Heading West…

I left Georgia October 1st to head West to California.  I’ve made it since but during the 30+ hours of driving I had to makes a few stops, landing me in Shreveport, Dallas, and El Paso.

From Georgia to Shreveport, Louisiana, it was a nine hour drive, plus stops, making it the longest stretch I had yet to make. Originally, I had planned to stay longer in Shreveport but due to circumstances, ended up in a Days Inn just off the exit for a night. The stop was still all the worth it, I ended up running into another hooper (Lisa Clark) at the hotel and was able to get to know her a bit. If that’s not a chance of fate I don’t know what it is.

I left Shreveport the day after I got there, ready for a 3 hour drive to Dallas (thank goodness!) Once I was in Texas I would tell I was ‘West’. The land looked different and the vibe was something other than the East.  Dallas was quite the trip, I loved the city and stayed with an awesome host whose name was Jose. Jose and many of his friends I met all grew up in Mexico and I got schooled on a bit of culture, and have been hooked on tostadas with hot sauce since. Thank you Jose! There was also another couchsurfer there during my stay named Marion, she was from France. It was very cool to meet another solo female traveler, I appreciated it and felt less crazy than some people make me out to be when they hear about my story. In all, I had the best time with Jose, Marion, and friends and will definitely go back someday. From Dallas, I made an even longer drive to El Paso, coming in at 10 hours.

El Paso is one of my most favorite cities yet, which I was not expecting to love so much. The culture is so different, the land is breathtaking, and the weather beautiful. I stayed with a girl named Amanda, whom I found through couchsurfing. I decided to take it easy in El Paso, I’ve become increasingly tired from the drives and lifestyle in general. I went to an open-mic night, ate the BEST FOOD EVER, and had my first experience riding a bike in a city (something I’ve been waiting to do this whole adventure). If there were a place like El Paso with more things for my lifestyle I would move there in a heart beat. From El Paso I took an even longer drive, coming in at 12 hours, to California. To be continued…

Photos and video below:

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Beautiful mountains driving through New Mexico!!

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View of El Paso

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The first time I saw these in real life, I had to pull over to get some photos I was so amazed.

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Dallas.

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Jose, Marion and I at Deep Ellum in Dallas during my video shoot!

There is no tutorial this time, but check out the video from Dallas, Deep Ellum had the most amazing shots!

Thanks for reading! Until next time 😉

Kayla Marie

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Kickin’ it in ATL

So Atlanta has to be one of my favorite cities I’ve visited so far. The weather, gorgeous, as the fall had just began. The people, most interesting and interactive I’ve met so far. Where else can you make a deal with a crackhead and not feel endangered? (I’ll explain this later on).

Upon entering Atlanta it was like I knew I was there as soon as I started driving into the city limits along the interstate.  Finding the most incredible hip-hop station to blarr as I drove; I felt pretty cool. I arrived in Decatur, just outside of the city to meet my host Jasmine, along with her roommates and 2 year old daughter (who was precious and crazy all at the same time).

My first day was pretty rough feeling and spent most of the time feeling tired and unhappy, it was one of my lowest feeling days since I had left home. Funny enough, the next day was the best day I was going to have since I left too.

I first ended up in Little Five Points, an alternative type neighborhood in Atlanta, I was dolled up and ready to busk. Seeing that there was not much going on, I headed up to PeachTree Street, a busy business and shopping centre. I had a successful busking day, met some interesting people, managed to get cute boy to buy me coffee and almost landed a great gig. I later went back to Little Five Points and met some kids that were just like me in a way, only traveling on a much lower budget and living homelessly (but don’t quote me on that). It was cool and interesting, I enjoyed being around them and talking to the girl and her boyfriend and being able to relate to them. Now here is where the crackhead story comes in.

This man who was selling records on a table asked me over, holding a brown paper bag saying “Two for me, two for you”. Anything else he said I couldn’t understand. I go along with it because I’m like “Hey I’ve already made money so I’m in.” His plan was for me to hoop while he tried to get people to tip. Having busked all day I called it quits in about 10 minutes and ended up making $2.50. I then came to found out he was a crack head after I explained to a man I couldn’t understand anything he said, the man’s response was “Well, that’s what happens when you smoke crack and drink.”. WOAHHH, wasn’t expecting that. The experience was interesting and I’m pretty glad it happened, just because that s*** doesn’t happen everyday in my life.

