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Atomic Hoop Troupe to perform in "A Lot of Art"

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Expect a stellar performance by Miss Audacious and the Atomic Hoop Troupe at community event on the 16th.
Underwriting support from:

San Chez Bistro presents A Lot of Art

September 16 from 4-9 p.m., kick off the Artprize season in style with this celebration of art and community. Guests of the event will be treated to live performances featuring the Atomic Hoop Troupe, an outdoor artisan art market, a preview of 11 ArtPrize installations and a sampling of appetizers provided by San Chez Bistro and more. 

Tickets are $10. Call 774-TAPA to purchase in advance.

All proceeds will benefit the Avenue for the Arts.

In the words of Doris Humphrey, “There are times when the simple dignity of movement can fulfill the function of a volume of words.”

Local entrepreneur Audria Larsen would tell you there’s no better way to explore movement than within the hoop; and in that hoop (especially one that is locally handcrafted and custom fit) the possibilities are endless. The hoop is many different things including but not limited to dance and exercise. Larsen and many others would testify that the benefits of the hoop can be both physical and mental, as well as having the ability to build confidence and community.

Audria Larsen, aka the Vivacious Miss Audacious, is the founder of Audacious Hoops and the Atomic Hoop Troupe. Audacious Hoops features custom handmade hula hoops and hooping classes. Atomic Hoop Troupe is a group of innovative performance artists going on their third year together. Showcasing the many possibilities of the hoop, the group works at a range of events. Frequently participating in kid and church friendly community events they also offer fun entertainment shows for adults.

A natural hooper since childhood, it wasn’t until 2005 that Larsen encountered hoop dance and became one of the first to combine hooping with burlesque, bringing her own flair to the art of the hoop. She explains, “I was searching for Hawaiian hula hoop on Youtube one day and accidentally stumbled upon ‘Hoopalicious,’ who is the grandmother of the modern hoop movement. I instantly knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life which was to be a part of the hoop journey.” Larsen told herself that 2012 would be the year of the hoop. She is working hard to fulfill that promise, adding, “I am super excited to be a part of hoop movement locally; helping it and watching it grow in Grand Rapids and all over Michigan. Hooping can play a huge role in personal and community transformation.”

One community that Audria Larsen has been involved with over the past few years is the Avenue for the Arts. A highlight of this year’s Market presented by the Avenue earlier this summer was the stellar performance by the Atomic Hoop Troupe. In addition to the performance, Audacious Hoops were available for purchase creating an interactive experience for market goers. Handcrafted hoops in a range of size and color were the most popular item at the market. The best part was that there were plenty of extra test hoops on hand along with an invitation to try before buying. A range of ages and backgrounds were brought together, playing and experimenting with the hoops.

“It was great to see people trying it out and even when they had trouble they still walked away with a hoop. At first you might look sloppy, but being inside the hoop is empowering and every time you pick up a hoop you will get better,” says Larsen. This event was a perfect example of the community and confidence building power of the hula hoop. 

The Troupe was such a hit at the Market that they are back by popular demand for an Avenue for the Arts fundraiser hosted by San Chez Bistro on September 16. They will be kicking off the event, A Lot of Art, at 4:15 sharp, in the parking lot behind San Chez Bistro (38 W Fulton). In addition to live performances throughout the evening, over 20 artists will be participating in an outdoor artisan market. Audacious Hoops will be available for purchase as part of the market.

There are many more hooptasic opportunities coming up this fall and winter. In September, stay tuned for power hooping classes geared for fitness and hoop dance classes to personalize a hooping routine. A youth workshop will also be premiered this fall. For awesome performances, follow the Atomic Hoop Troupe through Artprize where they will be collaborating with Site:lab and Kids Fest at the Children’s museum.

The year of the hoop will conclude this winter with something very new and exciting to Michigan. 12-12-12 is the annual World Hoop Day and Larsen will bring it to Grand Rapids along with the Michigan premier of a documentary called “The Hooping Life.” In addition to the film screening, the event will feature performances by professional hoopers and an interactive “hoop jam” where guest of the event will be invited to hoop the night away. This important community event is still seeking sponsorship.

For more info about classes and performances, check out

For tickets in advance to A Lot of Art, call 774-TAPA to join this community celebration of the arts.

Let the hooping adventure begin!


submitted by Jessica Hacker

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