Let’s Hula Hoop into History: World Record Attempt on August 11

The mere mention of hula hooping brings up nostalgic memories of childhood fun, friendship and joy. Hula hoops make people smile, and more importantly they get us to move. That’s why the good4u grocery chain, Natural Grocers, has decided to celebrate their anniversary with an attempt to beat the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the most people hula hooping at multiple venues simultaneously.

Whether you’ve been hula hooping since you could walk, or are just trying it out for the first time, connecting with the hula hoop community at events like this are a fun and exciting way to get more involved, learn a few tricks from other hoopers, and make new friends – not to mention the fun of competition as we go after a record.

Here’s a little video to get you excited about the event:

The event will take place on August 11 at all of Natural Grocers’ 122 stores. The time will start 4:45 p.m. Mountain (3:45 p.m. Pacific, 5:45 p.m. Central), so you’ll want to get there about 30-45 minutes early to sign in and find a spot. You can find a store near you at naturalgrocers.com. The World Record attempt will be live-streamed on Facebook, but if you can’t make it to a store or there isn’t one near you we’d love to see you live-stream in solidarity with the hula hoop community. Just tag @NaturalGrocers in your stream to show your skills as we hula hoop into history.

‘The Hooping Life’ DVD now Available for Pre-Order

From the Press Release:

THE HOOPING LIFE is the first film that captures the origins and rise of modern day hula-hooping – a.k.a hooping. With an introduction and narration by hooper (of basketball and hula alike) Shaquille O’Neal, the film illuminates eight extraordinary stories of hoop devotees who have embraced it as an art form, a teaching aid, and even an instrument of redemption.

From the streets, to intimate clubs, to giant arenas, the film alternates between self-filmed video diaries, verité documentary footage, and spectacularly filmed performances. Filmed over six years and with an appearance by late hoop-promoter and TV personality Art Linkletter, the film celebrates the healing power of movement and the spirit of human inventiveness.

British electronic duo BASEMENT JAXX provides the buoyant score that captures the free-spirited nature of hooping, with additional music by The Scissor Sisters and an appearance by popular jam-band The String Cheese Incident.

Following more than 100 community and festival screenings around the world, THE HOOPING LIFE will be released on DVD, VOD, and Digital Platforms on April 22. The film is currently available for community screenings. More information available at: www.thehoopinglife.com

9 Great Gifts for Your Favorite Hooper

1. A Hoop They Don’t Already Have

Passionfruit Feather Brite by Hoopnotica
Passionfruit Feather Brite by Hoopnotica

Just one hoop is never enough. There are hoops available in every color combination imaginable. From fabric hoops, to super shiny hoops, its easy to find something to match a personality. Hoopnotica even released a Black Leather Hoop for Black Friday this year. It’s beautiful, and it must feel amazing to dance with it on your skin.

No hooper is going to complain about an extra hoop, but there are so many different kinds that you should have no problem filling an empty spot in your recipients collection. There are five types of hoops. Heavier hoops made with irrigation tubing, lighter performance polypro hoops, LED lighted hoops, travel hoops, and mini poi hoops. They are all useful for different kinds of hoop tricks. If you know that your favoite hooper only uses one hoop, a set of minis would be a great idea for them to broaden their practice. If you have a friend that has been hooping for a while, but is lacking a high performance hoop, a polypro hoop is a great option. If your hooper likes to take their hoop out at night, an LED hoop will be a great addition to their hoop collection. Do you know someone who travels a lot but has a hoop that doesn’t break down? A collapsible travel hoop will allow them to bring their hoop love wherever their travels take them.


How to Start Hula Hooping: A Collection of Resources for Beginner Hoopers

Hooping Beginner
Photo by Jonathan Lidbeck

Maybe you saw a hoop dancer at a recent festival, or came across a performance video online, or you have a friend that is already under the hoop spell. If you’ve been admiring the hoop from afar and are ready to experience the hoop love yourself, here are some of my favourite resources for beginners to get started:

Beginner Hula Hoop Trick List

On our own trick list, you can view tricks that are good for beginners. Here you can start learning the easier tricks to get your body used to moving with the hoop. If you are truly picking up the hoop for the first time, take a look at our collection of tutorials on how to hula hoop on your waist.

Jensen Hussey’s Guide for New Hoopers

Jensen Hussey gets very detailed in her Guide for New Hoopers. This is an excellent resource for people that are really excited and ready to being their hoop practice. She figured out a way to calculate which size hoop is the best for your body by working with your height and waist measurement. She also goes over how to get the hoop to stay on your waist and how to move forward into the wonderful world of hooping after you get that down.

Start Hooping & Resources from Troo Hoops

Troo Hoops explains how to begin your hoop journey on their Start Hooping page. It’s filled with tips on how to keep the hoop on your waist, how to exercise with your hoop, video tutorials, and getting involved in the hoop community.

How to Hula Hoop from Hooping.org

This Hooping.org article talks about how to start hooping at your waist. They break it down to two easy tips: Make sure you have the right size hoop, and rock back and forth.

