Creator Spotlight: Salina

Credit: Salina

Salina aka Faerie Hooplah is one of those artists who make you stop in your tracks to watch her mesmerising routines.

Don’t let her blue hair, fun-loving spirit, hula-hoops, or any of her varied routines and props – this is a woman who contains multitudes.

Creativity Undefined spoke to Salina about her journey, combating stereotypes, and advice for indies who are trying to put themselves out there.

Was there a specific moment in your life that triggered your artistic journey? If yes, what was it? If no, then how did it begin?

What seems like a lifetime ago, I was a stage manager for National day in Abu Dhabi. So I spent the next couple of months taking care of the international artists who had all the skills.

 This was the first time I was introduced to circus and entertainment. My life changed from that moment onwards. (side note, I ended up being one of those artists a few times since :D)

What drew you into the world of flow movement and hula-hooping? How did you hone your skills?

I started doing yoga and partner acrobatics around 10 years ago. During one of my training there was a hula hoop lying around, and everybody started messing around with it. So I thought I would try “because how hard could it be?” Haha.

 I couldn’t do it! So I became obsessed. I am very grateful for this moment, if I could’ve done it immediately I probably wouldn’t have reached the level I am at right now.

What stereotype or misconception about them that frustrates you the most? Why?

I have blue curly hair and I hula hoop for a living, so sometimes people underestimate my ability to hold a conversation. I don’t get too bothered by this though. People will always have their pre-conceptions on others, I would rather play a positive role in changing these ideas.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Music has always been my first step into the creative zone, however, for a few months I had hit a block. I was unsatisfied with my show after 2 years of performing it. So I posted on facebook and asked friends what their favorite track was. One of the responses was an electro swing song, and the rest just fell into place. My joy was revived.

How long does it take you to create a new routine? What do try to incorporate or explore with each one?

Music has always been my first step into the creative zone, however, for a few months I had hit a block. I was unsatisfied with my show after 2 years of performing it. So I posted on facebook and asked friends what their favorite track was. One of the responses was an electro swing song, and the rest just fell into place. My joy was revived.

As a yoga instructor, how do you think this complements hula hooping, or vice versa?

Moving in all forms compliments each other. The flexibility from yoga, the flowiness from dance and the discipline from hula hooping. They all come together to create something beautiful.

Credit: Salina

You can only focus on one thing for the next five years: hula hooping, yoga, or something else. What’s your choice and why?

Ooo I wouldn’t be able to just choose one. My flexibility goals are just as strong as my hula hoop goals. I veto this question!

What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve faced so far and how did you overcome it?

Motivation has been an obstacle for me this past year. I procrastinated and found excuses as to not train or create anymore “because, what’s the point?” We are sitting at home and are banned from the big stages. Eventually I started forcing myself to train again and be proactive even though I really didn’t feel like it. Until it became a habit again and a driving force each day.

Is there anything that you’ve achieved so far that you’d consider to be a ‘career highlight’ of sorts? What? Why?

I have hit many milestones in my career, yet as soon as they are done. I think “I can do better” one of the things that made me sooo happy was creating the human slinky from scratch. Then watching the transformation of this “beast” over the course of the years.

Credit: Salina

You’ve mentioned that you’re also a “creator of things”. Can you tell us about them?

I love being creative, being surrounded by so many artists. I get many ideas that I work until the small hours of the morning to make a reality. These include props, costumes and new show concepts. They all keep me up but I love every moment of it.

How did Home of Flow come about? What has been your journey with it so far?

Home of Flow was a baby created with my awesome friends Ara and Rana. It was a home that brought everyone together, the lost, the wanderers the dreamers the magic bringers. We created a safe space for people to be exactly what they wanted to be. We had weekly jams to practice our arts, the fire, the prop manipulation, the music makers and the artists. How we miss the magic that we created over there. The love that we felt in this home for 3 years is something that we will treasure forever.

Looking back over the past year, how much of your life – personally and professionally – has been impacted by the pandemic?

2020 has shook us all up. I found that it highlighted that I couldn’t rely on just my performances to survive and that I needed to keep expanding my skill set and exploring other avenues including going back to university. I am actually very grateful for the realisations this year has forced on me.

Credit: Salina

What’s the biggest adjustment that you’d had to make and how do you think it’s impacted you creatively?

I started teaching a lot more in this past year, which means I have less time to train. Teaching has however given me soo much joy. I love having such a positive impact on people’s lives. We have such an incredible reach, even though we might be more socially distant. We are becoming a lot more connected to people everywhere in the world. Thank you Internet!

What changes or trends have you observed when it comes to performers, especially since everyone’s shifted to showcasing themselves online?

People are learning to do thing in much smaller spaces. What was really heartwarming was being part of the community of artists that were so willing to offer free classes online.

Is there anything that you hope – or don’t hope – will stick around once we go back to “normal life”?

I kind of really enjoy sharing the elevator with many people anymore. Haha (awkward laugh…)

What advice do you have for indie creatives who are using social media to build awareness about themselves and their work?

Be authentic!

Other than that? I am still tryin to figure this one out myself. Anyone out there got any more advice? I am all ears.

Do you think that interest or demand for offline performances is coming back? Why?

Entertainment has been a part of humanity. We are always searching for an outlet that makes us feel something; wether it makes us smile, cry, laugh and makes us feel happy. Even if it’s more accessible offline, it’s always much better in real life.

 How do you think the performing industry’s changed as a result of the pandemic?

This is a new way of life and the effect of the pandemic are going to be here for a while longer. The industry is adapting fast to the requirements. Everybody is working real hard to create safe environments for both the artists and the audiences to interact. We all just want to be allowed back on stage.

What more can be done to support indie performers? What do you hope to see emerge as a result?

I would love to see more spaces open up for the younger generations to experience circus life, the creative arts or alternative types of studies.

Are you currently working on a project or performance? Can you tell us more about it?

I am always working on something new 😉 follow me on instagram @faerie.hooplah to follow the journeys.

What’s a big goal that you’d hope to achieve in the next few years? Why?

A major Hula-Hoop Guinness World Record. I have a dream and I am going to make it happen.

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