I discovered today that one of my coworkers, Cecelia, is a hooper! She saw the community hoop that I had brought to work and came to my cube to talk to me about it. She asked “Did you make it with PVC pipe and a connector?” I could tell that I was dealing with a pro.
Then I found out about a Yahoo hoop group that she frequents: HOOPITUP. It’s been around since 2000! Cecelia tells me that she has gotten some great advice on tricks from this group. I like this part of their introduction:
Guests will be invited by way of the hoop.
The only unfortunate part is that you can’t read any of the messages unless you are a member. I just joined them, and wouldn’t you know it: I saw some pictures of Anah in their group photo album. Ariel is already a member as well.
While some of us are hooping at Burning Man this week, those of us left behind in the Bay Area had our own very hot hooping event. We met in Berkeley for the second time in a row, this time at People’s Park. Like I said, it was HOT. Sure, it wasn’t as hot as the Playa, but probably the hottest day in the Bay Area to date this year. Spoiled as we are, we didn’t think we were going to get much hooping done and decided to just sit around and discuss hooping instead. But once we found a shady spot and turned up the music, we forgot all about talking and just hooped as usual.
Attendance was pretty good again. Several friends of BAH members joined us that we hadn’t seen before.
Despite all of us Californian hoopers here on hooping.org, there are hoopers all up and down the West Coast, and across the US.
A friend of mine in Seattle started hooping with me in July, and when I was back in Seattle last weekend, he showed me a trick he’s been working on. It’s a neat shoulder roll. I couldn’t do it for the life of me. I love being out-tricked by a new hooper! It’s one of my favorite things about hooping: doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it, you’ve always got something to teach!
1. Make sure you have the right size hula hoop!
If you’re using a kid-sized hoop and you’re not a kid, forget it! Most hula hoops that you can buy at stores like Target or Toys R Us are kid-sized. Unless you’re the size a child, a child-sized hoop is not going to work for you — especially not if you’re a beginner! You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache (and gain a lot of fun) if you make or buy a hoop that’s the right size for you.
What’s the right size? Try this: Stand with your hoop in front of you. The general rule of thumb is that a hoop should stand somewhere between your navel and nipple height, although some compensation should be made for your waist size, too. General rule of thumb: The bigger you are, the bigger the hoop should be. Larger hoops will rotate slower, making getting started easier. Smaller than that will make the hoop rotate faster, which is more challenging, although smaller hoops may be useful for certain tricks.
2. Put one foot in front of the other, and shift your weight
Hold the hoop against your back. You can start it a little above your waist. Then, push the hoop around your waist, and shift your weight back and forth on your feet to keep the hoop moving.
Easier said than done? Having trouble “keeping it up”? Here are some more tips:
Many people try to move their hips in a circle with the hoop. This actually makes hooping much harder. Try this: put one foot in front of the other and just shift your weight back and forth from foot to foot. It’s less of a circular hip motion and more of just a rocking or pumping motion.
In terms of which direction to hoop in, try ’em both! You’ll know right away which one is right for you. I’ve found that right handed people generally hoop counter-clockwise, while lefties generally go clockwise, but many people are exceptions to this rule.
Also, don’t lean and try to watch your hoop. It throws off your center of gravity. Bend your knees just a little and stand up straight. Move your focus and attention from your head down into your hips and go for it.
Most of all: be patient! It can take a while to get the hang of it — don’t give up! If you get frustrated trying to get the hoop going around your waist, try hooping with your hands! And again, if you find you’re really having trouble – it might not be you, it might be your hoop!
(click on thumbnails above for full size pics) When Bay Area Hoopers formed several months ago, I don’t know that we even thought that much about creating a hooping community. We just wanted to hoop and we didn’t want to hoop alone. As the weeks rolled on there were times Vera and I were the only ones showing up, but we kept hooping for the sheer joy of it. With last weekend came the merging. Our crew met up with Missy and Cinthia and Tree and their hooping friends at Golden Gate Park. Jason showed up as the new arrival in town. Everybody who hoops occasionally all came on the same day. Everybody was hooping. People just walking through the park were even inspired to grab an extra hoop and join us, some for hours. This weekend we met at Live Oak Park in Berkeley and it was pretty great to see our hoop group community spirit carry over to the East Bay. We took over most of the park. It was nice to see Heather, Derek and Min Jung out with us for the first time, especially since the idea for BAH came about at a party at Min Jung’s house.
One of the most exciting things in recent weeks is that new and isolated hoopers are finding us through hooping.org. Antonia showed up last week for the first time and even taught a few us a new trick. This week Nora arrived with her super-fresh homemade hoop she’d just finished making. There were many new faces, as well as people I’ve met recently who are already becoming favorite faces in hooping life. Bay Are Hoopers has truly sparked and we’re catching and spreading like wildfire.