, angry? What emotions are involved today. Am I going to get dressed and clean my area? Or am I OK with just wearing my pj’s and leave the clutter out? All of these things help me clearly define who I am in this video.” You get this sense of magic is about to happen. How can we get to this point, where even if we are shy that we can open ourselves to more learning about ourselves, our audience and the dance we put into it?

Recording is the answer to finding that special magic in your dance. I fully agree with Stepfhanie when she says,”From that moment on my confidence sky rocketed. Though videoing myself, I could tell what I was doing. I could see what looked good and what didn’t. I could catch moments of magic, where I just did something without thinking about it, and was then able to capture it and do it again, where without recording, it would have been lost.” Even if you don’t upload videos, it’s still a basic learning tool.

Stepfhanie has been recording for six years now, that’s alot of footage, yet that’s alot of time spent in review. Studying your work is a way to find better angles, work towards the camera, progress in the dance and finding moments of pure flow. If you recorded yourself for at least 10 minutes in and 60 minute session, you will see that progress and want more. It will keep striking interest of what’s working for you and what can be worked on. Then comes development from sharing our videos with others who have a different perspective on it.

How does sharing videos help in our development, especially because at least someone is going to watch your video. If we take our previous intentions into how and who this video translates for, then it’s our content that comes to light. Making the exchange more then just a video. I’ve played The Hooping Game with Stepfhanie multiple times, even from the first video to the most recent it’s the growth we take from each video setting that continues the learning process and how our videos give more then what they are. “It is communication in another form. Recording hoop videos and sharing invites that exhange. Whether the viewer knows it or not, they are involved in the dance. The observer is always involved and is a part of what they are observing.”
Yet it comes down to it, being your number one fan is always better then being your worse critic. Being open to loving yourself, will always help when there is a down day. Love to watch your videos, bask in your accomplishments, see the need to keep growing in your dance. By all means love what you do. Recording is a great way to show yourself some love. “It is one of my favorite things to do”, says Stepfhanie.” I love having the camera set up so I can see myself while I’m hooping and I love to watch back though it afterwards or later in the day. I gain perspective on how it looks to an audience, so I learned how to position my body so the audience can get the best angle possible for tricks and movements, which is huge. A weave facing the camera looks not nearly as cool as a weave facing to the side of the camera.” Which makes sense, I even went and reviewed my videos with the side weave looks way better from the side then to the front. I encourage you to do the same. Find recording yourself in your hoop journey like a hoop journal. Not all of its perfect yet it’s got all kinds of hoop magic. Gain insight, find new discoveries, share your work with those who will appecaite it. Then even if your having an off day, those video will be there to provide your own inspiration. Now even if you never share, think about what insights could be gained from reviewing your work. It’s like athletes who review game day footage, so get your game face on, rock that hoop. Feel free to leave your videos in the comments. I want to say a special thank you to Stepfhanie for opening up on her practice and how recording herself has opened to more love and light for her dance. Her energy is one of a kind, which makes her a stand out performance artist. Find out more about Stepfhanie at Yamni Arts
Or Yamni Arts Youtube Channel


Dear You.


Dear You,

I’ve come to find that you have so much to offer and the potential you have, blows my mind. Even on your worst day, you still have so much light. Never stop shinning, your amazing in very possible way. If anyone ever kicked ass for being awesome, it’s you!! Bring your gorgeous smile to someone’s day and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I feel like you always do for others, don’t forget about yourself. Be good to yourself everyday. Always have your own back, stick to your heart and follow your intuitions. Remember you have the power to make each day the best. Great women once gave me the best advise I’d like to share with you. “Take it one day at a time” It’s so true because if you live in the past or future, we won’t see the present in its full form. I know you will continue to do great things, don’t forget to share your world with those who care about you. Love got us here, love will carry us and love will never leave us. As long as you show love, it will always come back to you.

Much Love,

NR aka Penny Lane.

Nail Bitting Revelations


While I had already wrote what I was going to blog about, something else compelled to share a victory of a disease that’s been going on in my life for as long as I can remeber. Even my mom said I had been doing it at an early age, I’ve seen video of it first hand. Promised my husband on our honeymoon that I would stop, yet I didnt. For I didn’t fully understand how much damage was going on mentally and physically. Today I can say I’ve overcome nail biting, picking and chewing. Let us discover what leads to this disease, how those who did it see it, and how you can overcome on your own terms.

