Hello. My name is Elle Rose. I used to go by Gabbi, and was known popularly as Gabbi Rose in the hooping community. When I was 22 I began an attempt at self transformation, and thus changed my preferred name from Gabbi to Elle. (Full name, if you’re curious, is Gabriela Rose (last name omitted).)

I founded Unity of the Hula Hoopers in the fall of 2011 because I wanted a new way to socialize with other hoopers, and was unsatisfied at the time with hoopcity. I had no idea that it would grow to be over 20,000+ members. I left running the group in the summer of 2014, as it had become quite stressful. I requested that the Unity name be retired, and the administrators of the group followed my request, starting a new enterprise known as Infinite Circles Community. To be honest, however, this blog isn’t exactly meant to be about that. From time to time I’m sure that I will share stories from my time as an administrator, but I do not want this to be the main focus of the blog. This blog is not meant to promote or bounce off of ICC. It is meant to be its own, new undertaking by me, and only by me.

So, why randomly start a blog?

Well, other than my want to expand my talent for writing, I feel that I’ve lost my connection with my hoops, and I want to get that love for dance back. Through all of my time as an administrator for the hooping community, I have always felt like there was a barrier of sorts between myself and other members of the hooping community, because I somehow ended up being the person running a majority of it for a while there. I don’t want that barrier to remain up any longer. The goal of this blog is to go far beyond Unity, beyond what it was meant to be, and delve deeper into myself than I have before. This blog is not about who I was as a guideline writer for a community or a head administrator; it’s meant to go beyond that, into the deeper meanings behind who I am as a hooper, as a dancer, as an artist, and as a human being. This blog isn’t about the hooping community; it’s about myself, and my struggle to get back to a place where hooping and dance is a major focus of my life. It’s about me, yes. And it’s about being human and that things aren’t always as pretty and full of sunshine as they may seem on the surface. I want to go under the surface, much like diving head-first into a pool, and submerge myself in who I am and who I want to be.

I feel this is important to explain because another purpose of this blog is to show readers who I am under the surface. I seem perfectly normal to most people; calm, collected, a bit sensitive at times. I am, truthfully, disabled. I have Bipolar Disorder Type II, Borderline Personality Disorder, an anxiety disorder not otherwise specified, and have gone in and out of having an active eating disorder. I have been in psychiatric hospitalization four times since 2014. If you were to look at me without knowing me, you would see none of the things I struggle with. They are not visible. If you did not know the tattoo on my wrist was the National Eating Disorder Association recovery symbol, you would think I simply had a tattoo of something like a heart. I do not want to say I have overcome these things – Bipolar Disorder is a chronic condition which usually lasts for a person’s lifetime – but rather, I want to find a way to put them into words that others can understand, that I can reflect on, and that show that while I may sometimes feel lesser for having psychological impairments, I am no less a person than anyone else I have ever met. That and I want to write about how dance and self expression has helped me deal with the overabundance of emotions that I’ve experienced over the years.. which in a roundabout way, leads me back to hooping.

This blog is going to be honest. It may be frustrating at times. It won’t always be about hooping; sometimes it will be about dance instead, dance free from my plastic circle partners. Sometimes it will be about my writing, poetry, my art, or my painting. The focus is to move beyond what Unity is in my mind and the image that my name and its name bring up in the minds of others. I want to get back into the circle, and this time, I want to stay inside it.

I hope you’ll all enjoy this journey with me, as I document my attempt at returning to the world of plastic circles and also to my own dance, my life with mental illness, and the things that happen in between. Thank you for listening, and happy hooping.