With a moniker like Fire “Berns,” one can’t help but wonder how twenty-seven-year old Bernadette Yu arrived at the name. The answer is quite simple. Her friends call her Berns, and she likes to play with fire – literally.
Bernadette was a twirling vision of blaze amidst the fire poi dancers at Parkmall’s Earth Hour celebration last March 26. As soon as she stepped on stage and spun a burning hula-hoop, she had everyone’s attention. Not only is fire hooping uncommon in the country, but there’s also a big chance you can’t even think of anyone else who does. “I haven’t heard of any other fire hoopers in the Philippines. But fire hooping is slowly gaining attention, and I am certain that other fire hoopers will emerge in the country in no time,” says the Cebuana.
The fine arts (major in advertising) graduate from the University of San Carlos began hooping in May 2010 to conquer a childhood frustration: “Hula-hooping was something I could never manage to do. Now an adult, I wanted to get it over with. I went online for search for a simple waist hula-hooping tutorial, and instead came across a hooping video. It was the beginning of my love affair with hooping.” Since then, she’s been at it non-stop like a growing addiction, hooping from five minutes to three hours everyday at home or with friends in open grassy areas. It only took eight months before she decided to advance to the ring of fire. “I came across a video of HoopCharmer hooping with fire, and it blew me away! I was captivated by the sight of her dancing with fire. I knew I would end up doing that one day. After months of hooping, I felt ready for a fire hoop and went ahead and got one. Sometimes you just know when you’re ready.”
Ready she definitely is, having also performed at the DNA lounge opening and Spotlight’s Dance Company’s “Origin” Recital earlier this year. You may be able to catch her at the August 2011 Fire Festival that Parkmall is planning to host, where she will perform alongside other artists who sport flow or fire toys like fire poi, fire fans and fire staff. Bernadette is also initiating a hula-hoop movement with Hoopaholic Cebu, the Philippines’ pioneer brand of adult hula-hoops. Unlike hoops sold in stores, Hoopaholic’s are heavier in weight and larger in size. Their surface is lined with colorful tape that provides more friction. More than a fun exercise routine, hooping can be a form of self-discovery: “The hoop is really the best teacher there is because it molds your body to move ways you would never imagine.” When asked what hooping has done for her, Bernadette replies without hesitation, “Hooping is such a big part of my life now. It has made me a happier, more confident person. It is amazing how much a simple hoop can teach you. It teaches you to embrace your mistakes, to be unafraid of failures, to push the boundaries, to celebrate your successes no matter how little. The lessons are endless.”
For more information on Hoopaholic Cebu, you may visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/hoopaholiccebu.