Watch Natalie VanHaitsma perform with a hoop in her hand and you can see the pure joy on her face. Since becoming a “flow artist” in 2016, she has found the freedom of her movement and the synchronization of the hoop to be a meditating experience.
She started slowly, she said, hoop dancing in the safety of her own home. She quickly found, however, that she had a knack for controlling the hoop and putting together elaborate choreography.
“Once I started, I couldn’t stop,” she said. “I learned several tricks and transitions from YouTube and in only three months, I was given an amazing opportunity at AL!VE to teach hoop dancing workshops.”
From there, Natalie, who goes by the name Nat Spinz, began performing regularly at Windwalker Underground Gallery’s Friday open mic nights. She soon found her performances entertaining and inspiring others to take up hoop dancing.
That’s when the idea to put together an event that could expose a large audience to “flow arts” was born. Along with fellow flow artist, Tylor Klausing, who hails from Brighton, Nat put together Spinsanity Flow Down, a four-day celebration of all things relating to flow art May 10-13 at the Eaton County Fairgrounds.
“As we began discussing this idea, we felt that we could create a specific-to-hoopers performance showcase, an opportunity for hoopers to set and break world records, at the same time providing entertainment and workshops to people of all ages, backgrounds, and hula hooping skill levels,” Nat said. “We hope that our Performance Showcase, Fire Dance Spectacular, and World Record Revolution will provide the greater-Charlotte area with a sense of wonder and amazement, and a unique entertaining showcase that they have never experienced before.”
Highlights of the festival include a live stage performance of “Flowmance” with Morgan Jenkins — founder of the Hooptown Hotties — and Lee Jeffries — progressive hoop dance choreographer; a fire demonstration with Grace Good — 2017 Fire Hooper of the Year; Circus Juggling and Object Manipulation Show with the humorous, Chuck Clark; Winderwalker Underground Gallery Open Mic Night; World Record Setting Event hosted by Rachael Lust — 2014 Female Hooper of The Year; performance competition and Flow Down Throw Down Finals with celebrity Judges Grace Good, Lee Jeffries, Morgan Jenkins, and Rachael Lust; flow and arts vendors; a full workshops schedule, including 23 different instructors.
“We hope to inspire people to find that ‘something’ in their lives that sets them free from the chains of mundane daily life,” Nat said.
A full schedule of events can be found at spinsanityflowdown.com/about.