Justin Beiber Hula Hoops with Hailey Rhode Baldwin

Justin Beiber Hula Hoops Last night at 10pm PST, Justin Beiber posted a little video on Vine that is already rocking the Internet very hard. Spinning up more than 900,000 loops in just nine hours, Beiber wrote, “Why did we think this was gonna work HaileyRhode and why does John Shahidi sound excited?” What Hailey Rhode and Justin were attempting to do was to tandem hula hoop together. Truth be told, however, the reasons for their fail had little to do with their effort, and everything to do with the size of their hula hoop. Ask any real hooper and they would have told the pair it was way too small.

Hailey Rhode Baldwin, who models with FORD models in New York and Storm models in London, shared the Vine as well simply saying, “We tried.” Baldwin, daughter of famed actor Stephen Baldwin, continues to slam rumors that she is dating Justin, stating that they are simply BFFs. “We’re just friends. I’ve known him for a very long time, since I was about 13,” Baldwin recently said. “He’s just going through a time in his life where he’s transitioning in a really positive way and he needs good people around him. And I’m trying to be a good friend and be there for him and support him.” Vine’s like this one, however, simply aren’t going to help her with the rumor mill.

As for why John Shahidi sounds excited, well, it might simply be because the American entrepreneur and software engineer knew the moment being captured would have viral written all over it. After all, Shahidi, the CEO of Shots – a photo-sharing application backed by Bieber, knows all about these things. re/code recently stated that Shahidi rules Twitter. “Everything that Shahidi tweets — and we mean practically everything — is retweeted and favorited thousands of times. If Shahidi mentions you in a tweet, you’ll spend the next two weeks slogging through dozens of notifications every time you open the app. It’s a phenomenon that Fortune’s Dan Primack has dubbed ‘Getting Shahidi’d,’ and it’s a very real and rather overwhelming experience.”

Hunky Hooping Gardener Marcus Kenny Spins Ellen


marcuskenny2 by Lilea Duran

Marcus Kenny, a Washington DC resident, recently took television screens across the nation by storm as he not only shared his love for hooping, but he also took a big step towards completing one of his personal goals “to be an Ellen hunk” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. How exactly did he do all this? We’re here to tell you all about it.

Ellen found herself in a bit of a jam when her hunky gardener Nick needed a break to shoot the film sequel for Magic Mike. Having an opening for a new “hunky gardener” during his absence, she put out a call for a replacement on her show, asking potential candidates to send in a video “if you’re hot, strong, and have that extra somethin’ somethin’.”

Calling on his experience cutting grass as a teenager and seeing an “opportunity for dude hoopers to represent” on television, Marcus created his gardener alter ego Jack Bush, and he submitted his video. “I’m a huge fan of the show,” he told us, adding, “Ellen is hilarious. I especially love her pranks and how she likes to scare people. I can watch the same clip dozens of times.” In the case of the clip below featuring Marcus as Jack Bush, we can totally see why.

marcuskenny4 After watching Marcus Kenny’s submission on the air, DeGeneres quipped “How does hula hooping trim mah bushes?” and “Last name is Bush and he knows nothing about bushes!” While Kenny’s gardening experience may not stem past grass trimming and a love for vegetables, of his alter ego he affirms, “Jack Bush is a horticulturist.” And when asked if he would teach Ellen to hoop if chosen to be her gardener, he added, “Oh yeah! I’m a full service gardener!”

While Marcus did hula hoop as a child, he began his regular hooping practice back in 2011. “There’s a drum circle at Meridian Hill Park in DC every Sunday,” he explained. “It’s quite the cultural experience. I bought a hoop there three years back and the rest is history.” Marcus describes his hooping style as “athletic hula hooping” and he enjoys the core body exercise that hooping provides him. He draws inspiration from Cirque du Soleil’s Elena Lev, who, in keeping with the talk show theme, he describes as the “Oprah Winfrey of hula hooping.”

So will we be seeing more of Jack Bush on The Ellen Show? Will he be chosen as Ellen’s New Gardener? We sure hope so! “Time will tell,” Marcus explained, “but I recommend watching this week!” If you haven’t already done so, check out his full audition video to see all his moves. You’ll be glad you did.

You can follow Marcus Kenny on Instagram and on YouTube.


Lilea Duran Contributor Lilea Duran of Sunglow Hoop Dance found herself in the hoop in 2009 and hasn’t stopped spinning ever since. Now serving as the west coast director for Vegetable Circus and co-founder of the Napa Hoopers group, Lilea teaches and performs throughout California and has appeared on Hooping.org numerous times, including two seasons of Hooping Idol. She currently lives in Napa, CA, USA with her husband and two little hoopers. She’s on Facebook.

