Bay Area Abuzz About Hooping and The Hooping Life

Bay Area Hoopers
Bay Area Hoopers welcomes visitors from The Contra Costa Times, The Marin Independent Journal, The Oakland Tribune, The San Mateo County Times, The San Jose Mercury News, The Santa Clara Daily News and more. With the San Francisco Bay Area premiere of The Hoooping Life documentary film next weekend at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda, California, reporter Angela Hill discovered there was much more to the hoop than meets the eye while working on the story. “There’s a whole community I never knew existed,” she told Angela writes, “What goes around ideally comes around and — with luck and vigorous hip gyration — keeps revolving and evolving until what was once a mere toy fad in the 1950s whirls its way to the center of a downright 21st-century institution. Behold the humble act of hula hooping — or at least hooping with a homemade PVC-flexible-irrigation-pipe version. The hooping surge that emerged in the mid-1990s as a form of self-expression in underground party scenes developed into an exercise phenomenon in the early 2000s. The hoop simply cannot be stopped; it continues to roll into new forms.”

Amy Goldstein, film director, explained “Hooping today really has nothing to do with the ’50s fad — the only parallel then and now is turning something that was nothing into a phenomenon, and it came about at a time when there wasn’t much real community going on — people on Facebook all the time, on a machine. Adults had kind of stopped physically playing. But then they picked up this crazy thing, this hoop, this circle, and discovered it’s inclusive. Anybody can do it and love it.”

Betty Lucas
Betty Lucas
Speaking with Crissy Gugler of Sunnyvale, Hill learned that you can’t be sad when you’re hooping. “It’s impossible,” Gugler told her. Betty Lucas (pictured) of Lucas Hooping, organizer of the Bay Area screening and now in her late 50s, told Hill she discovered hoop dance several years ago when she was diagnosed with osteoporosis and had to stop long-distance running. She found the hoop to be a fun strengthening exercise.’s Philo Hagen, a co-founder of Bay Area Hoopers, explained, “People are picking up a plastic ring and finding joy, especially in a time when there doesn’t seem to be a lot of that around… Some people hoop for fitness — I’ve lost 40 pounds doing it myself. Some just to rock out. And for some, it’s a very centering experience. I’ve found it quite phenomenal for meditating, grounding myself and getting back in my own rotation. There are so many elements. You get people from the 40-year-old housewife doing it for exercise, to the punk rock kid who wants to throw it down, to the hippie chick who wants to meditate to the groove. It crosses all walks of life.” Read Angela’s full story and if you’re in the Bay Area, go see the film.

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