5 Tips to Make a Badass Hooping Tutorial

So you’ve got some tricks down and you want to share your knowledge? No better way than to make a video tutorial. If you get enough views you could make some side cash, and maybe even get a couple of fans. Here are some tips to make your first video a hit.

1. Show the trick first

People want to see what they are learning to do. Show the trick first and sell it. Make your viewers want to learn what you are teaching by showing how impressive the final result will be. If you don’t show the full trick first, many people are going to automatically skip to the end to see it. It’s really just annoying, and you don’t want to annoy people that could potentially share your video.

3. Make sure we can see you

Location is important here. Make sure you are in a brightly lit area, with nothing obstructing you from the camera. Place your camera on a tripod, or ask a friend to hold the camera and make sure you stay in the screen. Being able to see how the trick is actually done makes it a lot easier for your viewers to understand how to do it themselves.

2. Make sure we can hear you

Check your audio and make sure your voice is loud and clear. Most people are going to want to watch your video while they are practicing the trick. If they have to get super close to their computer to hear you, they aren’t going to have room to work with their hoop. Either make sure your mic can pick you up clearly, or edit your video and do a voice over. Also, stay away from music in the background of your tutorials. It just gets in the way, save it for your performance videos.

4. Edit your video

Using a video editor you can make a title screen, do voice overs, and show difficult movements in slow motion. There are many free programs available. Some may already be installed on your computer (Windows: Movie Maker or Mac: iMovie). Don’t be intimidad by the technology, many of these programs are easier to figure out than they look.

5. Be detailed

It can be easier to learn a trick if you break it into parts. Give tips on what helped you when you were learning this trick. Explain what you’ve noticed what other people have problems with when they are learning. If there are other things that should be learned before your tutorial is attempted, suggest it. If there are drills of movements that can be practiced to make learning your trick easier, show them.

Weighted vs Non Weighted Hoops

One of the questions you may be asking when you first begin hooping is how heavy of a hoop do you want? Hoops can be made in many different weights, either by constructing with thicker tubing, or filling the tubing with water, sand, dirt, or salt.

Weighted Hoop Pros

I have a weighted hoop that I use often, mostly when I’m hooping for exercise. The heavier hoop will add resistance and work your muscles more, especially the core. You can really feel your belly work when you are chest hooping with the heavy hoop. I also find it much easier to get my heart weight up when I’m using my weighted hoop.

When I was first learning tricks, I found it was easier when my hoop was heavier. The hoop will naturally spin slower (unless you add more force, in which case even the heavy hoop will spin pretty quickly). As Newton’s Laws of Motion state: A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an equal and opposite outside force. In other words, once you get the heavy hoop spinning on you, it will be much harder for it to fall compared to the lighter hoop. I found it much easier to learn tricks when the hoop was spinning slower and It was less likely to stop spinning.

Weighted Hoop Cons

Beware if you have back issues. You can hurt yourself hooping. When you first start hooping with a heavy hoop, you may bruise. Once you find the parts of your body where the hoop should stay, and are able to keep the hoop there, bruising will happen less. But it will happen with the weighted hoop.

Also, a lot of people don’t like filling their tubing with water or sand, because it throws off balance. Others like the fluid feel of water in their hoop.

Though many tricks will be easier to learn with the heavy hoop, mostly on-body tricks, many will be harder if not impossible with it. As many become more advanced with their hoop practice, they move to a lighter smaller hoop. Breaks more are difficult with a heavy hoop (back to the Laws of Motion), as are reversals and isolations.

In general, most hoopers feel like you should have a variety of different weights and sizes in your hoop collection. Personally, I for sure feel that my weighted hoop has it’s place in my practice, though it’s definitely not the only hoop I use.

Irina Akimova on Swiss TV Show

I came across this video recently and I was blown away. Her speed, balance, and skill is just incredible. Keep an eye open for the move at 2:00. It will make your jaw drop.

Irina Akimova is a Russian performer that currently works with Cirque Du Soleil. She has been working with hula hoops for the last 18 years.

Super Teenage Hooper Heroes Comic Book

If you didn’t already believe that hooping could save the world, here is your proof. Hooper Heroes is a comic book from Asthmatic Kitty Comics Division. The storyline is about a trio of extra-terrestrial sisters (Botanica, Quantus, and Electress) and their arch nemisis, Captian Moses, a.k.a “The Messiah of Civic Projects”. Their weapon of choice? Hula-hoops of course.
The comic is written by Sufjan Stevens and drawn, colored, and inked by Stephen Halker. The sisters, with the help of their hoops, combat Captian Moses and his “totalitarian social architecture”.

From the Asthmatic Kitty Site:

“The comic book, written by Stevens and gorgeously drawn, colored, and inked by longtime friend and collaborator Stephen Halker, visualizes in graphic form many of the political motifs of the movie and soundtrack: mid-century urban theory, modernism, post-modernism, hoop dynamics, and the spiritual practice of Subud.”

O Dance: Boulder, Colorado

This is one of my favorite Hooping videos. I found this when I was first starting out, and I knew that this was something I wanted to learn.

Performing here is Shakti Sunfire, a dance instructor in Boulder, Colorado. I love how happy she looks and how fluid her movements are.