Stepping into the hooping limelight at age 9 and taking home our 2015 Hoopie Award for Youth Hooper of the Year, Chloe McAfee has already spun herself into the center of our community circle. But who is this humble, young hoop star from Hudson, Michigan, USA? What’s her hooping story? We sat down with Chloe to find out more about her and how the circle has been spinning her life over the past four years. From new friendships to glow stick hooping memories, hooping makes an impact on lives of all ages. So join us for an interview with Chloe McAfee, our Hooper of the Week!
Philo: When did you start hooping Chloe, and how?
Chloe: I went to the spring Badfish show at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garretsville, Ohio, for a little summer vacation with my mom and dad when I was 5 years old. When we arrived there, I noticed a lot of girls with hula hoops everywhere which caught my attention. I thought they were beautiful. I made a new friend there too, Lilly, who is my age as well, and she was a hooper too. She also sold me my very first hula hoop.
Philo: Awesome! What does your Hooping Life look like now?
Chloe: It’s looking pretty good I would say. I can say it’s only gotten better with lots of time and practice. I’ve improved my flow and skill a lot over these past 4 years. When I started hooping my mom [Jennifer Clair] got into it as well and we would watch tutorials together. She became my hoop mentor and has taught me so much throughout these past 4 years too.
Philo: Yay! We love your Mom! How has hooping changed your life?
Chloe: Hooping has become one of my many favorite hobbies. It has given me so much confidence and I’ve learned how to connect and become expressive with my hoop through the art of dance. It’s such a beautiful feeling getting lost with my hoop when I dance.
Hooping.org is celebrating Indigenous People’s Day today and Tyrese Jensen and Kailayne Jensen of YellowHouse Dancers’ hoop dance configurations not only preserve their Native American tradition and culture through song, music, and dance, these two are amazing to watch. The brother and sister duo execute various formations with exciting confidence and clarity and they split their time between Mesa, Arizona, during the school year, and Dilkon, Arizona, USA, on the Navajo reservation. They’re dancing to the rhythm and tempo of traditional music performed lived.
We just had an amazing auction at Holistic Hooping, TrinityStarr, SpinFX, a brand new children’s book called The Hula Hoop Queen, Tim and his one of a kind skateboard hammers, body butter and soaps, massages by Kat Carter and Melinda Lundgren, DVDs, Books, mini hoops, some awesome clothes and more! We raised over $1,000! Which means we can give away MORE HOOPS!
And we’re doing just that around the world. Look for an event near you on the map page, or add your event so we can upload it to the site. We have over 125 events listed on 6 continents this year, including locations where Ambassadors have donated hoops to kids in need and remote areas of the world. Check it out and get ready for October 4, 2014!
Please send your videos and photos to us after WHD 2014 so we can share them with others.
Ambassasorable in Mexico!
I had the pleasure of meeting Esmeralda, Kenya and Fer from Mexico – Sonora and Mexico City. Esmeralda< told me that all the teenagers who hoop are very talented circus style hoopers. Our chat at Hoopcamp got me thinking. When we started giving away hoops several years ago, many were taken to children living in poverty in Mexico. The first few ambassadors and I gave away a few hundred hoops there about 5-7 years ago to 4-10 year olds and to hear that kids that are of the right age are now hooping up a storm makes you wonder. Could it be these kids got their start because of World Hoop Day? It’s certainly possible.
The epic WHD events that occur in Mexico are some of the biggest and I have this gut feeling it is all because of the Ambassador hoop drops we’ve been able to make all over Mexico. Two of three three ladies performed at Hoopcamp this year and they are incredibly talented, dynamic and humble sweeties who brought gigantic tears of joy and huge hoots and hollers.
Tink, Ambassador of the Season!
I first met Tink, aka Kristen, the choreographer of the World Hoop Day Dance a few years back at Hoopcamp and her hair was electric pink! Tink and I have kept in touch not only because she is the mastermind behind the WHD Dance, but because she and her Tokyo hoop friends have donated hundreds of hoops to kids all over Japan.
Ambassadors of 2014
Dee Saunders – Jamaica – 25 hoops – “I wanna go back to Jamaica! What an amazing experience. I arrived at Risen Messiah September 3, 2014. There were so many kids.” Click her name to read more and see her video, which brought a tear to my eye here: http://tinyurl.com/WHDDeeJamaica
Christel – Marseille, France – 75 hoops – “There is a LARGE north and west African population of children that need hoops as much as any child anywhere else in the world (as much as the children in their homelands….”
