The Journey of Discovery: From Hoop Dance to Rockabilly

This week I have been working our blog, tweaking the pages, links and about page. I was trying to summarise what it is that truly inspires us here at Vaudeville Hippie.

This got me thinking about how I have discovered different styles and genres by pursuing random tangents. I realised this is a little bit like the six degrees of separation (from a creative inspiration perspective) and thought it was worth while exploring in my next post.

Hoop Dance

Ok, so I have previously mentioned that the discovery of hoop dance became a massive turning point in my life. This image dates back to 2008 when I first discovered the joy and addiction of hula hooping.  It is also the first hoop I ever made.

From Hoop Dance to Rockabilly (The Journey of a Tangent!)

My first ever hoop

Hooping has led me to discover so many other sub genres and this post aims to track the meandering tangents I have followed over the last five years, which has now culminated into the creation of Vaudeville Hippie.

Hoop Dance Aesthetic

Like many newbie hoopers I became obsessed with all things hoop related from learning tricks, making hoops, visiting forums and the hoop dance style that seemed to be emerging. At the time I would not have known how to describe this style but now I would say that the hoopers fused styles from cyberpunk, tribal fusion belly dance and hippie faerie festival wear, amongst other influences. This is probably most notable in ‘The Good Vibe Hoop Tribe’s‘ video, which is the first hoop dance video I fell in love with, despite the low quality I still enjoy watching this from time to time.

I kept watching these hoop videos on YouTube, which left me desperately trying to find information about this style and in particular a style of trousers that many of the hoopers were wearing.


Melodia style tribal fusion belly dance pants

After a lot of searching on google images, and even eBay using terms like ‘hoop trousers’ or ‘split flared trousers’ I discovered that this style of trouser originated from tribal fusion belly dance and they are called Melodia Pants.  This style is also worn for yoga.

Tribal Fusion Belly Dance


Belly dance performance at Play Festival 2013 wearing a more cabaret style costume

Up until this point I was only aware of Cabaret Belly Dance so the discovery of Tribal Fusion was really exciting. I became interested with this style of belly dance, not just for it’s aesthetic but also for new ways of moving with the hoop. There are differences in dance moves and technique too.  When compared with each other, visually they are very different.  Tribal Fusion and Gothic Belly Dance  are much darker in colour using heavier fabrics and embellishment.  Whilst reading up on the Tribal Fusion style the phrases ‘earthy’ and ‘grounded’ kept cropping up and it took me a while to fully understand what that actually meant.



Illustration inspired by the East Coast Tribal DVD cover

During my quest for comprehensive belly dance instructional DVD I came across the World Dance New York series who specialise in all genres of belly dance, as well as other forms of dance. Here I discovered Sera Solstice and her East Coast Tribal Belly Dance DVD.

Rachel Brice Portrait

Drawn Portrait of Rachel Brice

I must admit that for a time I became a little bit obsessed with belly dance and felt compelled to dig a little further, which led me to the discovery of Rachel Brice.  I love Rachel’s style, she has collected and combined a range of accessories from around the world, which has allowed her to achieve her unique tribal fusion costume style.  I later discovered that Rachel also dresses and dances in a vaudeville style.

Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Screen Printed Tote Bag

Vaudeville Hippie Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Screen Printed Tote Bag

Pin Up and Rockabilly

I loved the diverse selection that World Dance New York  had to offer, and as a subscriber to their YouTube channel I was instantly intrigued by the release of their ‘How to be a Pin Up Model’ DVD.

Although I was aware of the ‘vintage look’ it had never occurred to me to explore the style visually.  I love the elegance, but also the bright red hair and lips.  Whilst delving into the world of pin up I stumbled across rockabilly.


A modern take on Pin Up/Rockabilly shoes

The styles are similar in terms of hair, make-up and choice of 1950s fashion, however pin up is more glamourous ad more focused on modelling whereas rockabilly grew out of a style of music and has a bit more attitude with the girls having tattoos and piercings.

So there you have it, my creative journey from hoop dance to rockabilly.

What interesting tangents have you recently followed?


3 thoughts on “The Journey of Discovery: From Hoop Dance to Rockabilly

  1. kakavouklis says:

    Strangely enough, I feel like my journey happened backwards from your journey. However, I’m very new to hoop and I had not yet discovered Hoop Dance Aesthetic, so thank you for turning me on to it.

    • vaudevillehippie says:

      You are welcome. Hooping is addictive and a lot of fun. Learning the moves can be a bit frustrating, so be patient with yourself because the sense of satisfaction when you get the moves is amazing. Good luck with your hoop journey 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s