Written By Natasha Lenart
Taylor Duffrin, or as she is more commonly known on Instagram, @taylor_flows, is an incredible professional flow artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a huge influencer in the flow arts community, and her whopping 50,000 Instagram followers agree. Her huge following attests to her undeniable talents, her wonderful teaching style, and her impressive resume. She’s performed at festivals such as Suwannee Hulaween, Tipper and Friends, Buku Music and Art Project, and 515 Alive. She’s also taught workshops all around the world, and is embarking on a European hoop tour with @misshoopdidoo this summer. After meeting Taylor at a few of her workshops, I looked up to her as an honest and good spirited artist. She’s been a huge motivation of mine to push my own hooping journey forward. She is also a major inspiration in the online hooping community, and it was an absolute pleasure to get the chance to get to know Taylor a little bit better.
How long have you been hooping?
Taylor: “I have been hooping since March 2014.”
What or who motivated you to start hooping?
Taylor: “I was inspired to start hooping after seeing a video by Grace Good while shuffling through music on Youtube. I was in college studying for one of my classes and her “Clarity- Zedd Remix ((trap hooping))” video popped up and I was entranced by how beautiful her movements were and how much fun she looked like she was having. After watching the video I ordered a 33″ 3/4 hot pink polypro hoop within an hour.”
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💕 big s/o to @_zachh_attackk_ for that first moooove – thank you for taking like 30 min at the @jamboreedenver to help me comprehend dat madness 😂💕 and huge s/o to @lisza.mikel for letting me borrow and rep this dope Tomgirl sweatshirt for so long 💞 I love you both so biiiiig 🥰 26” UV Pink poly from @thespinsterz // 🎶: studda steppin @kllsmth 👻
What type of music do you flow best to?
Taylor: “I really like hooping to a variety of music. Experimental bass music and house music is probably my favorite to flow to.”
What is your favorite thing about the hoop community?
Taylor: “My favorite thing about the hoop community is the ability to connect with thousands of wonderful, like-minded individuals around the world. Hooping has connected me to my best friends and my favorite people from all around the world. If the hooping community and online community were not a thing so many of the friendships I currently have would most likely not be possible. I also really love the connectedness of the online community and the amount of support and inspiration that it provides.”
What has been your best performance experience?
Taylor: “My best performance experience has probably been performing at the Hula Hoop Institute’s Hoop Dream Retreat Malaysia for their instructor showcase in 2017. It was by far the most supportive and wonderful environment I have had the chance to perform for. Hooping in front of other hoopers is always more of an intimidating task than performing at festivals where most prospectors don’t hoop or do flow arts, but everyone created such an uplifting and inspiring atmosphere. It was invigorating, nerve-racking, and a lot of fun all at once.”
What advice do you have for beginner hoopers?
Taylor: “Advice I would give to beginner hoopers is to not give up, do not get discouraged, and do not be afraid to look silly. I feel like a lot of hoopers feel restricted for not advancing as fast as they expect and do not connect to the roots of their practice as much because of it. When you first start something its supposed to feel hard and silly and make you feel a little defeated. There isn’t any hobby or skill out there that you will be a master immediately. The bumpy and less pretty parts of the practice are the most useful and cultivate so much more of a connection to any craft.”
How do you get yourself out of a hooping rut? What makes you feel inspired at those times?
Taylor: “I try to do yoga or mediate, hoop to different music I don’t normally hoop to, playing with a different prop and taking a day or two off of hooping to get some clarity and space. Hooping ruts are inevitable and you can’t remedy every rut in the same way.
What keeps me inspired is to remind myself why I started and remind myself of how hooping made me feel when I started. There is no competition or rush to your practice, remind yourself why you decided to pick up a hoop before getting frustrated about not being where you feel like you should be. Everyone has off days and no one can be good at something 100% of the time.”
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A lil clippa from my performance last night at the @miramartheatre for the Synthesis event 💡🦊💚 always such a wonderful experience participating in this collective! Thank you to @sehbazchun & @birdseyeprojections for having @theflowdynasty out and for the crazy projection mapping visuals! 🥰 // Using my 26” 3/4 @moodhoops designer – head over to @moodhoops for all of your LED needs and use my code TaylorFlows for a discount off your purchase! 💎
How have you reacted to becoming such a huge influence to the online hooping community and developing a large following on Instagram?
Taylor: “Honestly, I never would have imagined receiving the support I have through the internet. A friend of mine told me to get an Instagram when I first started hooping and I was completely opposed to the idea. It has been such a strange come up in my life but I am and probably forever will be in shock by how many people genuinely enjoy the art I create. I try to stay as transparent as possible on the internet and show people who I really am. It has been such an honor to have so many beautiful opportunities fall into my lap through the online hooping community, and such a humbling experience to get to connect with so many beautiful people around the world just because I decided to pick up a plastic circle.”
Do you have any particular long-term goals as a professional flow artist?
Taylor: “I am a very goal oriented person, so I have a lot of goals. But a few of my goals include; performing at Envision Festival, teaching somewhere I have never been before every year for as long as I can, become proficient with triple hoops and quads, and to help hoopers feel empowered to be themselves through their means of expression.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Taylor: “I’m just a silly dork that is so happy to be apart of such a huge and wonderful hoop community, it blows my mind every time I think about how much this hobby has connected me with myself and to so many good people. Blessed and grateful is a vast understatement. <3”
Thank you so much to Taylor for her wonderful insight and thoughtful answers. We’re so happy to feature such a sweet and inspirational public figure! Go follow her on Instagram here and give her some love on Facebook here. Also be sure to lookout for upcoming workshops near you!