Charleston events have fallen into a bit of a holding pattern. The art parties, the Kulture Klashes and their spawn, present an endless supply of breakdancers, graffiti artists, aerialists, and hula hoopers. But we aren't complaining — not yet anyway. Some of these acts continue to be a joy to watch, even when you can't remember how many times you've seen them.
Count Miss Hoopstress within that group.
Kacey Douglas, founder of Homespun Hoops, is the brains behind the young and hugely successful act that's embraced at artsy hipster soirees and kid's birthday parties alike. She's also usually the one you'll see contorting her body and dancing with a hoop in ways you'd never dream imaginable. Whether her hair is pink, red, or blonde, and whether she's wearing a skimpy S&M number or a flowery hippie outfit, you won't soon forget her act.
For Douglas, 28, learning the art of hula hooping was a trial-and-error process. Looking to emulate the hypnotic hoop dancers she'd seen at music festivals, Douglas bought a hoop and tried her hand at it. But the hoop was too big, and it took lots of help and a few years to perfect the craft.
Then she had to figure out how to make the hoops.
"When I first started making hoops, I didn't know how to make them connect well, and so I would have these huge gaps between one end of the tubing and the connector, and the other end of the tubing, and it obviously didn't look good," Douglas says. "The only thing I could think to wrap around there that was sufficient was a maxi pad. And then I would cover it with taping, and you never knew there was a maxi pad underneath.
"Now, we don't do that anymore."
Nope, Douglas and her business partner and Kristin Clapper-Mullins are running one of the hottest party entertainment companies in town. Besides performing at 70 events since they started in October 2007, they've sold countless hoops (now maxi pad-free!) and taught hooping lessons to girls and boys of all ages.
"We've just been busting our asses to get out there and do events and be seen and strut it, because we love it. It's just so much fun," Douglas says.