Ana Caicedo and Anna Norwood are both students at Appalachian State University and they’ve taken their spinning their love of hooping on campus and finding and building their tribe. Creating the High Country Hoop Troupe, we get to know members of the troupe as they hoop and talk about their love for it and their need for community – with Mackenzie Palladino, Barbara Roberts and Sara Lou Davis. They meet at 3pm on Fridays on Sanford Mall at the University in Boone, North Carolina, USA and the soundtrack for this is “Crave You (Adventure Club Remix)” by Flight Facilities, which you can add to your playlist quite easily on iTunes. Want to get your campus hooping? Here’s more advice.
So you’ve been back at school for a few months now, but something is missing. Sure, you’ve got your friends and you have your hoop, but even though there are an awful lot of clubs and societies on campus, what you really need is a hooping club, right? Well, some lucky students are actually at colleges and universities that already have established hooping or circus clubs. If there is nothing happening where you are, then you are going to have to take matters into your own hands. How? Make your own! I spoke with Mona Shpongledhoops, formerly of the University of Vermont, Valeska Griffiths of the University of Toronto, and Rose Kreditor of Boston University, all of whom successfully started up hooping clubs on campus from scratch. In fact, they gave me the lowdown on just how they did it, how it worked out for them and more.
Rachel: When and how did you get your hooping club started?
Mona: I started the UVM Hoop Dancing Club in the Fall of 2007 with some friends that I lived with. Our University had specific steps to submit a particular sport or recreational activity to be officially recognized by the school. So we filled out all the necessary paperwork and then had to present our proposal to the athletic activities board. We made a Power Point presentation explaining what “Hooping” is and how it would benefit the body and mind.
Valeska: My friend Shannon and I co-founded the University of Toronto Hoopdance and Flow Arts club (HAFA) in the summer of 2013. We’d already been spending most of our time practicing for the last couple of years (hooping for her, hooping and contact juggling for me), and thought it would be fun to get to know other students. We registered as a club through the University and attracted new members by hosting impromptu jams outside the main library on campus.
Rose: I set up The Boston University Hooping Project in 2012 on Boston University’s campus with the hope that it would entice BU students to learn and create a space and community for BU (and greater area) spinners – I had been hooping for 4 months! Though I went through the process of making The BU Hooping Project a recognized BU club alone, we now have a President, Vice president, secretary, and treasurer.
Olivet Nazarene University has a student life organization like any other university, only Life at Olivet decided to throw something unique and magnetic into the mix at one of their social events – a hula hoop! This GoPro video is extra special, showing the amazing joy a hoop can bring to anyone and everyone, hoopers and non-hoopers. Get ready for the warm fuzzies you’ll feel from all the giant smiles! Olivet is located in Bourbonnais, Illinois, USA, and the soundtrack playing in their video is “Good Time (Adam Young Remix)” by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen, which you can call your own quite easily on iTunes.
At Kean University in Union and Hillside, New Jersey, USA, junior sociology major Joana Cardoso is spinning up the hooping excitement. She’s been hooping for a few years now, ever since meeting her hoop mentor and fellow Kean student Lauren Easlick. “It’s all about practice, practice and more practice. Turn on whatever kind of music you like to dance to and eventually it will happen,” she told the Cougar’s Byte. And her performance life has always been about being a rebel. They report, “All her life she has gone against the norm, dying her hair pink, climbing mountains, and constantly pushing herself to step outside her comfort zone. Hooping — as unique as it is — has allowed her to continue to try new things and have full control of the creative process.” And all of her hooping on campus has created a little uproar and a whole lot of interest – enough that she’s looking to start a campus hooping club. “I would like to start one here on campus because so many students have become interested in learning. It’s a great confidence booster and workout too! Hooping definitely puts me at ease. It requires focus, patience, and dedication. Some do yoga to find inner peace, I hoop.”
