Monthly Archives: May 2004

Hooping it up in the SF Chronicle

bah area hoopers in the san francisco chronicle

If you’re coming to from the San Francisco Chronicle, welcome! Today’s article and photos give you a taste of what we’re about, and if it looks like fun to you — we’d love for you to join us.
If you’re in the Bay Area we will be hooping today (Sunday, 5/23) from 2pm on in Dolores Park this week. We’ll have extra hoops to play with, so just bring your enthusiastic self! You’ll know us when you see us.
To find out where we do our thing each and every weekend, join the Bay Area Hoopers Email List.

Dizzy Hips at Seattle’s Fremont Solstice Fair

dizzy hips In Seattle, the Fremont Fair And Summer Solstice Parade are coming soon. The ever-evolving and eclectic Fremont Fair features 350 craft and import booths, 50+ local musical artists, beer gardens, an Art Car display, a Saturday night outdoor movie, food and beverage booths and performers including Paul “Dizzy Hips” Blair. I had the pleasure of meeting him recently at a Sunset Party here in the Bay Area. He’s an amazing hooper and I highly recommend checking out his videos on his website. He also holds the world record for hooping with the largest circumference hoola hoop (with a 43 foot circumference), the mile run while hooping (7:47) and 10K run while hooping (1:06:35). Check out his site and if you’re in the Seattle area, check him out live at the fair. Info available here.

Hula hoop took a deadly turn for teacher

Awhile back we learned that hooping means something else to certain individuals in Canada. Well, in South Africa a teacher got caught up in an alleged vehicle insurance scam known as a hula hoop, which in his case went wrong and cost him his life. Hula hoops, according to the article, involve selling a car to a syndicate, which either exports or dismantles it for its parts. The owner claims insurance and shares the proceeds with the syndicate. Bruce Currin’s involvement in a hula hoop resulted in his charred body being found in a field 10 days after he had disappeared. You can read more about if you’re really interested on IOL. The important thing to remember is if someone in South Africa asks if you want to join a hula hoop, probably the best answer is a polite and simple “No, Thank You.”

Hoop Surgery

For the second time now I have performed a surgery on one of my hoops. What do I mean by surgery? Opening up the hoop after it’s already been put together, cutting out a piece somewhere and then putting in a new connector.
The first time I did it was because I had run out of yellow tape while making a hoop and had made the last five or so inches pink. I then decided to take out the pink chunk to keep the hoop consistently yellow. I remember that people were very concerned that I was going to cut into my finished hoop, but if the surgery results in a hoop you’re going to like much better, why not go for it?
I did the second surgery last night. Remember when I made that gigantic fluorescent hoop for my friend Starrie’s birthday?

I ended up having to order her one online instead because the post office wouldn’t ship it. The hoop, which is too big to fit into my car, has been sitting on my wall unused ever since. So last night I decided to cut it open.

I removed several chunks, held the new ends of the hoop in the hot water again and closed it back up with a new connector. The result is a much smaller hoop that is going to fit into my car and that I’m going to get a lot more use out of!

The moral of the story? When in doubt, go for the surgery. The hoop really doesn’t get hurt that much, and it may just become a better companion in the long run.

Headless Hoopers

As Philo mentioned in the last post, a lot of hoopers joined us in Dolores Park on Sunday, and Min Jung took lots of pictures.
That day Min Jung took a series of photos of what I like to call headless hoopers. No, these hoopers do have heads, they just didn’t make it into the pictures. All you can see is their legs, torsos and hoops.
For some reason, these headless shots have really resonated with me ever since I saw them. I think it’s because hooping is all about the body. When you hoop, you leave your head — and everything associated with it, such as thoughts, head aches, etc. — behind and may even forget that you have one. Your body becomes the center piece of the hoop, and your head is completely secondary.
Do you recognize any of the headless hoopers below? Don’t try too hard because it really doesn’t matter. They are all hoopers!

Bay Area hoop explosion

bah at dolores park

The Bay Area hooping explosion is just around the corner. More people turned out to hoop yesterday in Dolores Park than we’ve had in some time. With a special guest appearance by Anah and Sass from L.A.’s Good Vibe Hoop Tribe, a video shoot for Scratch Pad TV – the cable access variety television show on SF’s colorful underground culture (2nd and 4th Monday nights on Channel 29 at 11pm), and a San Francisco Chronicle photographer on hand snapping shots for the upcoming article that will appear in this Sunday’s Pink Pages, hooping in the Bay Area will never be the same.
The photo above was taken by Min Jung. There’s more from the day here.

Oberlin College teaches hula hooping

Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio features special type of extra-curricular classes called ExCo, which stands for Experimental College. These alternative classes can be on subjects such as figure drawing, Korean, belly dancing, … or hooping! One of the ExCo classes this year is called the Hoopla Brigade, in which seniors Sarah Wallace and Phoebe Weierle teach students not only how to hoop and make hoops, but also about the historical and cultural background of hula hooping.
Today the Hoopla Brigade is the featured ExCo in an article on the college website and is even linked to from the front page under Student News!
My favorite quote from the article?

Sarah Wallace ’04 and Pheobe Beierle ’04 are serious hula hoop enthusiasts, and insist that they have never met a person who can’t be taught.

I completely agree with them. Whenever I offer somebody to try a hoop and they say “I can’t do it,” which happens quite frequently, I suggest the contrary, and so far I have been right every time.
And here is my second favorite quote from the article:

For more information on the hooping community outside the Obie bubble, go to

Thanks for the mention, Sarah, Phoebe and Tobias!