Interview with Tiana Zoumer
How do you access/find/listen to your inner guidance/your Warrior Within?
I hoop. I breathe. I process in flow. I utilize the present practices that center and move me and don't worry how it should look, feel or be. I just allow my energy the freedom to move through me.
I hoop because it reflects the battles that I could be fighting on an internal landscape. I could be tearing through myself with a collage of old patterns, new inspirations, and endless variations of bliss, torture, and ecstasy but instead these things are movements, they're a poetry in motion, a practice, a release. Something to be felt and moved through. I let the Warrior hold space for my infinite being and I get moving, putting my lens in the present moment, touching what's available to my creation now.
Tell us about the experience of making Keep On Breathing video?
It was kinetic kismet. I feel like we're always moving in the directions that we need to when we're present within our creative center. Jen reached out to me at a critical time in her vision and the level of grace in her approach and inspiration made the space possible to create what we'd both never done before. Keep on Breathing was the method and inspiration, we created from what we all knew was present within us waiting to be born from our collective breath of creation. It felt alive, vulnerable and knowing. A moving present practice we all shared and grew our inspiration through the circle, the lens and of course, the Onesie.
You are seen as a real life walking super heroine. How does that feel? What does it mean to you?
I feel humbled and honored. I have always had a very withdrawn perspective of myself. A part of my Warrior instinct used to pick and prey on my own insecurities viciously, which greatly isolated me for a lot of my life. Somedays I feel like I've only ever been fighting a battle to keep on breathing. Fighting for my right to cry, laugh, fall, flail and learn.
And When I'm thought of as some sort of super hero I immediately want to throw it back, like rubber to glue. If I'm a superhero it's because you are too!
I decided for myself that Love inspires me. It's embarrassing, it's raw, it's whole and vulnerable. But it leaves room. The way the circle always holds space for me to dance, I always leave room for new reflections.
My freedom comes from always empowering my understanding as a path for connection. When offered a powerful reflection it's like letting the light into the mirrored halls of my heart. I am filled and I shine in honor of that intention and return all my loves reflection.
I think we play different inspirations for each other through our lifetimes and that every reflection is a lesson. I believe the more we express our need for freedom as a personal journey and empower the spiraling growth of those we love that we'll find ourselves more infinitely connected than ever before, in more patterns than we can hold onto, and in every direction we can dream of.
I am grateful to be alive and dancing with this world.
Upcoming projects for 2014?
Being Warrior Within's first Portrait of a Warrior has been a huge inspiration! We've co-created "The Zoumer Onesie" which reflects the embodiment of my Hoop warrior. I am not one to wear costumes and am inspired by sensibilities related to style, functionality and form. Getting into creating clothing that is adaptable as a pattern is a huge goal. The Onesie being the whole, I am interested in deconstructing the patterns to create building blocks for eclectic kinetic styling. This year I will be traveling more than ever. Teaching, performing and living out of a suitcase, so developing clothing options for myself that can be styled differently is both a matter of pattern geekery and style necessity. I like to build outfits by layering shapes on my body and will be putting out different videos showing ways that I evolve the pattern throughout the year. Everything will be available through ZoumerUS.com and Warriorwithinus.com.
Tiffany, my ultra-marathon running sister, and I have also began teaching local classes in the Bay Area as 3Z Kinetics. She is amazing at conditioning, which is exactly what I needed to advance my hooping so we combined forces. She gets people sweaty with booty workouts, mini obstacles courses, and partner work and then I teach flow, tricks, and whatever other hoop inspiration is calling me that week. It's more of a space to come and practice and meet with whoever else wants to get sweaty, happy and flow-faced.
This year I am also producing prints from the Illuminated Movement Photography series that I collaborate on with my sister-in-love Julie Hanna. In our first photo shoot ever we won the Hoopie for Best Hoop Picture of the Year and it contributed greatly to way I witnessed my hooping as a frame by frame of still, illuminated movements. Her lens is so receptive and resonant and this year we're collaborating deeper, growing more conceptual projects and continuing to love the process of evolving our practices together.