Mark Ballas and Bethany Mota Hula Hoop on Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With The Stars by Philo Hagen

If you were watching Dancing With The Stars last night, then you were in no doubt happily surprised to see a little hooping action. Well, maybe not in the ways that we’re used to seeing here, and certainly not for very long, but Mark Ballas and his special “Switch Week” partner pair up Bethany Mota did indeed hoop it up together. In fact, Just Jared revealed that these two took a hula hoop break during their dance practice in Los Angeles last week on Thursday, October 9th – only as we saw on the show it was less of a break, and actually part of their getting to know each other montage.

Ballas and Mota were spotted in L.A. getting silly in an alley, skipping down it while holding hands, and getting in a little hula hoop practice together. Full photo gallery here to see full size images.

On the show itself, however, the hula hoops appeared as part of a “doing fun things together” piece – like jumping on a trampoline, eating ice cream cones, and, of course, hula hooping. How did our hula hooping duo end up doing together on Dancing With The Stars? After America chose (via Twitter) who the celebrities were going to dance with this week, the end result was anybody’s guess. Sadie Robertson, who found herself paired by fans with Derek Hough for the week, who had been on top with his usual partner Bethany Mota, found she couldn’t quite deliver the perfect score for Hough that Mota had. And fans paired Mota with Robertson’s usual partner, Mark Ballas.

A long time dancer on the show, Ballas is very familiar to anyone who has watched the show. If you aren’t familiar with YouTube personality Bethany Mota, however, the American video blogger started her own YouTube channel, Macbarbie07, back in 2009, and rose to fame for her haul videos where she shared her latest fashion purchases. She also vlogs about outfit ideas, makeup and hair tutorials, do it yourself type things, recipes, and she’s expanded into her own fashion line with none other than Aéropostale. The show featured the montage of their new friendship together, followed by their dance.

The Montage

Their Hip Hop Dance Number

Performing a Hip Hop routine without any hooping, Bruno said that Bethany is blossoming in confidence week after week. He loved the elements of Hip Hop with ballroom, nothing that she only missed a couple things. He said Mark did a fantastic job and she kept up. Carrie Ann said she didn’t expect Bethany to be that loose and she loved the way she did Hip Hop. She noted that the ballroom part wasn’t perfect, but Mark said his shoe got stuck to his other foot. Jessie also expected Bethany to be more shy and awkward, but she said she attacked it. Julianne stated that while Derek and Mark’s teaching styles are very different, Bethany completely held her own. Their SCORES: 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32 out of 40.

While it’s always exciting to see hula hoops on Dancing With The Stars, we’re all still anxiously waiting for the day when some real honest to goodness hoop dance actually happens. Previously Derek Hough used a hula hoop to get Shannon Elizabeth’s hips moving, Chelsie Hightower brought a baby blue hula hoop into her dance practice with Roshon Fegan, Derek Hough and Maria Menounos hula hooped together for a publicity event, but this is the first time we’ve seen actual hoops get air time. Let’s hope that we’ll be seeing more of them in the future too and if they need some hoop dancers to show them how it’s done, we’re certainly here to help.


Philo Hagen Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Nina Burns Hula Hoops on America’s Next Top Model

Nina Burns Hula Hoop by Carly Palmer

Season 21 of America’s Next Top Model is in full swing and the episode entitled “The Girl Who Got Five Frames” brought back Nina Burns, the funky hoop dancer who captured hooper’s hearts everywhere in Season 20 with her repertoire of both modeling and hooping skills. Nina started out as a contestant who made it partly through Season 20, but much to our dismay was eliminated towards the end by her grueling competition.

Instead of giving up on her dream though, Nina used her experience as motivation, deciding to put her study of visual merchandising at LIM College in New York on hold so she could focus on her modeling career and still have time to hoop. Okay, so maybe we added that last part in ourselves, but what hooper doesn’t want more chances to spin it up?

Nina Burns Hula Hoop 2 This time around, Nina was brought back as a special guest judge with Nick Cannon for the episode that aired on September 22, 2014. The duo tasked the current contestants with creating an ad for Nick’s new line of headphones as part of a chance to become the new face of his marketing campaign. And it was quite the hooping dance party as Nina busted out some of her moves while they waited to surprise the participants.

Nina Burns Hula Hoop 3 A native of New York City, Nina has been hooping for longer than she’s been modeling. In fact, you can catch her featured in a video made by Brandon Taelor Aviram that was on our site way back in December of 2010 over here. It really showcases her skills, not to mention she looks gorgeous doing it, and that was almost four years ago!

