“Hooping” is the modern term for hula hooping with larger customized hoops. There are more and more people hooping all over America and around the world, but what the hell are they doing?
Historical Background: The hoop has a long history, which pre-dates the 1950s hula hooping fad by several thousand years.
Hooping began creeping back into the American collective cultural consciousness a decade ago. Certainly, fans of The String Cheese Incident deserve some credit for kicking off the second revolution of hooping. The band has been known to toss hoops into the audience during shows since the mid-90s, and their fans began spreading the joy of hooping everywhere. Soon hooping began showing up at underground dance community events and raves. If you’d like to read more about this resurgant wave of hula hooping, check out: What Goes Around Comes Around.
Hooping vs. Hula Hooping: Hooping is way more fun than the hula hooping you remember as a child, because the bigger and heavier the hoop, the slower it rotates around your body. This means that even if you think you can’t hoop, with one of these hoops, you can! Everybody can hoop, regardless of age, size, or sense of rhythm. When you’re using a customized hoop that’s four feet in diameter, the rotation is slow enough that even clumsy amateurs can keep the hoop going — and it’s not too hard to get into dancing and even doing tricks.
Hooping also just feels good. Another advantage of a bigger heavier hoop is that as it circles your waist, it gives you a solid massage. Your intestines and organs get a firm rythmic rubbing. It feels great! Some claim that hooping has other energetic benefits as well, but I can only speak for myself: I find hooping quite meditative, and perhaps more importantly, hooping makes me smile. Playing with a hoop works up a nice sweat, and like any cardiovascular exercise, it can hit the reset button on a bad mood. It’s simply a lot of fun; and I’m a firm believer that fun is healthy!
2010 Update: So, What Exactly Is Hooping Again?