Over the past year that Mandy and Katie have been hoop dancing they’ve performed with borrowed regalia (thank you Nebo School District for the loaners!). When this past Christmas rolled around I decided it was time to get serious about hooking the Masters of Disaster up with their own gear.
It has always been my goal since the girls first started learning the dance last January that their journey in mastering it be as meaningful to them as possible. With their mom (Autumn) in town for the holidays it was time to enlist her help to have a set of regalia made for each of the girls that would be an expression of their heritage, their spirituality, and their individual personalities.
Autumn and I sat down and brainstormed some different ideas about symbolism, color schemes, and patterns. We talked about the unique aspect of each girl’s character and personality, and how we could best make the regalia an expression of those things. I came through with the symbolism that matched what we came up with, but the credit goes to Autumn for the inspiration to produce the girls’ regalia along a single symbolic theme for each. For Mandy, her regalia was going to express the symbolic qualities of the Moon. For Katie, hers was the Sun. In each case, though, the important thing was that the regalia was to express each girl’s connection with their Creator. To read how those themes fit each girl’s personality, see the explanations under the pictures below.
Now that we knew what we wanted to do, who exactly was going to make the outfits? That task went to my mom. She was excited to be a part of the project from the time I first asked her, but she didn’t know what she was getting herself into. Not knowing anything about sewing myself I had no idea how hard the ideas Autumn and I chose were going to be to put together.
When I brought the designs over to my mom’s she looked at what I had drawn up and said, “Hmmm, that’s going to be a challenge.” To my mom’s credit, she tackled the project with enthusiasm. To make sure she was producing what we wanted my mom kept up a really good communication flow with me and showed me what she had put together so far at a couple of different stages. Each time I looked at the outfits I couldn’t believe how they were coming together. My mom was producing something that was better than I had envisioned, and I told her so all along the way. In my opinion, what my mom pulled off was a miracle. The finished product of the girls’ regalia is stunning.
The girls were excited to finally have their own outfits, and from the first moment they put them on they couldn’t wait to perform in them. I’m really happy that the project became a solid family effort, and that the girls were able to have their mom and their grandma involved. The hoop dance is a storytelling dance, and part of the girls’ story is how much the principles of love and family are important to a life well-lived. Now they have something unique to each of them that will help them tell their story to others through the dance about how to connect with the Creator. Through that connection is where true healing and growth happens, and that is the narrative that their dance, and their regalia, will continue to tell.
The New Hoop Dance Regalia:
The Masters of Disaster Model Their New Regalia
Ze Mandy Rocks the Moon Symbols
The character of Mandy’s personal style with the dance is about Precision, Flow, and Spirit.
When Autumn and I were talking about what type of symbolism would best show Mandy’s character there were some common themes that came up. Mandy has a very deep imagination, and when she communicates she describes things in terms of how they change over time. Mandy is very introspective. She may seem stoic and a bit withdrawn to others, but she is actually very emotional. That emotional intelligence comes out in surprising ways sometimes. She makes deep friendships, is always monitoring the emotional state of others, and is always looking for ways to understand how other human beings work. These aspects to Mandy’s character led Autumn to offer that we should go with moon symbols on Mandy’s regalia.
The way that I have seen Mandy grow the most through her dance has been in her increasing ability to give up her self-consciousness. Mandy is the perfectionist in the family, and normally exhibits a lot of self-consciousness. She has to have things right before she’ll completely commit to something. Because the hoop dance is so technical and intricate there’s no way you can be perfect at it. That reality has broken Mandy of her need to be perfect all the time. Now, instead of perfection, Mandy is all about PRECISION. She sees things as more of a journey and a process to get things right, rather than needing to be right up front. This loosening up of her personality has also allowed her a greater ability to find flow, and through that flow a greater ability for her to express her spirituality.
Mandy From the Back
Mandy’s Apron Symbol
Mandy’s apron symbol. This is the Wheel of Eternity, expressed through the interconnected relationship between Heaven, Earth, and Humankind. It teaches us that our eternal destiny is shaped by our relationship with our Creator and how we fulfill the roles that we have been called to while in this world.
Mandy’s Cape Symbol
Mandy’s cape symbol. The three points represent Spirit, Mind, and Body. It teaches us that our personal power is found through the proper balance and magnification of these three aspects. The symbol lies on top of a Moon Disk. This tells us that our Integrity is expressed through our ability to maintain our power and our values in a world of constant change.
Mandy’s Signature Move: The Moon
Here’s Mandy nailing The Moon formation while performing at Provo High School’s Cultural Celebration on January 29, 2009.
The Warrior Bug Rocks the Sun Symbols
The character of Katie’s personal style with the dance is about Power, Energy, and Enthusiasm!
When we got to the discussion about Katie’s character and how we would symbolize that, Autumn and I both went right to her natural showmanship. If you look up the definition of the word “bombastic” in any dictionary, you’ll find Katie’s smiling face beaming back at you. She loves attention, and she loves making sure you know that she loves attention. Katie is a naturally enthusiastic kid, and I’ve often thought that her enthusiasm borders on legendary status. And she’s not just enthusiastic about certain things – Katie is enthusiastic about everything life has to offer. She’s my little sprinter toward life – she’ll throw every ounce of energy she has into whatever it is she’s doing, then she’ll pull the plug and recharge for a while, then start the whole process over again. She plays hard, and she rests hard. This led Autumn to think about using sun symbols to express Katie’s character.
What the hoop dance has done for Katie in growing her character has been in giving her something to build her self-discipline around. She’s learned to temper her bombasticness and understand that she can still be powerful while also being disciplined. In fact, she’s learning that she can be more a more powerful person by disciplining and channeling her natural energy into focused pursuits. Having goals and pursuing them means something to her now.
Super Kate From the Back
Katie’s Apron Symbol
Super Kate’s apron symbol. This is called a “Thunder Broom.” It represents the Power of God to purify and bring light to the world. It also symbolizes Katie’s surname: Loebel = Loeb El = German & Hebrew for “Receiving the Strength of God.”
Katie’s Cape Symbol
Super Kate’s cape symbol. This is a Sun Shield. It represents the power granted to us by God to resist our enemies – both temporal and spiritual.
Katie’s Signature Move: The Sun
Here’s Katie nailing The Sun formation while performing at Mountain View High School’s Multicultural Assembly on January 16, 2009.