Caroleeena: Queen of the Hoop

caroleeenaby Lara Eastburn

Carolyn Mabry made hooping headlines yesterday when the News Observer called her “North Carolina’s Queen of the Hoop.” An ambassador for hooping for more than 10 years now, she is known as “Caroleeena” to her friends and fans. The article gives Caroleeena major props for founding weekly Raleigh Hoop Jams in Pullen Park and collaborating with a local drum circle, the regular Wednesday meetup is now in its sixth year. It’s also the biggest in the state attracting up to 100 people every week. “My goal was to figure out how to do the things I love to do anyway as a service to others,” Mabry said. “Each week I bring a truckload of hoops in a variety of sizes, all of which I made, and help people get started hooping. A lot of people think they can’t, even if they could as kids, when really, all they need is a hoop that fits and the tiniest bit of instruction.”

Caroleeena, of Caroleeena’s Circles of Joy, is also recognized for giving back to her local community – teaching hoop sessions at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind and creating dozens of hooping projects for Boys and Girls Clubs and for children and caregivers in the pediatric units at Duke Hospital. She also helped create Hoop Convergence and posts regular hoop tutorials on her YouTube Channel. You’ll also catch her around town performing and teaching at Raleigh’s new Circus school – Cirque de Vol. Suffice it to say, Caroleeena is one busy hooper!

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