Culturemap Austin reports there is a pastor; Michelle Amaranth, an ordained minister also jokingly called the “minister of hooping.” Like a more traditional church, a sense of camaraderie and peacefulness pervades the space and newcomers are welcomed with open arms. Hoop Church, as it’s officially known, has been hosted by Hot Mama’s for two years and it has existed in other spaces for at least three years prior to that. From fitness to circus arts to meditation to choreographed dance, the hooping community in Austin embraces a diversity of desires to pick up a hoop. Bethany Lynn Corey got into hooping because, “I needed some kind of artistic release and hooping offered me that. I found a great community of people and that keeps me passionate about it.” When asked why so many others are becoming passionate about hooping, she says, “It takes a lot of people back to their childhood in a really fun way and you’re allowed to play as an adult.”On Sunday afternoons at Hot Mama’s Cafe on East 6th Street in Austin, Texas, a group of people gather for what they call “church.” There’s no choir, pews or sermon — instead, a large amp plays dance music while men and women with big smiles greet each other while performing both simple and intricate dance moves with hula hoops.