For as long as I can remeber I’ve had issues with my nails, and I now wonder how it continued for 25+ years. Look up and resource on nail bitting and you’ll get pictures and topics on how it’s unhealty (our hands contact so many germs), can cause teeth damage and perhaps even nerve damage which can turn to carpel tunnel syndrome. See here’s the thing nail damage is also caused from anxiety, loneliness, embrassment and lots of self esteem issues. I’ll admit I have an outgoing personality, yet I’m really sensitive and introverted. Always a people pleaser who really wanted to fit it, even though I felt so alone. Not being able to deal with emotional issues unless there was a finger in my mouth or causing it damage from picking it. It’s like why in the hell has it taken me this long to control my emotional self and stop the psychical damage?

I wasn’t reticulated for my nail bitting but always felt embraced when people seen my hands or caught me in the act. If I was asked to stop, I’d sneak off to go find a place to damage alone. Some part of me got pleasure out of causing this pain to myself, because I would go untill there was nothing left but bloody numbs. People as lovely as they are would give all kinds of advice, try nail polish, hot sauce, or fake nails. Excuse me, that shit never worked at those times cause it would be going real well then I’d have some mental breakdown and there goes what nail bed I had, which in turn caused more frustration and anxieties. For 25+ years I struggled to grasp why I couldn’t stop, until it clicked I hold my own control and need to take hold to stop.

What would real nails look like or how would they feel? My amazing friends put together some interesting theories, along with my own research. If our hands are connected all the way up to the neck, the damage could go all the way up there. Which it did, was having terrible neck pain. So that’s when I would give fake nails one last try, and boy was it the last time. After having no nail bed the nails on my left hand were out on to tight, which caused my arm to go numb in the middle of the night. Painfully it was, that’s when I said enough damage and stop the embrassment. I stopped and everytime i thought about it, id take the thought or trigger and really think about whats going on and how to deal with. There were a few close calls yet i kept at it saying no and walking on. This happen several months ago and while I wanted to share then, I knew it would be best to wait untill I fully conquered this disease, which can be hereditary as well. My mother didn’t yet some other family members do. If you bite your nails, don’t be embrassed, try to discover what triggers you to do, then you can catch the behavior before you even look at your hand. I know how hard it is and honestly if you’ve done it as long as I heard there is an underlying issue either behavioral problems or some form of OCD. If you can ask for perfessional help if you can because when you work together instead alone the results can be astonishing. While I’ll encourage you to slow your process, it’s clear to see it took many, many years to overcome this dark disease. In closing never feel alone about doing it, give yourself the time and resource to overcome. If you have kicked this disease to the curb or feel like sharing your story, I’d be glad to talk about with you. I leave you with a picture of my hands today, let’s say four months into recovery.


My nails were done by my sister BobCat and phot taken by Destry Ray.

Watch “Nickalina Ray JAMhoops Limited Sponsorship Video” on YouTube


Nickalina Ray JAMhoops Limited Sponsorship Video:
Giving the chance under the right circumstances,  I’m using my confidence and assurance of this sponsorship.  I’ve done reach on these hoops and as a hooper, dancer, teacher and performer I look to use quality hoops who hold thier connection and that’s what I’ve seen from  I know this would be a great fit for me as this continually sprial dance keeps me moving and growing. I’ve got some really serious plans for myself and really need a great company such as JAMhoops Limited would really help excel my practice, grow and potential opportunities around the corner.  Watch my video for some fun tracing work, followed with some great bloopers and snow fall.

Infinite Response



Getting lost in the mystery of artwork can take you to a foreseeable world. Growth, revelation, happiness, and lots of love. Yet rarely are the meanings of artworks explained, for when they’re it gives way to a higher servitude to the artwork displayed. Today I’m going to share one of them and reveal some meanings that would otherwise stay hidden. Leading the way to the insight and creative flow that came even when I had no clue what the meanings I created.
When it came to the colors, I had to search for the artist is only as good as their tools, or so I’ve been told. Colors have always intrigued me, they meaning, feeling and reaction they create.


This top coat of brown leads way to the passive side, that like the dirt nourishes the roots so they may grow and take whole. They’re words embodied into this part;  mother, daughter, son, Earth, Moon and star. They all have a meaning as to most of us know, take them as you will.


Blue: is brought in as it’s ability to communicate and being open to a channel of active listening and talking.
Yellow: brings active searching and wonderment of our actions and how we take our road, it’s path
White: the word that comes to mind is clean, pure and higher connection.  Also FUN FACT the white parts glow in the dark after at least 6 hrs in the light.

Red: brings in the power of passion and hunger for ambitions

Symbolical Meanings:
The beautiful design in the middle is the seed of life, it’s sacred shape is the basis of all particle matter shapes. Each of its seven petals holds a meaning of creation and conscience within this geometrical design. 


Triangles represent the trinity of mind body and soul and there continual connection of insight.


Infinity is placed twice for two different meanings that I’m combining for one powerful meaning. “Eternal love that is without limit or hesitation, continually passing for its beginning and never ending.”


18 circles on the inside of the flower are brought to the center of the mystery intuitions bring.

60 circles on the outside petals can be described as the Cosmic Mother and this quote by Joanne Walmsley on her site 60 meaning
” The mission of the number 60 is to create harmony in their environment and to add to the beauty of this Earthly garden.”


In conclusion I feel like this piece needs the home I built out of love, light and growth with it. So it’s available for purchase, bids start @ $50.00 with the winner being the highest bid on 10/16/14 @ 1159 pm EST.  All you gotta do is send email to with your name address and the amount of your bid.  I will list winner in a post on 10/17/14. As always thank you so much for your support and awesomeness.  

“Feeling it.”


Today I let go of what notion I feel a hoopdancer should look, feel or dance like. Feeling it.:
If you ever been on any fb hoop group there are complainers about certain moves and it can become disheartening to implement those things you like in your dance because others will judge. Here’s what I have to say if my penny serves anything. Let go, feel it. If your dance is two moves, rock that shit and own it. If your all over the place, rock that shit and own it. People unfortunately will always have something to say, don’t take to it unless it’s love and support. When we hang on to those negative thoughts it will block us from the true dancer we are. Happy thoughts create positive outcomers. Hoopers aren’t suppose to be anything then who we are. A vast group of mind bending, high flying and a knowing grasp of love and it’s outreach. The circle is the source to the power of one, the power of love.

Hoop Mother’s Journey


My goodness, I’ve been blessed to be the mother of a one child, for almost two years now. They say time flies and it sure has. While you can hoop while pregnant, I slacked off right before her birth. My husband found it weird and I was not comfortable enough to keep up my practice. Which made me wonder what would happen after she was born, of course all the new mom questions filtered my friends, facebook and family. I really wondered how I could get back to hooping practice and how my daughter would allow me to fit this in? How would my hooping grow as she grew?

At first my practice was easier then I thought, newborns for all thier cuteness, don’t do much but sleep, eat and well you know. Once are routine came into the picture, hooping was back on my list. The deal was that when I could I would get in at least an hour a day. Id break out my hoop while she slept, played in the swing, walker, and pak n play. Saftey zones were setup for that just in case loss of control on my end. Be assured no child was harmed. 🙂 I have small space to hoop in,so i learned how much control can go into your practice. It was great, I was grooving while sweet baby was doing her baby thing.

While celebrating my daughter’s milestones outloud, (crawling,walking,learning and talking) my practice was speaking at its own volume. I started the journey to become certified, wanting to learn how to share the power of hoopdance and still be the best for my little one. She learned to walk as I started working on shoulder hooping. Whew! She got it way before I did. (still learning second current to be fluid) I must say that there are days where I couldn’t get to my hoop practice and have that time to let go and relax. As mom’s are time can be gone before we know it. I’m know I’m not alone when I say that moms hardly get time to breath before we called back to fix this, wipe that or give love(i will always stop whatever I’m doing for loves). I’ve complied some tips that I use to make sure that when I do find that time, its utilized for the best practice I can bring.

* You don’t have to get all your practice in at once. Its perfectly fine to get it in five to ten, or 15 mins blocks. Try making a playlist for those time frames, so you can get the most out of your practice time *

* Commit to your practice, really devulge in what your learning, let go, have fun and breath*

*Hooping at times when your child sleeps, hangs in the swing, walker or pak n play. As they grow encourage thier own play with the hoop. Don’t pressure them to play with it, yet give praises to all they do. Love is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your child. *

*Safe zone hooping in the house. If your able to hoop in the house, be aware of what’s around you and where your child is at all times. If you thought dropping your hoop was bad(I encourage you to drop it), wait till your child busts your groove. Its not a bad thing at all, giving attention where attention is due.*

*If you can’t get your daily practice in, don’t get down on yourself.  Its okay, just hit it again tommorow. You could find a weekly jam or start one yourself, so you can be around other hoopers that will praise and welcome you to share your wins and losses, vice *

How does this transfer to those who I’m blessed to teach and outreach too? Comes back to the seed of intention, plant it, water it, give it love, light and your open connection. Flowers don’t bloom as soon as you plant them, be kind and wait. Love helps us grow.Never judging, always encouraging growth. For my daughter may not see hoopdance they way I do, I’m going to give her all the tools I have to give her my best, so she can be her best. I’ll close with saying thank you and yes my daughter has some sick moves with the hoop at the age of almost 2. She can pick it up and drop it. Try it sometime, its refreshing.