A Conversation With: Chris Gogler

aka @c_section_hoops (he/him)

When did you start learning Hoops, and what drew you to it in the first place?

I first became aware of hooping through my friends Katina and Alice. They are both this magical kind of human that come into your life with a lot of presence and energy, leaving you inspired to live life with a little more courage and passion. Katina taught my friend Alice to hoop and in turn her and Alice both taught me. It was probably about 10 years ago, I remember it took me so long just to be able to get the hoop spinning on my waist, honestly it was a few hours of trying before I got it going. I remember I was outside the pub (#australianlyf) and I finally got it going around my waist and I was so excited about it and so pleased with myself!

How have you decided you wanted to go pro as a Hoop Artist?

The journey towards becoming a pro Hoop Artist was not necessarily direct. I started off with a classical tertiary dance education which I quit due to injury, however it also became clear to me that the world of classical dance was really not a fit for my personality and how I envisioned living my life. I started hooping as a hobby and something I just did for myself, the decision to start teaching and performing Hoop professionally took a long time, I was unsure at the time if making that decision might kill my love and passion for Hooping. Luckily it didn't, I'm still in love with and excited by what I do and the opportunities it has provided me over the last years.

How many hoops do you own?

Honestly I am not sure how many hoops I own, I lend hoops to people all the time so some are scattered amongst friends and loved ones, in my basement I have a collection of homemade hoops that are great for teaching beginners with, in my apartment I probably have a stack of about 20 or 30 hoops of different size/weight/quality that I actively train with.

Have you been doing any online performances during lockdown?

I've only done two online performances during lockdown, one was for an online Hoop convention last year and the other was to support the venue Zum Starken August, the first I did in my living room and the second I got to pre-record (under corona safe conditions of course) in Zum Starken August, it was really nice to be on a stage again! To be honest performing online isn't so much my thing, I prefer to have a real audience in front of me, to feel that energy exchange between the audience and the performer, for me that is the joy of performing and I just don't feel that performing for an online audience. Although the lockdown has definitely pushed me to be more consistently present online which has had some great benefits, I feel connected to my global community of hoopers and presenting myself online is performative so it feeds that side of me that loves to perform and is missing being on stage.

Do you have a favourite song or genre at the moment that you like to dance to?

The music that I enjoy dancing to is quite varied, I'm constantly collecting new music, stealing tracks from friends, TV shows, wherever I can get it. I really enjoy discovering new music through my training, so I will listen to something for the first time and then move and hoop to it and I often use the inspiration of discovering that music to guide my training. Buuut I have to say I am a huge fan of disco, it's just so fun to dance to.

Have you been involved in a circus or circus school at some point?

I'm not really from the classic circus world, having had no circus training and coming from a dance background has its challenges in a lot of ways but I think it has some positive sides too.
I did teach a few children's circus classes for a friend whilst she was on holiday a few years ago and...well let's just say it taught me that I am not really interested in working with kids.

What was your highest point in your career?

I couldn't really name a high point in my career, I feel like every moment that I get to share my passion through teaching and performing are all high points! I just feel quite grateful for the amount that I have been able to travel doing what I love and meeting so many kind and amazing people along the way.

How are you inspired by the community around you?

I'm constantly inspired by the hoop community, it's amazing to see the passion, dedication and creativity of all of these fabulous people. I feel like as a global hoop community we keep pushing the envelope for what is possible in terms of hoop technique, self expression, creative fusions of other artforms with our own, community gatherings and events, I'm constantly being blown away by this and seeing this happen, seeing other people follow their passion and their creativity, helps me to keep going and follow my own curiosities and my own path.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you have a specific goal in mind (In regards to being a Hoop Artist or otherwise)?

I'm not so great at making concrete plans, as an overthinker I have spent so much energy investing in thoughts of the past and the future that now I think I would mostly prefer to just live in the moment and take each day as it comes. I would love to work more as a performer, especially more in the
Variety or new circus scene but I'm really open to the possibilities that come, I guess the biggest plan is to just perform and keep performing.

If you could pick a Drag Name, what would it be?

I think my drag name is actually just C-Section because it's a badass drag name and sometimes I have performed with the Hoop in drag, that was also partly my initial intention for choosing that name for myself. However I did come up with a funny drag name in German 'Carla Stella' which is a play on the words 'kahle stelle' meaning bald spot.

Recent up-date news from Chris is that he was recently on the Voice of Germany!

Check it out!

Thank you to Chris for the wonderful conversation! We look forward to seeing more from you and chatting in the future. See more from Chris on his instagram page: @c_section_hoops!

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