At hooping.org we receive quite a few emails that say something like “I live in Wichita, Kansas and nobody hoops here. What can I do?” The answer is very simple: It’s up to you to start the revolution in your community! It’s time to stop waiting for somebody else to take the initiative and start taking matters into your own hands.
A hoopless community doesn’t turn into a hoopful community from nothing. Somebody needs to do something. Philo and I realized this in April 2003 when we felt the urge to start hooping regularly. At the time the only hoopers we knew were Ariel, who lived in Los Angeles at the time, and Jason, still in the Boston area. But we were in the San Francisco Bay Area and we really wanted to hoop. So we got together at a park one Sunday and told some friends. There were about eight of us that showed up that first Sunday. The Bay Area Hoopers have been meeting and hooping every weekend since then.
Here are some tips to help you get the hooping started in your area:
1. Have hoops to share
Chances are that if people don’t hoop yet in your area, they don’t have hoops either. But if you bring five or six hoops, you’ve got enough for a group. Now you just need people to start twirling those hoops. Many hoopers that we know started hooping by first trying out one of our hoops. They had so much fun that they decided to get their own. It’s easy to inspire people to start hooping if you have hoops to share.
2. Hoop in public places
A great way to get the word out about your hoop group is to hoop in public places. Rather than trying to describe in words what hooping is all about, let them see you in action with their own eyes! The energy and motion that hooping displays will speak for itself and people will start to get really interested in what you’re doing. Some might just stay and gawk for a few minutes, then go on with their hoopless lives, but you will find that many people will be curious enough to pick up a hoop. And as you know well, once you start, you can’t stop! So go out and show people the joy of hooping.
3. Be open to meet people
Maybe you already have a few friends who are interested in hooping, but be ready to make some new friends as well. Almost everybody in my current circle of friends I met through hooping. Having a hoop around your waist is a great conversation starter, and if you want people to join your hoop group, you’ll have to start having that conversation. And you’ll probably find that you have more in common than just an interest in hooping with the people you meet.
4. Be ready to organize events
If there aren’t any hoop events in your area, it is up to you to decide the where, when and how! Just bring some hoops and some music and invite other people. You might consider starting a mailing list or a group on Hooping.org dedicated to your hoop group where events and news will be posted. It really doesn’t take much to organize hooping events, but the rewards are plentiful when people start showing up and enjoying themselves.
5. Don’t be afraid of rejection or disapproval
You know you’re doing a good thing. Even though they don’t always know it yet, people love moving their bodies. It’s good for them. And with hooping, people usually don’t even realize that they’re actually doing something good for their bodies – that’s how much fun it is! I’m sure you will find that as you keep getting hoopers together, many of those who initially declined your invitation will start showing up.
Now get out there and start some hoop groups! It’s time for you to take the hoop into your own hands and start showing the world what can be done with it.