CARISSA CARICATO | FOUNDEr/CHIEF EXECUTIVE HOOLA-GAN
After my first life-changing, heart-awakening trip to Haiti in January 2009, I started taking hoop dance classes with the Hoola Monsters. When I took a bunch of travel hoops back to Haiti for Christmas in 2009, they were a magical way to interact with the kids (and adults) everywhere! I fell in love, with hooping, Haiti, the contagious joy of the children, but more importantly, with Jesus and His love for the whole world.
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, God began to shake and move my world around. After two more trips to Haiti and lots of divine stories, I started Hoola for Happiness in July 2010 to spread the joy of hooping and the love of God all over the world through hooping projects and partnerships. I quit my nonprofit marketing job at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay to pursue Jesus’ call on my life to focus on Hoola for Happiness full time.
Our team of Joy Spreaders have been to 77 countries since 2010, and as God opens doors, we are hooping right through them. Following God is the craziest adventure you could ask for, and it is so worth it for the JOY He brings!
My Hoop Places: Haiti, Brazil, England (London), Kenya, Uganda, India, Dubai, United States/Hawaii, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Czech Republic (Prague), Poland, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND. -2 Timothy 1:7
LAURA UCHOA | JOY SPREADER, BAMBOLE PARA ALEGRIA (SAO PAULO, BRAZIL)
Laura is the leader of the Bambolê Para Alegria project (Hoola for Happiness Brazil), based in Sao Paulo (city of Maua). She is passionate about dancing for Jesus, teaching dance as worship, discipleship and loving on kids who come from difficult backgrounds. Laura also participates on the leadership team for REGAR, a unified worship dance leadership council for all of Brazil. They actively participate in street outreach, social projects of dance, missionary training for the arts and participation in events such as World Cup and the Olympics.
Laura has trained hoop missionaries all over Brazil through this partnership for street outreach & kids social dance projects, as well as hosted a Hoola for Happiness world leadership gathering in 2016 for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, while dancing in the streets to glorify our great God!
DEEP SHIKHA | JOY SPREADER, Hoola For happiness india (RANCHI, Jharkhand)
Deep Shikha is our India coordinator of the Hoola for Happiness India project, working with our missions partner Good News Centre Ranchi in North India. She joined the team in December 2011 and has been a super part of our global team!
Deep Shikha has a background in dance choreography and a special heart for helping kids through social dance projects in poor areas. She has graduated with her MBA and oversees Hoola for Happiness hoop production in India. She traveled with our India team to start therapeutic hoop dance programs with rescued girls through International Justice Mission in 2014 and 2015. She continues to lead hoop projects all over India with a team of Joy Spreader volunteers.
RENELLE SNELLEKSZ | JOY SPREADER, Hoola for Happiness india (MUMBAI)
Meet Renelle- an amazing, hilarious, joyful, dancing, hooping, Jesus-loving, world-changing beauty who is now officially coordinating H4H India’s efforts in Mumbai! Renelle has worked alongside our H4H India team during the administration of hoop projects in her area, and she brings her own skills in therapeutic dance along with her. Not only that, she has also beautifully incorporated hoops in her existing social projects.
A former TV entertainment news anchor, Renelle resigned from her last assignment after working for six years at the leading TV network Times Now to pursue her passion for dance and social change. Now, through bringing dance/ dance movement therapy into places like the slums, women’s prisons, children’s cancer centers, aftercare homes for girls/ young women rescued from sex trafficking, and more, Renelle is living out her passions.
Renelle is now an independent dance movement therapy practitioner, and she loves using therapeutic dance as a tool for non-verbal communication and a vehicle for healing, recovery, restoration and transformation. Renelle’s Dance Movement Therapy initiative is called AL!VE – Rise to Dance Again. She partners with reputed organizations like International Justice Mission, the Indian Cancer Society and Save the Children (India) among others. She has been trained and represents Kolkata Sanved, pioneers of Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) in India. In addition to this, Renelle also handles the creative production for an art therapy and vocational training project for women under trials in prison in Mumbai called AL!VE.