Hula hoops aren’t just for the waist. Dancing with hoops—or “hooping”—incorporates the arms, legs, neck and anywhere else the hoop can twirl. To add to the crazy coolness, hooping encourages using multiple hoops at once for a hypnotic hoop-centric routine.
Hooping is serious. There are professional competitions that honor the best hooping routines—some of them featuring as many as 50 hoops at once. Hooping.org even hosts a Hooping Idol competition to find the best hoopers.
Dizzying twirling displays feature different hued hoops some with unique designs or even lights. Hooping techniques can vary with the individual. There are Native American-inspired hooping, LED hooping, Hip Hop hooping and more.
For beginners who are unsure where to begin with the hoop, start with a bigger hoop and start slow. Remember that bigger hoops twirl slower, so create a dance that involves slower beats.
Hooping.org addresses the 5 P’s that every new hooper should know: patience, practice, personality, perseverance and pass it on. The last “P” simply means that hoopers should share their love and passion of hooping with others.
In an article for PopSugar, Hoopnotica master trainer Jocelyn Gordon pointed out that beginners should channel their inner child: "If you start remembering it's a kid's toy, you stop taking yourself so seriously. You take yourself less seriously, and you have more fun."
Before hooping, hoopers must find their hoop and not all hoops are made for hooping. When using hoops for dance, the weight matters. Say yes to heavier hoops if just beginning the hoop dream. Heavier hoops are easier to control. However, bigger hoops twirl with less zeal and speed. Do not use weighted hoops for hooping, as weighted hoops should only be used for exercise.
Those with more hoop experience should opt for lighter hoops, especially when moving with fast beats and using multiple hoops on different areas of the body.
Many hooping sites offer online stores that sell hoops. You can find a great resource to find different hoops and their manufacturers. And, of course, there are also brick and mortar stores.
When shopping for hoops, always keep weight and size in mind. Smaller hoops can be used on the arms or legs. Bigger hoops can be used around the waist. Costs will vary by manufacturer, as will the colors and designs of the hoops. Many well-known sporting goods stores carry a variety of hoops…avoid any hoop that is labeled for fitness, however, as this often indicates a weighted hoop. You can also shop for travel hoops to use for on-the-go.
Elaborate hoops are always available, but save the craziness for competition or when hooping is mastered. Start with a basic heavier adult-sized hoop…then practice, practice, practice.
No matter what size hoop is used, every hooper burns calories doing what they love—keeping those crazy hoops in motion to the music. Some hoopers claim to burn hundreds of calories. However, the fun of the experience is the true benefit of hooping—burning calories is just a bonus.
Hoops incorporated into dance routines have always held a unique popularity. Now hooping has elevated to an international phenomenon. From light-up hoops that offer a fun flash to techno music backbeats to Native American-inspired tribal hoop dances, hooping has evolved into an art form that illustrates the creativity of each performer.
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