I Was The Heart Hula Hoop Girl

Impressed by her moves in Clemmow Hornby Inge’s recent Hula spot for Heart FM, Gavin Lucas tracked down San Francisco-based hula hooper extraordinaire, Christabel Zamor, to find out more about her hoop-tastic skills

CR: What’s your profession?

CZ: I’m a professional HoopDance performer and trainer, but really I’m a visionary. I want to bring passion, joy and health into the lives of people all over the globe using hoops! I’ve got a DVD out called HoopDance for Beginners, which is a pre-requisite for my HoopGirl Workout Certification course, which trains people to teach my fitness classes. The DVD draws on my background in world dance and teaching to show how to do all sorts of amazing hoop moves.

CR: How long have you been, err, hula hooping?

CZ: I have been hooping for five years. I never did it as a child. I was in graduate school studying to be a professor of cultural anthropology and went to a conference where there was an “ice-breaker” session to get people moving using hula hoops. That was when I got hooked!

CR: On this Heart FM advert what was the process for creating the ad? Did you get a call and then work out choreography etc with Jim Gilchrist, the director?

CZ: The creative storyline of the ad was directed completely by Jim. I provided a vast array of choreographic hoop moves which he chose right before we shot at each location. He chose those which he felt had the most easy-going flow to help support the “feel good” vibe of the ad. I practiced for a few moments and then we would shoot.

CR: Where, when and how long was the shoot?

CZ: The shoot was in Cape Town, South Africa and took place over two days on September 8 and 9, as I recall. Each day we shot from 6.30am to about 7pm. I was there almost a week, taking into account the preparations, costume choices, etc.

CR: Was each shot done in one take?

CZ: We shot each take about ten or more times because Jim wanted to be sure every aspect of the shot was perfect. There were so many other factors to consider in each shot other than just me! The cameras, the extras, the traffic, the costume…

CR: You’re jetting around at the moment – what are you and your hoop skills up to?

CZ: My company, HoopGirl.com, is devoted to helping millions of people discover HoopDance as a path to joy and well-being. I am creating a global team of teachers and performers to inspire the world to fitness. To this end, I am doing hoop performances for large brands, commercial ads and movie work to create more appreciation of HoopDance in the mainstream. I am marketing my first instructional DVD (HoopDance for Beginners) and getting ready to film my second in Costa Rica. I am teaching my HoopGirl Workout teacher training programme at various locations worldwide to create an entire network of HoopGirl Certified Teachers. I am also manufacturing a collapsible adult sized hoop with grip which will allow people of all ages and abilities to succeed at hooping, even if they “never could” before.  Finally, I have a promotional hoop troupe, The HoopGirl All Stars, who perform for concerts, commercials, celebrity galas and other large events (you can see all their profiles online).

CR: And your hooping in the ad isn’t all you’re doing for Heart FM is it?

CZ: Heart has hired me as a brand representative, to do instructional DVDs, media appearances, and more to help promote the feel-good message of the ad throughout the UK. I’m actually flying over to London next week and while there I will be training instructors to to teach Hulaerobics – a hula aerobics class modelled after a DVD I shot with Heart – which will be released in the UK for the holidays. I will also teach a master class for the press and answer questions. n


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