Bryna – Philippines – 17 hoops – A Peace Corps Volunteer, she writes, “toys are a luxury and free time is spent in the street playing with other children. Often times this is with various items found around the barangay (community)- string, tires or wadded up pieces of paper they use to play a game similar to hackey sack.”
Anna – Hungary & Croatia – 20 hoops – “I have also a lot of thing to do as an ambassador here in Hungary because hoopdance is not a well known activity here.”
Amaya – Western Sahara – 20 hoops – “FiSahara organizes activities and workshops for the refugees, and I will be teaching them about the power of hooping.”
Elizabeth – Jamaica & St. Croix – 100 hoops – “I had to leave my favorite hoop with my friends son Enoch (he is six) to promise him I would return and he wants a black and gold hoop.”
Sarah – Hawaii – 20 hoops – “I just got back from a trip to Hawaii, where I donated over 20 hoops for kids in various towns on the Big Island.”
Samantha – Alaska – 100 hoops – Ambassador of the Month of January 2014 – “For World Hoop Day 2014 I plan to arrange to travel to Galena and host a World Hoop Day event for the communities surrounding.”
Brenda – Pennsylvania – 20 hoops – ” This year we are providing gifts and meals for 320 families who are in need in Centre County.”
Join Our Team
Become a World Hoop Day Ambassador
WHD actively seeks Ambassadors who travel to far, remote locations. Ambassadors take hoops and materials to give to children and varied communities in need. To find out how you can be an Official World Hoop Day Ambassador, visit us here: http://tinyurl.com/WHDAmb
Become a Sponsor
We survive on donations, the love of our sponsors and the will to create a world of peace. Our Gold Star, Silver Spice & Bronze Bead Sponsors all help in different ways to make the mission possible. All of our sponsors are extraordinary people and companies who have a wish to improve the health and well being of others.
Regular donations of hoops and hoop making materials are also a great help to the cause. We send materials or hand-crafted hoops to Ambassadors who can travel with them to teach locals, like those in Peru, how to tape their own hoop. Visit our Sponsors sites below and help the love go round and round! http://tinyurl.com/WHDSponsor
Make a Tax Deductible Donation
Support World Hoop Day! Bring joy, peace and freedom to children around the world. Teach about love and sharing across borders. Offer the experience of art, dance and flow. With your generosity we can send more hoops and more ambassadors around the globe to reach out to children with our sparkly circles of peace.
SeSe Pratt makes her hooping debut with her very first video and she’s here to show us how much she likes to hula hoop. She may be pint-sized at the age of 12, but boy does she have some giant hooping skills for her age. Not only is her hooping full of energy, she looks like she’s having a blast doing it and she sure knows how to get those arms moving and her feet dancing. Her soundtrack for this is “Drive By” by Train” and you can get a copy of it for yourself over on iTunes.
With Michelle Obama and the Center for Disease Control on a mission to wipe out childhood obesity in America, it is no surprise that hula hooping has come into the limelight as one way to maintain health for our kids. Childhood obesity has, after all, more than tripled in the past 30 years here. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of youth struggling with obesity today already have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Something obviously has to be done.
Whether or not kids want to exercise, most want to play. Hula hooping is a great way for kids to spin up some exercise without really knowing it. And while that may not be a news flash exactly, it has seemed to me, as a mother, that my boys have been gaining a plethora of other benefits and life skills from picking up the hoop as well. I knew how much the hoop had personally shaped and improved my life as an adult, but I was curious to know just how good is hooping for our kids, and what are all the benefits for them? So I decided to talk with several hoop professionals who are teaching hooping to children to find out. You might be surprised to learn that hooping helps children develop far more than just good exercise habits, especially when practiced with some regularity.
Kelly Breaux of Hoop It Up Worldwide has been hooping with children for the past ten years. What benefits does Kelly see as she works with these kids? She told Hooping.org, “It definitely improves self esteem in the kids because there is always a skill that a child can master. Also, when we go back to the same schools every year, the kids who are hooping are in better shape and have higher self esteem than those who didn’t keep up with it.” Kelly added, “At our company we call hooping a phenomenon because we have an obesity crisis with kids in our country and it is so easy for them to get hooping and have fun. They learn technique and core cardio. This gets kids to work out because they love it! Often to get boys and girls to exercise for an hour is unheard of.”
Abby Albaum of Hoola Monster Kids based in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been spinning up things for kids too, including the Molly and the Holly Monsters DVD. What does she see as the benefits of getting kids to hoop beyond the more obvious ones surrounding physical fitness? Abby explained, “I notice kids really come out of their shell as a result of my classes. Some were quiet, very introverted, and something great happens as they find themselves in the hoop. They tend to become more participatory in class. I worked with a little girl once who barely said a word. Then, after hooping with me for about 6 months, she signed up to hoop dance in her school talent show. I went to support her, and she rocked it! Her classmates gave her a standing ovation, and she seems like a totally different kid now. She’s confident and can’t wait to show off her hooping skills. Hooping helps kids build self confidence.”
