Hooping It Outside the Park

doris day [Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn hoops it up with the less expected.]

by Lara Eastburn

Has any hoop workshop ever been quite so incredible as the one I organized yesterday morning? It all happened in an elementary school cafeteria, but there wasn’t a kid in sight. School starts on Monday in these parts and, like so many teachers and staff around the country, the 45 school teachers and staff at this rural elementary school have spent the week preparing their rooms, curriculum, and sanity for the coming school year. Next week, our schools will begin another year with another budget cut, reduced staff, and not enough support for what they do. But not this morning. This morning, they will hoop.

A room full of first-time hoopers rates pretty darned high on my This-Is-Awesome list. But I didn’t know what to expect from my first time teaching a group who hadn’t come to a hoop class, you know, on purpose. I needn’t have worried. They. Loved. It. At first, things went along about like you’d expect. Some were gung-ho to give it a try. Others, nervous, moved to the back of the room. And the “I Can’t Hoop” chorus stuck together in strong numbers for a while. But then the tide began to turn and as it did, that elementary school cafeteria lit up in overdue laughter like it was the most glorious cathedral in the world. 45 new hoopers. 45 new school teachers and staffers with a new way to access instant stress-relief and a genuine smile.

Winona Hoopers

Wondering how you can do something similar for your local schools? Just pick up the phone and call the school administrator. Schools are always looking for something new and engaging for staff on “Teacher Work Days,” “Teacher Appreciation Week,” and the week before school. I called this workshop “Hooping for Grownups,” which seemed to get the idea across quickly. Dividing everyone up into groups of 20 or so works well and cuts down on the number of hoops you’ll need on-hand. 45-60 minutes is just the right amount of time for folks to get in the groove. And, of course, don’t forget the music!

Hoopers tend to agree that just about every activity is improved by throwing a hoop into the mix. And we’re awfully keen on giving back to our communities. So why stop at the schools? Why not propose a morale-boosting workshop at your workplace or with your local fire station, hospital staff, or women’s center? Since yesterday’s best-hooping-workshop-ever, I’ve been building a list of every public servant I can think of. Let’s call it my Ultimate-Hooping-Bucket-List. Look out, Northeast TX. There’s a hoop coming soon near you.


Lara Eastburn Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. Beyond commenting here, you can also discuss this and other topics related to the Hooposophy for living in Hooping.org’s Hooposophy Group and Forum. Lara is also the planting and gardening force behind discovering our hooping community roots at The Hooping Family Tree Project.

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