In May my hooping group Spin Revolution was featured in Creative Loafing. Here’s sampling…
Hooping gains momentum as fitness method, art form
Chances are, if you’ve been to a music festival or jam band concert recently, you’ve likely seen someone taking the art of hula-hooping to a whole new level. While most folks are familiar with the idea of spinning a plastic hoop around one’s waist from their childhoods, hooping as an art form and fitness method has gained in popularity in recent years. Hoops of different sizes are used on arms, lowered and raised on the body and spun overhead — it’s as much of a dance as it is an exercise.
The hoops that are used aren’t the small plastic ones you’ll see in toy and sporting goods stores. Instead, they are often made by the hoopers themselves using 3/4-inch polyethylene piping and gaffers tape. It can take 45 minutes to an hour to make. The cost of a hoop can range from $30 to $100 or more for an LED hoop.
One group in Charlotte, Spin Revolution (spinrevolution.com), has organized “hoop jams” twice a week at photographer Jim McGuire’s local studio since September 2009. The jam attracts roughly 10-30 people each week who basically teach each other as they learn. The group occasionally organizes weekend workshops and plans are underway for more structured six- to eight-week classes so interested people can learn the basics and correct methods for learning how to hoop.
“Hooping is a combination of two things for me, and for a lot of folks — it is not only a way to exercise, but it is also a way to connect with the world around us,” Pentes says. “Everything in our world spins — the earth spin on its axis, the solar system spins around the sun, the universe spins, and so does time. That circular motion is a part of who we are as spiritual beings. So, hooping — spinning — is a way of connecting with that motion and of being a part of the grand cycle of life. Everything else spins, so why shouldn’t we?”