After spending a few more days in the city I went to Powder Springs, GA to visit my Mom;s half of the family, all was well and I was so glad to have seen them, it’s been a couple of years. I will be returning to see them again in November before I come back to Erie.

Here are some photos taken from my day in Atlanta 🙂 Below the photos you will find my hooping videos!

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This video I used a new editing technique and think it turned out real well, the ending music gets a little weird but other than that, I’ll be making videos like this more often 😉 Atlanta has got lots of beautiful and cool places to shoot at, check it out below:

This destination’s tutorial was shot at Poweder Springs Passive Park, today’s lesson: The Circus Start Belt Weave Escape!

Thanks for reading, looking, and watching ❤

-Kayla Marie

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D.C. Hoop Invasion

My recent stop in Washington D.C. was incredible! I had incredible hooping adventures and has my first couchsurfing experience here.

Upon arriving, my host Anthony was really helpful and he was super cool to talk to and hangout with, hilariously, we ended up going rollerblading the first night I was there (and every night after that).

My first day there was pretty relaxed as I ended up going out to check out the Monuments and take some hooping shots. I was absolutely amazed by the city, it was super clean and the buildings all had this importance in the way they looked and the style they were built in. It was also quite interesting as there were so many people from around the world there!

On Saturday, I went out to busk, which was successful. Hell, it even got me some free frozen yogurt topped with strawberries, blueberries, and mango! It was too good.  Busking is a new experience for me and despite how tiring it can be, I have fun with it and get practice.

I finally decided to bring out the Atomic Evoke to shoot this cities video with; take a look below to watch it!

Special shout out to Dustin Lowes for providing me with the track for this video. He is the music producer who directs the Pittsburgh Steeline, the group who I shot my video with in Pittsburgh, amazing how things happen! Thank you Dustin, check out his music at his website here: http://www.dustinlowes.com/

For my tutorial, I decided to change the topic up and actually make it about improving your Youtube experience as a hoop dancer. If your on YouTube, I highly suggest you take a look!

And last but not least, I’ve got photos to share too!

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Since D.C., I have made it to Atlanta, Georgia and I’ve got to say I love it and will have a lot to share.

Have a fantastic day ❤

 

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Philadelphia: A completely new world

There is so much I can say about my stay in Philadelphia it’s hard to know where to really start. I drove from the middle of nowhere to a city of over 1.5 million people, the largest city I’ve ever been besides Manila in The Philippines. Coming here was scary at first, I had never driven to such a large place and was quite terrified until I ended up driving through lots of traffic, stopping multiple times and easily made my way into the city. Wo! What I thought was going to be scary was actually easy.

The first place I stayed was in Old City with Suzy. I LOVED Old City, it was so close to downtown and there was so much to do there. Coming from somewhere so small I was amazed by everything and even learned that I should probably live in a city someday. The pace of it feels liberating to me. No wonder I felt like I was going crazy and was so miserable in tiny Edinboro.

After being in Old City I headed North to Becca’s and got to spend some time relaxing and getting some work done, like creating this post here, my newsletter and some videos, that are featured below.

During my stay I did lots of awesome things, I got to go see Pendulum and get my dance on, have my first experiences busking (street performing), figured out the subway/bus system (kinda), and eat a real Philly Cheese Steak, YUM!

On top of this, I was re-united with all of the amazing ladies from Spinco, a hooping company based out of Philadelphia. Seeing them all again was a blessing and them hosting me there for my hip-hop hoop dance workshop is something I am incredibly grateful for. Now, not only did I get to teach my hip-hop workshop, but I ended up subbing for their Tuesday all-level hoop class, how great is that?! Thank you Spinco! If you haven’t of Spinco, check them out, they have some amazing visions for their company and will be hosting a flow show this October in Philadelphia, featuring all types of flow arts performances! Get all the flow show facts here!

It was sad leaving Philadelphia, I had no idea I would love it so much and on top of that I hate to leave the great company I had here. I will truly miss this place and all my friends ❤

Below you can check out all of my photos and find my most recent hoop tutorial and hoop video!

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The under the knee weave and turn tutorial:

 

Philadelphia Hoop Dance Video, music is ‘Video’ by India.Arie

Thanks so much for reading and checking out my videos as I continue my journey as the traveling hoop dancer! If you don;t want to miss a thing subscribe here for my regular newsletter: http://eepurl.com/YG3oD

-Kayla Marie

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Middle of Nowhere Stop: Dagus Mines

Today I am in Dagus Mines, a village in Elk County. I came to visit my dear friend Jacob whom once went to school at Edinboro (hence how we met). Considering it would be a long time before we ever got to hangout again I made sure to make Dagus Mines a stop despite it’s lack of excitement.

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The lack of excitement I speak of though is pretty nice, I have yet to put in my contacts, do my make-up or dress-up, because there is no one to impress here. It’s rather laid back. I step outside and there is one road going in both directions out of the driveway and when you look left and right that is all there is to see. I was quite surprised that when I asked to go to the post office that there was one, it was a tiny room with a little window the postal worker spoke to me through.

On a more interesting note, I finally got to send in my VISA application for the Philippines which means if approved, I’ll be spending two month with my Dad and step-family in The Philippines! I am beyond excited to see them, despite the fact that I have all these exciting adventures to look forward to in between now and then, I am most excited for that trip.

Next I will be heading to Philadelphia and I am SOOO excited about it! I have 1. Never been to such a big city and 2. Going to see all of the amazing ladies of SPINCO while I’m there!!! I cannot wait!!

The stop’s video was shot in Jacob’s backyard, the song is Future Reflections by MGMT. No tutorial this time, too much wind and I had no good indoor spaces to shoot at. Enjoy!

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Thanks for reading and happy hooping!!

-Kayla Marie

 

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Pittsburgh Baby!!

The next place my journey had taken me was Pittsburgh, PA, which is a completely new world despite the fact it’s not even two hours away from Edinboro (where I’m from). My time here has been quite interesting and fun as ever. On Friday, my first full day here, I went downtown near Heinz Field, PNC Park and Stage AE, ended up walking across some bridge into all of these tall buildings surrounding me, which seemed crazy. I went to a free Rusted Root and Wailers show at Stage AE and it was AMAZING! I ended up meeting people who came from Edinboro to go to the show there. I found it funny that my friend who turned me onto going to a Rusted Root show was the reason I found out about it and ending up being there with him and others. Funny how life works, huh? I don’t have any pictures from the show but I can tell ya I danced my ass off and had a great time. I do though have a video of me hooping with the Pittsburgh Steeline playing in the back, a new tutorial, photos from downtown and photos with all the hoopers from our workshop and jam at Schenely Park! Take a look 🙂

Photos from Downtown:

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The Workshop ladies: 🙂

 

 

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My jam with the Pittsburgh Steeline:

[youtube.com=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIhe2d3SGrk]

The Back Step-in & Toss Combo tutorial:

[youtube.com=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4x4Q9ReuEc]

 

It was a very exciting and awesome time in Pittsburgh and I cannot wait to come back again!! Thank you to my awesome host Cydney for having me and so much thanks to the ladies who attended my workshop, it was an honor to help grow the community while having my hoop dance career supported ❤

 

Happy Hooping!

 

-Kayla Marie

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The Journey Has Begun

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So I packed up my car and left home with everything. I am prepared for this journey and cannot wait to see where it takes me! It’s funny to realize I have really left Edinboro, something I had been dreaming of doing for years now, and to think I will now be living a wandering lifestyle. It doesn’t feel like it quite yet considering I am at Slippery Rock University, the place I went to college my freshman year two years ago.

Nonetheless, I now have all the time to take care of my growing hoop dance business and really be able to take the time to connect with people and grow. It’s incredible to believe this is where I’m at. Taking a risk to pursue what I love, seems crazy but now that I’m into it, it doesn’t really seem all that crazy, I’m quite content actually.

During my journey I know I will experience many things, good and bad. Yesterday was my first full day of this trip and I was traumatized the first half from something I had witnesses the night before. Like I said, I know I’d experience some crazy things and it’s already started! But hey, it’s life.

Now I am just chilling at my old homies’ apartment, about to go to a lake beach and get some hoop videos. I also just created a new tutorial while here on the linear isolation, check it out here :

Well, off to get ready for the beach! Happy Hooping ❤

Also, take a look at my most recent tutorial I just created here at SRU

 

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