Sarah Downey
Bradenton, FL
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Sarah Downey

Sarah D.

Bradenton, FL
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This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
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Teaching Locations:
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Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Hooping is a great way to lift your mood, get a full-body workout, develop a personal mindful movement practice, and even connect with others while staying at a safe distance.

I teach all levels of hoop dance, including on-body and off-body skills. My classes include warmups to prepare your muscles and mind for hooping, skill breakdowns and drills, combos, flow activities, exercises to sync your movement to the music, and more. You can choose what topics to learn for your private lesson, and I always tailor my group classes to student's requests and interests (both hoop skills and music playlists!).


Looking for new movement ideas and challenges? You got it!

Think you can’t hoop? Not true! ;) I'll teach you all the basics and beyond.

Don't have a hoop yet? No worries! I have a wide selection of hoop sizes you can try to help you find the right fit for your flow.


You may book a 60-minute lesson as a private (one-on-one) or split the class with 1-2 other friends. We can meet in a public park space, online via Zoom, or other outdoor space such as a suitable yard. Please message me to discuss more details!


My Hooping History:

I started my personal hooping journey in 2016, and was instantly hooked by the fun challenge, the calming repetitive movements, and the connection I felt to my younger self as a dancer - yet in a totally new style. I've found so much joy, creativity, self-expression, and community through this art form, and I am always eager to share it with others!

I have been fortunate to have opportunities to learn from some expert hoop teachers at local workshops, including guests such as Anah "Hoopalicious," Jonathan Baxter (HoopPath), Mike Hayataka, Rachael Lust, Lee Jeffries, and Brecken Rivara, plus our excellent teachers in the Sarasota/Tampa Bay area, Bonnie Brown, Cyrena Lang, and Abby Lee. In Summer of 2020 I became certified by Hoola-Fit, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) approved teacher training program. Since then I have taught hoop classes both outdoors and online to provide friends and community members with a socially distanced, low-risk movement outlet to take care of their physical and mental well-being during the challenges and isolation of the pandemic. I currently host a weekly hoop dance support group class at the Mental Health Community Centers, where anyone in the community can come explore hoop dance movement in a small, supportive group, in a beautiful shaded yard!

About Sarah D.

Hi, I'm Sarah, and I can help you turn that instrument sitting in the corner into a beloved musical hobby that you can always turn to through life’s ups and downs. Let's make music more often and enjoy the learning process!

I specialize in teaching highly individualized, age-appropriate lessons for school-age kids/teens, as well as teaching adult beginners, recreational music learners, or secondary instrument learners. I take a unique and creative approach to private lessons due to my experience in Elementary Music Education.

I'll make your lessons meaningful to you, by creating many of my own teaching materials and visual aids to meet your level and interests. We will blend your favorite modern genres with “classic” and “classical” tunes, and explore composition and songwriting along the way! I strive to always give you just enough detailed, technical instruction for the day, while leaving the doors open for exploration and creativity. We want to keep it FUN, keep it YOURS, and LEVEL UP all at once!

My background: I hold a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University. My primary instrument is flute, although nowadays I devote lots of love to my guitar, ukulele, piano, and voice to support my younger students and enjoy music making more recreationally. When I'm not teaching music, you can find me hula hooping and teaching hoop dance!

I've taught public school music (including K-5 general music, 6-8 class guitar, and chorus clubs) since 2016 and private lessons since 2015. This past year, I welcomed the new challenge of teaching online. I love connecting with students and helping them enjoy musical activities amidst the challenging times we're facing. I believe that safe musical instruction and connection is vital and valuable for our well-being.

Reviews

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Stephenie
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Sarah is a kind and knowledgeable hoop instructor. I couldn’t hoop on my waist at all when I started taking lessons with her and now I am able to keep the hoop going indefinitely. And while working to improve my waist hooping I learned a variety of off-body tricks and combinations. Sarah is great at tailoring lessons to any skill level and focusing on your individual goals and limitations. She is also really friendly, approachable, and open to feedback. I would definitely recommend!

Posted Apr 25, 2021
Caitlin
Profile-location-online Online

I have taken both in-person group classes and online group classes with Sarah. She always does a great job of catering to the students' levels and including some things everyone can do as well as some new things for everyone to learn!

Posted Apr 25, 2021
Noelle
Profile-location-online Online

Sarah is such a wonderful teacher with just the right balance of patience, sterness, and fun, perfect for my young child just learning to play.

