Meet Mawara the Amazing, hoola hooper extraordinaire, with a colourful collection of heels, fancy outfits and epic hair. Read on to find out how many hoops she can hoola at once, about her experience volunteering at a circus school in Nepal and where she goes to cut all that hair.
LLO: Where are you from originally and what brought you here?
MtA: I grew up in Australia, PNG and the Middle east – a nomad for life. I came to London because I heard that there was a great cabaret scene here (TRUE) and instantly felt at home! There is so much great stuff going on everyday, interesting people making interesting work, and so close to Europe – its a perfect circus base!
LLO: Your hair deserves its own question because it’s pretty amazing. Tell us how you ended up with such amazing hair! How do you take care of it?
MtA: Ha! yeah, there is a lot of it.. My dad is Somali so that’s the curls but my mum has thick red hair – so its a brutal combination in terms of maintenance. So much conditioner…so much combing.. strong arms…
LLO: Doesn’t it get in your way when you hoop? Best place to get a hair cut in this city?
MtA: Yes it totally gets in the way! I can’t wear lipgloss because then it sticks to my lips – gross. I used to get my hair cut at Tommy Guns in London, but now I save up and go to new york because Tim Nolan moved to their New York salon and he is a GENIUS. LOVE YOU TIM!!
LLO: How did you become a professional hoola hoop master as a career? Was it always your dream?
MtA: I studied at a circus school in australia – but I also did aerial things, trapeze, etc. I didn’t set out to dedicate my life to hoops as a child or anything! But I am so happy it’s turning out that way. I absolutely love hoops. I wanna do it forever.
LLO: How many hoops can you hoop at once? What’s your favourite trick?
MtA: 133. I’m training for more! It gets heavy. Must train more… Mmm, my favourite trick is splitting four hoops on my body – two going in one direction and two going in the other. It’s a proper geek trick. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s damn hard.
LLO: Tell us about your experience making it to the Live Semi-Finals on Britain’s Got Talent. What was the most memorable moment for you and why?
MtA: My most memorable moment is hanging from a hand loop 10 meters up in the air through a commercial break because it was live to air, so we had to be ready. I was hanging by one arm thinking, “I am about to lose my grip and fall to the ground in front of 20 million people LIVE.” It was a really fun show to do though. I love variety, people showing off weird talents, etc. I wish they took the singing out of it and just had weird tricks! But the songs make the money…
LLO: You’ve done quite a few charity events internationally. Tell us about one or two that really stood out for you and why.
MtA: I worked with a circus school in Kathmandu in Nepal. I have some videos on my youtube account about it. They are a really amazing group working with orphans rescued after being sold as children into the Indian circus. It’s an amazing project and I really support what they are doing.
LLO: Fashion definitely plays a role in your image as a performer. How do you decide what to wear? Where do you buy your outfits? And your favourite places to shop for everyday clothes you don’t wear for performing?
MtA: EDGELEY EDGELEY EDGELEY. Alice Edgeley is in my gang. Wampnation. She is the best costume maker of all time and she makes clothes that really fit a lady! It’s so hard to find things to fit especially when you are curvy. I end up searching a lot for vintage trousers, and wearing a lot of cotton lycra! Stretchy clothes are the best!
LLO: What do you do in London when there’s no hoops in sight?
MtA: Order some more! Or go to Paris…
LLO: What’s your favourite London discovery?
MtA: The Barbican. I love the barbican so much i became a member. I like to go really early in the morning when its empty and walk around the buildings – its one of my favourite places ever.
LLO: What else are you working on now and what’s next for you?
MtA: Settling back into London as I have been touring for the last five months with La Soiree, and going to things like the Mexican Circus Convention (so cool, I love Mexico!). I am running classes at the Roundhouse and will re-open my hoopermarket really soon – the one stop online shop for all things hoop related! Best place to stay up to date is marawatheamazing.com.