At Turners Youth Circus in Louisville, Kentucky, Rebecca Hellemans teaches and choreographs hoop dancing routines for the children involved. Rebecca, also the mother of young hooper Sierra Hellemans, has witnessed the prodigious effects hooping has on children at both a personal and a professional level. Rebecca explained other major benefits that are often overlooked as well. “These are children in development stages of life. The youngest I work with is 5-years-old because, unless they have already been involved in movement activities from an early age (like yoga etc), they are just starting to connect the dots on how to move the hoop around the waist. As they progress in learning new skills, they develop their fine and gross motor skills and coordination through hoop dance.” Rebecca also noted that through learning choreography the children are also working on team building and trust. She said, “As the kids are practicing moves for their routine, for example partner weaves, they must learn cooperation and trust in their team members in order to complete the move without injuring each other.”
Julia Hartsell Crews of Hoopdrum in Carrboro, North Carolina, has been teaching children’s classes and camps for many years. She has experience teaching all levels of children from elementary school through high school students too. Julia admits that while there are no case studies, as such, through her own personal experience of talking to multitudes of parents, they all agree that hooping opened their child up in areas of self confidence and self esteem, especially at the middle school ages when a child may be going through an awkward phase. Her experience working with middle schoolers dealing with peer issues has allowed her to use hooping as a way to dive into those issues, address them gently and stop things before feelings get hurt. “Hooping gives us the opportunity to change behavior,” she explained. “We move with respect and I let them tell me how we can do that. I facilitate the answers by asking them questions. What do we need to be aware of in this class? What could get hurt in this class? We also change behavior by reframing language. Going from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I will’ – teaching them to open possibilities in their world.”
[Mridular Shanker knows all about “I will”. In fact, she’s been keeping herself busy breaking world records. She lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA.]
Julia has seen hooping become a sanctuary for a 9-year-old girl watching her parents go through a divorce, as well as a source of empowerment for an autistic girl who, after hooping with her for two years, developed the confidence to perform in a talent show. The combined years of experience of these four women and the children touched by hooping through their efforts, are evidence to the positive effect the hoop can have in the lives of our kids. Obviously physical fitness in a time when childhood obesity is a considered a crisis is one major draw to hooping, but increased self esteem, body awareness, improvement of fine and gross motor skills, team building, peer relations, better concentration, and a sense of responsibility are just more reasons to get your kid inside the circle. So if you’ve been wondering if hooping is really stimulating your child’s growth… the answer is a resounding YES!
Bonnie MacDougall of HavenHoopDance has been in the spin since 2002. She lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA, with her two boys. When she’s not dancing madly with her kids, she sells custom made hoops and teaches local and regional hoop dance classes and workshops.
Prepare to have your mind blown by a pint sized hooper that goes by the name of Lily Hooping. The video starts with a sweet dreamscape view of Lily walking through the forest with her hoops and bag. When she arrives at her special hooping spot, she pulls out a purple ribbon and does a little ribbon dance for us. Soon after she delights us with her mega hooping skills; not only with one hoop, but with multiples as well. Lily is definitely a hooper to keep an eye on. She’s from the United Kingdom and the sweet soundtrack is “Lullaby #1″ by Mannerisms and you can download a copy of your very own on Bandcamp.
Everything you ever wanted to know about hooping you learned in kindergarten, or at least that might be the case if your kindergarten class was held at Chongjin Elementary School. These three young ladies are not only pretty freakin adorable, they’ve got some serious hula hoop skills to share with you and some spot on synchronization too. The boys break dance and do acrobatics and some other gals jump rope, but the real stars, of course, are those who can hoop it up. They’re learning to be serious hula hoop contenders of the future in Chongjin, North Korea.
Here’s a super impressive hula hoop performance starring four young girls that you aren’t going to believe! Filmed at the International Festival of Circus Art in Luhansk, Ukraine, the hoopers are Valeriya Davidenko, Darya Davidenko, Vladislava Narayeva and Sofiya Yakovenko – and they are all under the age of ten! There is some real talent here too for someone of any age group. These girls are more like a mix of tiny acrobats and hoopers too and boy, are they flexible! They all live in Kiev, Ukraine, and the soundtrack for this is the “Promenade Del Cammello” by Orchestra Di Roma.