Don’t forget to check out the photo set from Nina’s appearance on America’s Next Top Model cycle 21 too.


Carly Palmer Carly Palmer is a melancholy office worker by day and uber-obsessed, hyperactive hooper by night! She picked up hooping at music festivals in 2011 and hasn’t stopped spinning up her much needed hobby ever since. She lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, USA.

Naked and Afraid and Hooping with Jaclyn McCaffrey

jaclyn-mccaffrey-300x300 by Katie Sunshine

Meet Jaclyn McCaffrey. She is a hooper who embodies everything good about the hooping community: she is insightful, free-spirited, confident, and peaceful. Oh, and did I mentioned she survived for 21 days in the jungle of Nicaragua without food, water, shelter, or clothes? Yeah. She is one bad ass nature goddess.

Jaclyn was working for a wilderness therapy program teaching primitive skills and how to live off the land when she was contacted by Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid reality television show. Up for putting her survival skills to the test, she agreed to be dropped, or more like abandoned, in the dense, relentless jungle of Nicaragua for 21 days with a complete stranger, Adam Young.

I had an opportunity to ask Jaclyn some questions about her experience and get to know her a little better and I have to say, I was even more amazed by her afterwards than I was before! So join me for a very special interview with one remarkable hooper.

Katie: How did hooping help prepare you for this challenge?

jaclyn-mccaffrey-hulahoop300x300 Jaclyn:: I have such a deep love for my hoop- the beautiful circle. I have been taught so much by it – but above everything my hoop reminds me to be present. The mental game out in the jungle was really tough, especially when real hunger set in. I often had to remind myself to ‘Stay Present!’ I believe that my love for the circle, and the lessons I’ve learned from it, helped pull me through.

Katie: What would you say was the most difficult part about surviving in Nicaragua for 21 days?

Jaclyn: Beyond the exhaustion, bug bites and even hunger, the cold was the most difficult aspect of my 21 day experience. The ground was constantly wet, air damp, and the temperature would drop significantly each night – leaving us to our sleepless shivers. We proactively made decisions to better our night situation and eventually we were able to keep a fire going all night long. A lot of preparation and shifts were necessary, but we made it happen.

Katie: Was there anything about your journey that you didn’t anticipate?

Jaclyn: I did a lot of research before going out on this journey – learning as much as I could about the area I would be going into. I had kept an eye of the weather of the area, and I thought I had a good idea of the what the temperature would be. But noooooope – I was misinformed. I did not anticipate how cold it would be in that cloud forest. And I mean cold!!!

Katie: That sounds harrowing. You mentioned before that you are a vegetarian and how important that is to who you are. However, there was a scene in your episode where you had to eat a lizard for sustenance. Looking back on that experience, do you have any regrets?

magejpeg_2_21 Jaclyn: I honestly have no regrets. My experience in Nicaragua was life changing – I would change nothing. I knew going into this challenge that I would have to do whatever was necessary – and that I did. I choose not to eat meat because I want to know the animals life was taken respectfully, and that the meat isn’t pumped full of chemicals – and the system of meat production does not allow me that. Out in the jungle was different. I did know that lizard’s life was taken respectfully and that it was clean and fresh. I am happy I made the tough decisions necessary to complete this challenge.

Katie: I am personally a fan of “Naked and Afraid” and on many of the episodes I’ve seen, the contestants don’t get along so well, especially once hunger, exhaustion, and frustration sets in. However, you and your partner, Adam, really worked well together as a team. Do you still keep in touch with him?

Jaclyn: Adam and I are great friends – and I feel that will remain true for the rest of our lives. That experience I had with him was beautifully unique, and we had each others backs the entire time.

Katie: So you survived the entire 21 days in Niagara and came out a stronger person than ever. Do you think you will continue to test your survival skills like that in the future?

naked-afraid-gallery-jaclyn-day21-new-hero Jaclyn: I will always continue pushing myself to grow and succeed – and I do foresee myself continuing to do awesome primitive survival excursions. I would love to continue to teach primitive skills and take people out on back packing trips. This 21 days stretch in Nica was the craziest and most difficult challenge I’ve ever taken on. As of now I am not sure I ever want to do something that extreme again. The extreme dehydration, hunger, exhaustion, bug bites, freezing cold, etc- it changed me.

Katie: In your post-interview on the show you mentioned hooping as one of the first things you did when you got back to civilization. What was it like to hoop after an experience like that?

Jaclyn: As soon as we were dropped off of that banana truck, after an amazing meal and an epic shower, I hooped like a mad woman! I was so high on life – the accomplishment mixed with pride for completing the most difficult challenge of my life! I put my headphones on and made love to my hoop after not being in the circle for almost a month! I missed my hooping meditation – I needed it. I wish I had film of that first hoop sesh – I probably turned into a rainbow for a bit.

A hooper since 2011, in addition to hoop dance Jaclyn also loves acrobatic yoga and traveling the world. Her favorite spots that she has hooped to date include Burning Man and on top of a mountain in Kauai. But her all time favorite is right on the beach, as she says, “Sun a shinin’, waves a wavin’, and Jaclyn a spinnin’.”


Katie Columnist Katie Wilson, better known in the hooping world as Katie Sunshine, is a teacher, a painter, a performer, and above all a proponent for the powerfully positive change hooping brings to one’s life. She picked up hooping in 2009 at a music festival and she hasn’t put it down since. A Hoopie Award winner with many YouTube viral videos, Katie lives in Conway, Arkansas, USA, with her wonderful husband and her two lovable dogs.

Janelle Monae Hula Hoops at Counterpoint

Janelle Monae Hula Hoops by Philo Hagen

If you don’t know the wonder that is Janelle Monae, it’s about time you did. The American R&B and soul musician, composer and record producer has been taking the world by storm. With her critically acclaimed albums The ArchAndroid (2010) and Electric Lady (2013) having given rise to a 2013 Rising Star Award from Billboard’s Women in Music, the 2014 Breakthrough of the Year Award from Variety, and six Grammy award nominations overall, she’s truly a musical force to be reckoned with. Born and raised in Kansas City, the 28-year-old has opened for No Doubt, performed with Chic in London and alongside Stevie Wonder at the Global Citizens Festival in New York, and shared her musical talents on Dancing With The Stars and on Saturday Night Live. This week Monae performed at The CounterPoint Festival in Kingston Downs, Georgia, only when she ended her set she had a little something extra with her – a hula hoop. She truly went out in style too hula hooping it up.

Janelle Monae Hula Hoops 2After the show was over, Janelle had one question on her mind that she tweeted and facebooked hoping for an answer: “Who filmed me hula hooping? #counterpoint was that issssssh!” While her fans and followers responded by saying things like, “Awww I wanna see!!!!!” and “I need to witness this!!!!!!”, and even “I would like to see you shake that…cos you know the booty dont lie”, the video Janelle had been hoping for didn’t materialize. A couple instagrams of her in action did pop up here and there, but where was the footage she was hoping for? Good news my fellow Monae fans, we’ve got it for you here.

Watching this we can clearly see why she was so anxious to see it for herself too. She clearly catches the hooping bug while she was at it. Here’s hoping she gets her hands on an adult-sized hoop and continues to spin things up, cause she’s already in the spin of things these days as it is. Her voice is heard as veterinarian Dr. Monae in the movie Rio 2 that was released this month, and she was invited to perform along with Tessanne Chin, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Jill Scott, Ariana Grande, and Melissa Etheridge at the White House as a part of their PBS-broadcast “Women of Soul” event celebrating American women who have left an indelible and profound impact on our national musical culture. Who knows, maybe we’ll see her with hula hoop enthusiast Michelle Obama soon. Explore her music on iTunes.


Philo Hagen Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, he’s performed internationally and won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Rachael Lust on the Queen Latifah Show

Rachael Lust by Philo Hagen

If you tuned into The Queen Latifah Show today, then you probably saw a familiar face. Rachael Lust demonstrated her amazing skills onstage in her first national TV appearance and took America by storm. The daytime talk show is filmed in front of a live studio audience at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, and Rachael was flown out from her home in Marion, Ohio, especially to be on it. I caught her at work for a quick interview to get the hoop scoop all about it.

Philo: You were on TV today! How did you end up appearing on The Queen Latifah show?

Rachael: Well, I got an email from the show’s producer wanting to chat with me so I gave her my phone number. She said she saw my videos on YouTube and wanted me to come on the show. When we talked on the phone I could hardly believe it was happening!

Philo I bet. I think a lot of hoopers have dreamed about telephone calls like that, and soon you were on a plane heading for Los Angeles. What was it like being on the show? Tell us all about it.

Rachael: They flew me out to L.A. and I did the taping and flew straight back. It all happened so fast. Everyone was really nice and it was pretty cool being treated as a special guest. They put me in hair and makeup, that was a first for me. Then they shuttled me around. I had a fruit basket and food waiting in the dressing room for me. It was all very cool!

