Monthly Archives: October 2003

Dancing with hoops and people

If you’re anything like me, you don’t like dancing with a partner. You like dancing by yourself. I normally don’t really like it when somebody dances right up to me and stays there, especially because if you’re nice to them, they might try to get even closer. I don’t like to be touched when I am dancing, so when a stranger tries to dance with me, I get a little uncomfortable.
But not so with the hoop! The hoop is like your own little chastity belt to keep intruders into your dancing space at a distance. The other day at a party, somebody started dancing with me while I was hooping, and I didn’t mind at all! Since I had my hoop around me, I felt completely at ease and went with it and actually started dancing with the person. This is yet another example of the hoop bringing people together and easing tension.

Hoops for exercise? That’s craaaaazy!

hoop class Guess what? Health experts say there are fun ways to get exercise – ways like hooping. “Vivian Thurman takes that idea to heart. Vivian Thurman leads a Cardio Hoop Class at Bally’s that uses modified hula-hoop. The hoop is about the same size as a hula-hoop, but it’s heavier and weighs in at about three pounds. The hoop is used as a weight to help the participants warm up. Several exercises involve moving the hoop over the head, or from side to side. Then the real work begins. The class participants spin the hoops around their waists while moving aerobically. It’s harder than it sounds and requires a lot of coordination.” NBC4
For those considering buying a heavy hoop, please see this related post: HEAVY HOOPS, BAD BUSINESS.

Hooping Through The Darkness

Now that we’re in the darkest of the seasons, it’s time for those of us in the northern climates to start brainstorming how to do hoop gatherings when it’s cold/wet/snowy/icky outside.
Here in Seattle, I’m exploring the idea of renting a dance studio or trying to make a deal with someone who runs a club night to let hoopers in for free if we show up super early.
What are some of the options you’re exploring as the sun sets earlier, and hooping in the park loses some of its appeal?

The Hoop and The Tree

Saturday afternoon I met at Volunteer Park for a little Seattle hooping with Kara. (Seattle group-hoops are in the works, as soon as we secure a good warm indoor space for the winter!) She showed me this book that she’s been reading, called The Hoop and The Tree. Here’s the description from Amazon:

Imagine a vertical axis running through the center of your being, from your deepest roots up to your highest aspirations. This is the Tree, which anchors and centers you. Now imagine this Tree encircled by concentric rings of family, friends, all of humanity, and the encompassing beauty of nature. This is the Hoop of relationship. This simple yet life-changing volume fully explains for the first time the power of these two ubiquitous symbols to bring us a whole new understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Through explorations of their deep meaning in psychology, Native American and other spiritual traditions, myth and fairy tale, and questions, suggestions, and real-life examples, Chris Hoffman shows how we can use the Hoop and the Tree to be happier in our relationships; increase our connection with nature; release and build our inner strengths; and live lives of joy and satisfaction.

Looks like an interesting book that uses a metaphor we can all relate to. Any other hoop books to recommend?

Barbed Hula

barbed hula Australian news source The Age reports “Orifice, this year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival, is a bracing parade of unsettling visions involving body-openings. The works are both seductive and disquieting. The keynote is Israeli artist Sigalit Landau’s Barbed Hula, a video projection that takes advantage of the gallery’s high ceiling. A female trunk is shown gyrating slowly by the sea. A hint of the performer’s chin appears, cast backwards, as if in euphoria, as the woman rolls a hula hoop around her midriff. As the camera concentrates on the torso, your gaze becomes disturbingly clinical, for you notice that the hula hoop is made from barbed wire and etches nasty weals into the flesh. Landau performs naked, adding to the sexual rhythm of the hips as they maintain the hoop in its cruel orbit.” More: The Age

Back in the day

I’ve been looking into how the media covered the original spread of the hula hoop in 1958. Pretty interesting stuff. Shortly after it took over America, hoops hit the shelves in Europe, and then went Big in Japan, too. In the wake of all the fun came some hand-wringing among older folks. Check out this “cautionary tale,” as reported in the New York Times of November 23, 1958:

Death Laid to Hula-Hooping
Shizuoka, Japan, Nov. 22 (AP) — Yusaku Fukushima, 17 years old, came home Wednesday with a report he had twirled a hula hoop around himself 500 times. He said he had a headache.
He died Thursday night. Physicians said today that his death had been caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the brain resulting from too much hula-hooping.

So, uh, take it easy out there kids!