Flowing against the tide

Coronavirus lockdown was a great learning experience for Zahra Lee, a flow artist and Kevin Watson, a business development manager.
Calling herself a ‘light and fire fairy’, Zahra performs with hula hoops, fans and pois, while Kevin as an engineer individually produced over 24 hour worth of tutorials, which were used by nearly 200 students to enhance their learning experience during lockdown.
Since the pandemic began, Zahra has been building hula hoops and teaching online classes through her company called ‘Grow With The Flow Muscat.’

As stay-at-home moms were looking for new hobbies for themselves and kids, Zahra was wise enough to sell over 300 metres of hoops since lockdown began.
“I have built hoops according to a client’s height and weight to fit their body type. They can pick their own colours of tape depending on availability,” she says.
Before the pandemic she had plenty of workshops booked at different venues in Muscat. As lockdown set in it went online and all hoop orders made through Instagram.

“Hula hooping is a great workout. It is good for your mental health as it helps you focus and also works on your posture. Just playing for an hour you will lose 420 calories. It is a great hobby for adults and kids and a great bonding activity for both of them,” she explains.

Most of her online courses were beginner workshops where she taught basics, on how to keep the hoop spinning, how to turn while hooping and on how to stop the hoop from dropping.
All her materials for the hoops were bought locally and she made these from PVC piping, connecters and rivets. The hoop taping was covered with clients’ choice of colours.

To support the blossoming flow-arts community, she plans to open a creative arts school that supports its development by providing quality educational opportunities, informational resource hub and workshop-based festivals.
Zahra eventually aims to provide the highest quality flow-arts education and experiences available.

Kevin used lockdown to hone his video editing skills watching YouTube.

He made many tutorials including ‘Staying safe during COVID-19,’ construction site safety, safety management of contractors and many others.

Kevin stopped all classroom sessions and quickly moved to Zoom when the pandemic hit his company in Al Athaiba. He suggested enhancing the learning experience by recording tutorials and posting them on YouTube for learners.
As a keen amateur photographer, Kevin offered to give a try using his equipment. First he created a studio and then had to make some lighting rigs out of some old fitting, which they had recently changed out in the centre.
With this they were able to fill the community’s need for flow-skills training, personal growth and professional development.