Philo: I love it! How much time did you get to spend with Queen Latifah?

Rachael: I didn’t get to sit and chat with her beforehand, but we did get together and had our picture taken together afterward. She was pretty cool, but that’s no surprise!

Philo: Not at all, she’s awesome. So how was it hooping on national television?

Rachael: It was amazing. I felt like a dream the whole time it was happening. They did tell me to keep the hoop on my body though. They didn’t want me to do any off body hand moves at all.

Philo: That’s strange. Maybe they were worried your hoop was going to fly out and hit someone in the audience?

Rachael: Maybe?

Rachael Lust

Philo: Anyway, you’re having quite a year from winning two Hoopie Awards including Female Hooper of the Year to appearing on The Queen Latifah Show, and the year isn’t even half way over yet! What’s next for Rachael Lust?

Rachael: I am planning a tour this summer, on the East coast. It’s a break workshop and if anybody wants more info just ask. On a more personal level I’ve been really letting go of my “I wanna be Tiana Zoumer mentality” and really discovering my own unique style. It feels really good. It’s something I’m sure I will be continuing to develop as a hooper. Don’t get me wrong, she will always continue to inspire, but we’ve really got to be ourselves.”

Philo So true, and congratulations!


Philo Hagen Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Hooping on Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones by Philo Hagen

If you haven’t seen the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, don’t worry. We’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum. After all, we’re more interested in hooping than anything else. In fact you might recall last year’s story that Game of Thrones’ stars Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey were spotted hooping it up at a Canadian gay bar with hooper Bryton Keomanivong. Well, last night, on the second episode of season four entitled “The Lion and the Rose”, the hoops went from off screen to on and we’re so excited to tell you all about it.

On the American fantasy drama which airs on HBO, it seems hooping for entertainment transcends even time and place. An adaptation of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos in a much less technologically advanced period, one that nods quite heavily to European history. Several plots are interwoven on the very popular program too, one of which follows the members of several noble houses in a civil war for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. On Sunday night something happened that we all knew was coming, the royal wedding of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell.

Following their rather remarkably unremarkable nuptials, an act that is being referred to as The Purple Wedding, a great party and feast took place at the court and if you were paying close attention you were no doubt as excited as we were to spot hoopers and fire hoopers attending the festivities. While regulated merely to the background, along with appearances by poi spinners, stilt walkers, jugglers and more, hooping and fire hooping on Game of Thrones were a most welcomed sight indeed.

Created for HBO by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, Benioff told the Los Angeles Times, “One of the things about the Purple Wedding, aside from the punch of the ending, one of the things that we realized as we were putting it together was that this was probably one of the largest number of main characters we would ever have together in one scene, in one space at the same time.” With all that was going on in that scene, it was hard to get a really good look at the hoopers. Since Games of Thrones does a lot of filming in Croatia, a place where hooping is busy taking the country by storm, it’s possible the hoopers were local. All we know is whoever it was, we can’t wait to hear all about it.


Philo Hagen Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Troian Bellisario is a Pretty Little Hooper

Troian Bellisario Hooping by Carly Palmer

Actress Troian Bellisario may play the semi-uptight but loveable Spencer Hastings on the ABC Family hit television show Pretty Little Liars, but in real life she knows how to have fun and let loose. In fact, that is exactly what she was doing recently, and doing it in the best way possible. Showing off her hooping skills during some downtime on the set of the much anticipated fifth season, Troian shared her little hoop session on her Instagram with the caption, “TGIF! Too bad we are shooting til 8am tonight!” 

Schedules like that are rough, but we’re happy she found a hoop to play with. Maybe she even shared it with co-star Lucy Hale, who appeared on Hooping.org last Spring in a hula hoop themed photoshoot that had PLL fans talking. What they don’t know is that Troian has more than hooping up her circus sleeve and has been known to dabble in things such as aerial silks as well (video here). Troian was born and raised in the city of Los Angeles and is the daughter of producers Donald P. Bellisario and Deborah Pratt. She’s been acting since the age of 3 when she made her debut in the 1988 film “Last Rites”. Hopefully we’ll get to see the full spectrum of her hooping talents soon and the soundtrack heard in this is called “Let It Out” by Girl the Talk. Mark your calendars for the summer premiere of Pretty Little Liars Season 5 on June 10, 2014, on ABC Family.


Carly Palmer Video Editor Carly Palmer is a melancholy office worker by day and uber-obsessed, hyperactive hooper by night! She picked up hooping at music festivals in 2011 and hasn’t stopped spinning up her much needed hobby ever since. She lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, USA.