ACL 2018: Hoop flow artists feel the music

Hoop flow artist Aspen Hill started flowing two years ago. Thomas Moran | Arts and Life Editor

To some, a hoola hoop is just a hoola hoop. To others it’s an artform. “Hooping” or “hoop flow” has become a popular form of self-expression at concerts and festivals under the umbrella of “flow art.” Beyond hoola hoops, other common “flow devices” include batons, jump ropes and wings, and the Austin City Limits Music Festival has a surplus of flow artists across the park.

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Elizabeth Ann Clark traveled from her school in Oregon for the Austin City Limits Music Festival where she practices her hoop flow. Thomas Moran | Arts and Life Editor

Colorado native Elizabeth Ann Clark traveled down from the University of Oregon for the festival. Clark was hoop flowing during the Odesza concert Friday night and has found personal healing in the art form.

Colorado native Elizabeth Ann Clark has found personal healing in hoop flow and encourages everyone to try flowing at festivals. Thomas Moran | Arts and Life Editor

“Hooping actually helped me out in a really hard time in my life,” Clark said. “I used to do a lot of drugs and stuff, and I learned flow arts and how to express myself through that; and it helped me get clean and live a better life. It’s part of why I’m in college and doing well now.”

Clark’s favorite part of flow art is how individualized and freeing it can be.

“Just find your flow and feel it,” Clark said. “Everybody loves it. Don’t ever feel self-conscious about your flow because it always looks good if it’s true to you.

Another flow artist at the Odesza concert was Austin native Aspen Hill. She picked up hoop flowing two months ago, but has practiced flow art with other flow devices for two years.

“Flow is great, to be honest,” Hill said. “Everybody keeps you going, and whenever you have your own flow device, it becomes a part of you. When I flow, it feels beautiful.”

Hill encourages anyone interested in flow art to give it a try and not to give up if it’s difficult or uncomfortable at first.

“If you do flow, just keep going,” Hill said. “Never give up. If you haven’t started flowing, you need to start flowing at festivals.”