Jenell Walton of The List, an American news magazine television show with an eye on pop culture, pays a visit to the University of Cincinnati to spin things up with the Hoopdance Cats. “Some people think we’re really weird for doing it. They walk by and they go who are these girls hula hooping,” Bren Harper explained. The hobby took off so fast on the University of Cincinnati’s campus though that soon there were enough hoopers to actually form the Hoopdance Cats Club. Key Beck said, “When we hoop at Washington Park or in Burnet Woods we have people that walk by and stop and generally we let them join in. We give them a hoop and before you know it we’re all having fun.” And The List really let viewers know that the benefits are more than physical. Maria Jacob explained, “You get so lost in it. There’s really no care in the world. Anytime I feel sad I just pick up my hoop.” Key also told The List, “I like to show that hooping is very diverse. There are people older, younger, men, women, everyone enjoys hooping and hopefully everyone will try it out.” Watch The List segment below for a great story from Lindsay Hetzel about her first hoop trick and a whole lot more:
The senior class members of the UVM Hoop Troop at the University of Vermont perform in the Fall 2012 Orchesis Showcase and it’s not something to be missed. The UVM Hoop Dancing Club, which was started six years ago by Mona Shpongledhoops when she was a student at UVM, has spawned some truly amazing hoopers including Sam Resnicow. He performs here along with fellow seniors Alexa Algios, Nicole Peruso and Rose Vallesio and all we can say is “Wow!” Their performance soundtrack is “Hoola Hoop” by will.i.am featuring Nicole Scherzinger and they’re all currently living in Burlington, Vermont, USA. A Hooping.org Video of the Day.
Kara Chapman spinning her hoops is a well known sight on the campus of Mississippi State University. Most days she likes to spend anywhere from one to three hours hooping on Drill Field to squeeze some exercise into her busy schedule as a full time college student and to reduce stress. Kara, a junior from Arab, Alabama, has been hooping since she was in high school. The Reflector reports she performed at her high school’s basketball games, as well as the Mississippi Brawl Stars roller derby half-time show. She also recently hooped for seventeen hours at MSU’s “Tents for Tickets” event. Taylor Ellis, a sophomore, said that seeing Kara hooping on Drill Field makes her happy. “Kara just puts a smile on your face, and it makes me feel happy. She is friendly and always willing to interact with students that come up to her.” Kara said that hooping has helped her meet other students and she plans to keep on hooping. “I do not think that I will stop because I have seen 60-year-olds who hula hoop.”
For members of the newly-founded Hula Hooping Club at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, the hoop is more than a toy – it is a tool for dance. Formed last spring by Stefany Stempien, a sophomore majoring in integrative neuroscience, and Lauren Woods, a junior studying pre-law, Stempien came up with the idea for the club after seeing hoopers dancing it up at a music festival. She contacted Woods and they created an organization where students could join together to hoop it up and after only one semester the club has 20 regular members. Chelsea Desruisseaux, a freshman, said, “When I got there, I didn’t realize how intense it was going to be. It’s a great workout and it’s also very relaxing,” Desruisseaux also told the BU Pipe Dream that once the plastic hoop graced her midriff, she was instantly addicted. Now that the group is spinning things up Stempien has a hoop dream for the club too. “I just want dedicated members to learn tricks and eventually be good enough to perform,” Stempien said.
Students, faculty and staff are taking part in special hula hooping sessions on Fridays at the College of Health Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, otherwise known as UTEP. Hula Hoop Retro Roving Recesses have been happening regularly on campus to promote health and wellness. The mission of the University of Texas at El Paso Employee Health and Wellness Program is to create awareness of healthy and positive lifestyle choices by providing tools, resources, education, and peer support necessary to support healthy living, and therefore reduce the incidence of preventable illnesses and injuries. And when it comes to tools that will help do just, there’s just about nothing better than the hula hoop because while you’re getting your exercise, you’re having fun doing it. Watch the video below: