Tag Archive for Big Hoops

Monster Hooping with Tara Pesold

Tara Pesold Monster Hoop While there are those hoopers who like their hoops to be the smallest they can spin, Tara Pesold, aka OoohhhTaracuda, likes taking her hoop dance to the opposite end of the hoop size spectrum, and she’s crafted herself a “monster hoop”. Making her hooping.org debut and spinning up a hoop storm in her yard, Tara’s got her flow pretty down even with her beautiful circle of size, one she quite literally has to leap rather than jump out of at one point. She lives in St. Peters, Missouri, USA, and the soundtrack is “Lips Are Movin” by Meghan Trainor – which you can easily download for your own playlist over on iTunes.

For The Love of Plus Size Hoopers Everywhere

fortheloveofplus by Shannon Herrington

Recently I was introducing myself and the woman I was talking to asked what I did for a living. When I told her that I was a hooper she responded, “You’re a big girl. That’d be a funny sight to see you hula hooping.” I was flabbergasted. While she is right, I am a bigger girl, should hooping only be for skinny people? I think not, though watching videos where most of the hoopers are toned and svelte, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it sometimes feels that way. Many in and out of the hoop world struggle with issues of weight, identity, and self acceptance. Not everyone in the hooping community understands what being overweight is like. Recently, while perusing a hooping teacher group, I was astonished to hear instructors ask, “Can obese people hoop?” It hurts my heart when those who are spreading hoop love in their communities aren’t aware of just how much help they can be for people who may need hooping the most. The hoop is such a powerful, transformational tool to help all of us on our journey in embracing ourselves, no matter what our size.

Hooping isn’t all about weight loss for us either. Hooping is about simply finding yourself inside the hoop. No one should be afraid of giving it a spin, or being the big girl at the jam or in class. My hooping journey has helped me a great deal. As a result I finally felt good enough about myself to post a video awhile back called “Big Girls Can Hoop”, dedicating it to all the plus-size hoopers in the world. How was it received? The response has been phenomenal with over 9,000 views and beautiful comments like, “I seriously thought this was impossible till now. You’re amazing!”, “That was such a cute video! I was smiling throughout the whole thing!” and “Thanks for this video. It’s inspired me to do it too!” One girl told me she was inspired to start filming her hoop experiences too after watching mine. And here I was afraid to post a video on YouTube, but by walking through my fear I not only found greater self acceptance, I found greater love and support. Which got me thinking, why don’t we see more videos from men and women of size? And how can we as a community be better in spreading acceptance of ourselves and our larger friends inside the hoop? Here’s what we need to do:

1. Have larger hoops for larger people. This may seem like a simple thing, but it can be really hard for some hoopers to find that goldilocks hoop. Whenever you buy a hoop on the internet, you have no clue if that hoop is perfect for your body. Some hoop makers may make the error of promising to make the perfect hoop for you without ever realizing what a larger hooper needs. I went through purchasing four different hoops online before finally making my own perfect hoop for myself. If you are a teacher or organize a hoop jam, make sure you have large hoops for your students or visitors who are struggling or plus-sized. And not just your definition of larger, but a larger we can really use. This Hoop of Self-Esteem will empower your students and it will be fun to boot! There is no limit to the size of a hoop. If the perfect hoop for you needs to be as tall as you, rock it!

2.Prioritize Your Practice. Everyone has potential to be great, but we can’t get better till we work on building the muscle memory needed to perform. Flight hours inside the hoop are imperative for all of us. If you don’t give hooping time, you won’t be able to improve. Plus sized hoopers may throw in the towel more easily because we’re often told we can’t do things. Sometimes we even tell ourselves that. Therefore it’s up to all of us to promote prioritizing practice. This will allow the body to get to know itself again and get used to movement. Half my day is spent tweaking arm movements and foot positions outside of my hoop. These movements don’t always transition into the hoop, but if I’m constantly moving, I’m forcing my body to make new muscular connections and comfort in movement means practice makes progress!

3. Get and Give Social Media Love: If you see an amazing hooper that does not have a traditional body, pass it on and spread the love. I remember reading the Huffington Post article about Philo’s amazing Gotta Hoop video and was distraught when one of the commenters said, “I’m a little disappoint­ed to find out someone can hoop so much and still have flabby abs.” Right or wrong, we might expect this type of behavior from the outside world, but in our community we need to support all hoopers no matter the size. We need to be a welcoming community for everyone so if you see someone who doesn’t necessarily fit the mold, for whatever reason, give em a hoop hug.

4. Celebrate Joy in Movement. Today you may be upset because you can’t learn that backwards scorpion twizzle stick move, but don’t be depressed. You are moving your body! In today’s world, most people hardly move. Even 15 minutes of physical activity can help increase your lifespan by three years. Movement in our lives is cause for celebration! We are twisting, jumping and letting our bodies be free! You are dancing to the music and have a partner that will never reject you. Enjoy 30 minutes to yourself. This is your time to move. If a hoop goal isn’t flowing for you right now, then just spin your way around it in your circle. Go for it. Feel like a kid again!

