First Time Hooper

January 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

I tried hooping a couple weeks ago. One of the other dancers in my troupe brought her new hoops to our Christmas party and taught us a couple tricks. It was really fun. I can see why people get into hoop dancing.

I was surprised to learn that the circular movement we all made with our hips when we hula hooped as kids is unnecessary. You actually just have to shift your weight back and forth with the rotation, which is also what makes the dancing part of hoop dancing easier to work in.

Hooping was a little more violent than I expected. It looks like it would be so gentle, but sometimes you can actually hear the hoop smacking against the hooper if you’re close enough to them.  I guess it’s not uncommon for people to get bruises when they’re first learning.  I hooped for about 45 minutes and walked away with just a tender spot right above my belly button and a hoop-width bruise on my thigh. I could tell it was really working my core muscles and it was very fun, so I’d say it’s worth the occasional bump or bruise.  And as my poi teacher used to say, every time you hit yourself, you learn something.

In a way, hooping is like spinning poi. You have to watch the rotation and initiate other moves/tricks at certain points. I found turning with the hoop to be very easy. I was able to turn within one rotation or within multiple rotations. That was my favorite trick I learned because it really felt like dancing. We learned the lasso which is where you pull the hoop from your waist to overhead, rotating it on your hand. This was pretty challenging. We also learned to change the plane of the waist rotation, leaning forward or back (I can’t remember the names of these). That was fun and not as challenging as the lasso.

I can absolutely see the appeal of the hoop. It’s great exercise, challenging and fun, and of course there’s a high “cool” factor. I don’t plan on pursuing hoop right now, mostly because I lack the free time, but I can see myself getting into it one day.

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