Posted Apr 25, 2021
Lela
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Sarah is an amazing hula hoop instructor! I’ve attended a few classes with her and have learned a variety of techniques. Plus the lessons are fun and Sarah does a great job of making sure to accommodate all levels!

Posted Apr 25, 2021
Lily
Profile-location-online Online

Sarah is amazing! I love the flow of her hooping lessons and she always throughly explains anything I don’t understand. Plus she makes learning fun! I highly recommend taking hooping lessons from her if you are looking to learn a lot in a fun laid back environment!

Posted Apr 25, 2021
Ellen
Profile-location-online Online

Sarah was incredible! The lesson covered so much in just one hour and she shared her notes/lesson plan with me afterwards. I will definitely be taking more lessons with Sarah!

Posted Apr 25, 2021
Tricia
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter really enjoyed her flute class with Sara today!!

Posted Apr 7, 2021
Marli
Profile-location-online Online

Sarah has been a wonderful voice instructor for my son. She connects with him, keeps him focused and engaged, all while allowing him to have fun while he is learning. She tailors the lessons to him each week, and spends time sending us practice materials and notes after each lesson. He looks forward to his lessons each week!!

Posted Feb 22, 2021
Holly
Profile-location-home Student's Home

As an adult learner, I was nervous about taking my first piano lesson. I had always wanted to learn coming from a musical family but was hesitant to start. From the minute I showed up, Sarah welcomed me in and explained the basics of the piano and what the white and black keys were named and how half steps and full steps work on the piano. She taught me the correct form of sitting at the piano and what height my bench should be in relation to the piano and how to hold my wrists correctly. As a math person, she indulged my curiosity about ratios and drew a fantastic visual about the circle of 5ths that is still the best visual have to do this day. Better than anything you could find online. She gave me warm up practices for my fingers and told me of a great beginning piano book for adults. She also helped me deal with the frustation of my left hand (right hand dominant) not doing what I wanted it to do and what my brain was telling it to do and gave me tips on how to practice my left hand and not be frustrated. I moved and was sad that I couldn't continue in person lessons but am very happy that she offers online lessons. Sarah is a very kind person and made me feel not stupid when I messed up or felt like I was asking a "dumb question." With her background in teaching music and her immense knowledge of different instruments she is able to explain things in a way where it "clicks." If you're looking for a good music teacher you cannot go wrong with Sarah. She's lovely and makes learning the piano fun and not frustrating (which can happen at the beginning especially with the non-dominant hand) but Sarah knows how to handle any problem that may arise. She loves seeing her student's succeed and with her as your teacher you'll fall more in love with the learning process than you ever imagined possible.

Posted Oct 29, 2020
Christina
Profile-location-online Online

Our daughter loves taking lessons with Sarah. We are very impressed with the lessons each week and her progress. The lessons are well organized and perfect for her age.

Posted Oct 23, 2020

Photos & Videos

3 Photos & Videos

Experience

Hoop Dance Teacher
Aug 2020 - Present

Self-Employed

I teach hoop dance for all levels, both outdoors and online.

Private Music Teacher
Jan 2016 - Present

Self-Employed

I teach flute, guitar, piano, ukulele, and recorder lessons to all ages.

Elementary Music Teacher
Aug 2018 - Jul 2020

Sarasota County Schools

K-5 General Music Teacher, Chorus Club Director, Violin Club Sponsor

K-8 Music Teacher
Aug 2016 - Jul 2018

Imagine Schools

K-5 General Music Teacher, 6-8 Guitar Teacher, Chorus Club Director

Private Lesson Instructor
Jan 2015 - Jan 2016

Mason's School of Music and Dance

Taught flute, piano, and recorder lessons.

Education

Bachelor of Music Education
Aug 2010 - Apr 2016

Florida State University

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

Hoola-Fit Hoop Dance Teacher Training
Aug 2020

Hoola-Fit/ACE

ACE-Approved course in hoop skills, pedagogy, fitness, and business practices, including video practicum. 1.4 ACE Credits
Teaching Certificate - Music K-12
Jul 2016

Florida Department of Education

Affiliations

Sigma Alpha Iota (ΣΑΙ)
Sep 2011
Sigma Alpha Iota is a professional International Music Fraternity for women. Formed to uphold the highest standards of music and to further the development of music in America and throughout the world, it continues to provide musical and educational resources to its members and the general public.Sigma Alpha Iota operates its own national philanthropy, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc.
Florida Music Educators Association
Aug 2011
The mission of the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) is to promote quality, comprehensive music education for all Florida Students as a part of their complete education.

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