5. Love Our Bodies. If a body is larger it means we will have to make allowances for that, not that we’re out of the game. If knees are hurting, tone down the vigorous jumps. Move with your body and make friends with it. You have to live with yourself 24/7, not anyone else. Listen to what your body is saying. It will tell you what it needs. Now I don’t want to hear any excuses, so stop blaming your body. It wants to move, even if you are only hand hooping or waist hooping, just please keep on hooping. Hoop for yourself. This art form is supposed to be empowering. Lately I’ve been doing odd things with the hoop that aren’t graceful necessarily, but they make me happy. That’s what the hoop should do for you too. We don’t all start in the same place and all of us regardless of size learn at different paces. Love your body and it will help you learn.

One amazing and inspiring curvy hooper is Rowan TwoSisters of Punk Rock Hoops in Houston, Texas, USA. Rowan currently teaches classes and is one of the organizers of Hottie Hoop Camp which is coming again in March. There will be amazing classes on how to tailor clothes and costumes for a curvy body and she doesn’t believe curvy hoopers should get “married to waist hooping” either. The biggest keys for her are to be able to get the hoop off and on the body. After that, feel free to experiment. Rowan told me that even working mainly off body will help a hooper develop proprioception too, which will aid us in developing stronger muscles and body awareness.

We can all do our part to make sure that hoopers of all sizes feel more welcome inside our circle, but the greatest issue is probably visibility. If we don’t see others like ourselves hooping, how can we – or anyone – know that it is all possible for us? If you’re worried about negative comments you can allow only approved comments to appear on your YouTube channel, or post your video on Vimeo where such problems rarely occur. Peruse the Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Hooping Video and go for it. The biggest tip I have taken to heart is resisting the urge to say something negative about my videos when I post them. Embracing hoopers of all sizes will help all of us show that one need not be the small girl in the bikini to hula hoop. Join me in doing something today to support curvy hooper visibility and inclusion. You’ll be glad you did. Now go get your hoop on and have some fun.


Shannon Herrington Shannon Herrington/ has been spinning up the Hoop Love and helping all of us feel better about ourselves. You can find her at Undefined Hoopdance as well and she was a popular contestant on Season 2 of Hooping Idol. She lives in Nicholasville, Kentucky, USA.

Melinda Finnegan

Melinda Finnegan One thing that most hoopers will agree on is that hooping is fun, which Melinda Finnegan demonstrates in absolutely fine style as she dances, twirls, leaps, bounds and shimmies as well as making the absolute coolest on-purpose T-Rex arms ever. In her first video, not even knocked down hoops can stop her as she keeps on dancing, picks up another and continues to do that one thing we hoopers have in common, which is to simply and joyfully have a blast. The soundtrack for this is “Moon Trance” by Lindsey Stirling and you can get your copy on iTunes.

Nelly Furtado Releases Big Hoops

Tony Duncan Talks Hoop Dance With Nelly Furtado

Tony Duncan Talks Hoop Dance With Nelly Furtado

Earlier this month we told you about “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)” – the new single by Nelly Furtado. Nelly was caught on camera on stilts in downtown Los Angeles and World Champion Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan was in the mix so needless to say we were super curious. Well the track has been released digitally now in the U.S. as the lead single from her upcoming fifth studio album “The Spirit Indestructible”. The song certainly has a great groove, but while the lyrics are clear that bigger is better there is little mention of hoops and she appears to be referring to big hoop ear rings. And yet a new behind-the-scenes sneak peak at the making of the music video for the single has Nelly hanging out in Los Angeles with not just Tony Duncan, but his wife Violet Duncan and his brother Kevin Duncan as well. The Yellow Bird Productions hoop dancers talk a little about hoop dance and show off some of their skills as well and we can see they are clearly in the video. So needless to say we’re still intrigued. As for the new album Nelly says, “This album is all about positivity, youth, good energy and the relentlessness of the spirit. I want people to live this music the way we did when we wrote it. I want them to jump, dance, scream, laugh, cry, love and vibe to it, and to turn it up very loud everywhere.” Listen to the new single “Big Hoops (Bigger is Better) with lyrics below and check out the sneak peak at the making of the music video with the Duncans.

Nelly Furtado: Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)

Tony Duncan, Nelly Furtado and others

Tony Duncan, Nelly Furtado and others

Grammy-award-winning Canadian music artist Nelly Furtado is rolling in later this month with a brand new single called “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)” and while we initially weren’t entirely sure what it was all about, when Nelly was spotted high atop a pair of stilts in downtown Los Angeles shooting her new music video for it, well needless to say we got very excited. Nelly tweeted “The higher the better!” as she wobbled her way down the sidewalk actually and given the title of the song, the stilts, her outfit, we were thinking the circus had to be in the house, and if that was the case, could the big hoops and hoopers be waiting in the wings? Given the cover art we weren’t entirely sure, it looked more like an earring, and her recently tweeted photo had us thinking otherwise. But then Nelly also tweeted a photo saying she was honored to be working with World Champion Native American Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan and his family – who is collaborating with her on what is destined to be one of the big hooping songs of 2012, no matter how you slice it. The track, produced by Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, is the lead single off her first English language album in six years, and is set to be released later this month. The new album, called T.S.I. which stands for The Spirit Indestructible, will be hitting the stores on June 19th. Check out the Big Hoops cover and a mini interview with Nelly about the new album below: