Local fire, hoop, and aerial performer Jorden Dundich (aka Gypsy Love) has not always been the confident performer gracing stages and audiences everywhere with her hoop, fire and aerial performances like she does these days. She claims that boredom led her to the performances she now shares with classes, stage performance, and street performance. She has performed with local troupes Cirque Airotic, The Va Va Vixens, the Phoenix Collective, Turner's Circus, Lacore valmon, poi vision, and at festivals such as rootwire, terrapin harvest festival, love fest in addition to charity events and offering classes/workshops.
She was first introduced to poi at raves at the age of 18.There were a group of people who were very arduant about practicing with their lightsticks.
"I used to make fun of them a little," admitted Dundich. "Everytime the party died a little, I'd say, 'dance, monkey, dance'... until one day one of my friends brought home some UV poi flags from a store in London. She didnt know much to do with them, but even the small stuff she was doing made me fall in love."
Dundich set out to learn the poi and began to work with a group of people, joking about running away with the circus. They lit the poi on fire for the first time on her 19th birthday. Spinning fire led to a whole new journey of networking, learning and performance.
She began to take up hooping when some of her friends caught the bug, but she stuck with the poi until a friend made her a custom hoop. They used to join other fire spinners and drummers at the park on Tuesdays to practice.
"I remember one night I had freshly bonded with my new hoop and really only knew a few tricks, but something about the drum circle and the good mood I was in caused me to zone out in it."
She continued to develop her love and ability with hoops, losing fifty pounds in the process. With a newfound self confidence and better body image, she began to overcome her thoughts that she would never take the stage. Along the way she picked up aerial net and lyra from Louisville aerialist Mia Sullivan who has trained with Louisville Aerial Revolution, Aloft in Chicago, Harvest Moon in NYC, Wise Fool, and Arizona Circus School. Dundich also trained on Lyra in addition to hair and neck hang with Chris Lemon, who was in the ringling bros circus (and trained with Migeull Pages, Solvieta Fernadaz).
Her "ground" talents now include hoop and twins (two small hoops), breathing fire, fire hoop, staff and spinning fire poi, glow poi, flag poi; her aerial talents include neck hang, hair hang, aerial hammock, and lyra; She said that she wants to learn sword swallowing next. Other future plans include establishing a spot to teach her workshops and starting a group to perform abroad.
"Since I have graduated to performing my favorite part of all this is inspiring people to try something new. Many people out there are ashamed of their vibrance and the greatest gift is watching people finding that in themselves."
Currently, Jordan stays busy with her performances on stage, (like the upcoming burlesque Va Va valentine in February at Art Sanctuary and Alley Theater) and the classes she offers.
In 2009, Jorden formed a class that incorporated both her passions, health and dance... with "Hooping for Health". The hoop is increasingly becoming a popular way to lose weight fast, and have fun while you are doing it. With its demand for constant movement, hoopers can enjoy the benefits of a cardio workout while increasing endurance and building core muscle. Her class is designed to help gain balance, coordination, and reverse bad posture.
"The hoop takes times to learn how to move with, but more importantly is where it will move you in your life."
Her class schedule is below:
Hooping for Health workout
4:00pm-5:00pm every Tuesday starting December 14th-January 18th
This class will be a six week series, focusing on different muscle groups each class. Beginners welcome. Hoops provided.
All six weeks :$100
Price per class: $20
Hoop dance Workshop
2:00pm-3:30pm every Saturday starting January 8th
Learn to use the hoop as a dance partner for a healthy hobby you can take wherever you want. This class will vary in style with new tricks taught each week, followed by a 30 minute freestyle hoop jam. Hoops available. Beginner-Intermediate.
5 day pass: $75
Price per class: $18
Photo: Jorden Dundich during a show with Cirque Airotic, photo by Joe Mays