[Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn gives us a fresh look at how our bodies and yes, boobs, affect our hooping]
Each of us has encountered at least one obstacle inside our hoops. For me, leg hooping was like coming up against a brick wall. I thought I’d never get it. But it certainly never occurred to me to blame my thick quadriceps or lack of visible knee-caps for it. So when challenged by torso hooping, why are so many of our well-endowed lady hoopers lightning quick to blame their bosoms? For years, online threads have asked, I’m having trouble hooping above the waist. Are my boobs too big for this? Relax, my ample friends. Your boobs aren’t holding you back in the hoop. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a factor in what’s going on.
Are you hiding your boob light under a bushel? When my generous bosom first made its glorious appearance in grade school, the teasing began just as quickly. Within a week, I had learned to cross my arms in front of my chest and fold my shoulders in an attempt to minimize the attention. In turn, my posture was dramatically changed for the next 15 years.
Until I met the hoop, that is. It quickly became apparent that I was not going to meet with a lot of success in my hoop all slumped over like that. So for the first time since I was 12, I stood up straight and held my head high. After all, I was becoming a dancer! It wasn’t easy to retrain my body in the ways of good posture. But all the work I was doing in my hoop was simultaneously strengthening my core and lower back muscles, lending the physical support I needed to correct years of slumping, childish embarrassment about my breasts.
Adapting your hooping style to your body type. When we hoopers say everybody can hoop, we mean every word of it. But each of us adapts the way we dance to accommodate our attributes. My boobs aren’t in the way, but they are a part of my body that I am constantly aware of. For me, hooping with boobs has meant 1) getting adequate support for ‘the girls’ and 2) using my arms to protect them when chest hooping.
There is no underestimating a good sports bra. But many of us with larger breasts don’t take the time to get fitted properly. Knowing your size will change everything, so start there. Sure, it’s a few minutes topless in a changing room with a stranger. It’s a little weird, granted, but it’s more than worth it. A proper fitting will help your posture, improve your overall silhouette, and ensure you never fall out of your shirt again. Most large department stores can help you out in this department and recommend the best styles for you. Try every single one of them on and jump up and down while you’re in the changing room to get a feel for how your new gear will react to motion.
When hooping on the torso, I use the flesh of my upper arms to guide the hoop. As if my arms were wings, I open and close them with the hoop’s rotation. This was a lesson learned through a rite of passage in chest hooping I call the “black boob,” the most heinous hooping bruise I ever had. Letting a big heavy hoop pummel my chest into submission clearly wasn’t working. So I had to adapt. Just as I had to adjust my stance to accommodate a smooth, successful chest roll.
Lastly, a tip from our belly dancing sisters. I find belly dancers to be an inspiration in the boob department. The shoulder shimmy – arms outstretched, with a front-to-back shaking motion – celebrates and frees the bosom. The breasts are treated not as alien, bothersome appendages, but as beautiful and voluptuous assets of the body, and invites them to join in the dance.
So, my lovely lady friends blessed with bosoms of ALL sizes, let’s chill with the boob-blame and get into the love-game. Stand up straight, tall, and proud. Adapt your moves to your body. And once you’ve bitten the bullet to get sized, go ahead and splurge on that glittered bra. ‘Cause the spotlight’s on you in all your glory!
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 driving force behind Circumference: Online and Live business & marketing classes for hoop makers, instructors, and performers.