August 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
It has been a busy summer, but I have been able to find more time for hooping! It is a great full-body work out, invigorating and most importantly, fun! Being at the “blossoming beginner” stage of a hobby is very rewarding. I now have enough experience with the hoop that I am able to learn new tricks more quickly (courtesy of homeofpoi.com‘s “learn” page) and there is so much to look forward to learning. I like to enjoy every stage of a hobby, but this is an especially fun one.
When I first tried hooping, it was in a workshop with a teacher who also taught belly dance. Most of the students in the workshop were belly dance students, and we started the class by repeating several times, “hooping is not belly dance!” The teacher wanted to make sure we weren’t inserting unnecessary movement into the hooping because of our belly dance muscle memory. The two art forms use some of the same muscle groups in different ways. That being said, there are some types of isolations used in belly dance that are useful with certain hoop moves. For example, being able to move the chest independently from the hips helps with chest hooping.
Hula hooping is a good cross-training choice for belly dancers. It’s low impact like belly dance, but is very cardiovascular, while belly dance is sometimes not. Not only does hooping aid in muscle strengthening and toning, it can balance the fitness routine. It is gaining popularity among belly dancers, especially in the tribal community. This, of course, leads to fusion! I am nowhere near being to a point where I could fuse together hooping and belly dance, but I sometimes come across videos of this. This is one of my favorites. It is artfully executed and reflective of the music. Enjoy!