Weighted Hula Hoop, yes or no?

You want to start hula hooping and you have LOTS of questions! Of course you do. It looks fun, and you have heard you can get fit FAST! It improves coordination, it burns calories, your neighbor is doing fancy tricks in her yard! It looks SO FUN! But where to start? Dance Circus Hoop Poster (Personally I want to punch the person who made this ad. Very unrealistic.  I mean 15 minutes? How often? For how many months? I don’t look like this and I have hooped for YEARS. Please.)

What size do you need? Where can you get one? The dollar-store hoops are so tiny, you tried and you can’t do it, you feel frustrated and disappointed. You ask your neighbor where she got her hoop. She explains you need a big adult sized hoop. She made hers herself. Your eyes roll. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

You hit the local Big Box store and in the yoga mat aisle, there it is! A WEIGHTED hula hoop! It breaks down in convenient sections, the picture makes it look so easy, the box promises instant results! You get one, take it home and put it together and following the instructions or DVD that came with it, you are hooping! Kind of. It falls down a lot. But you’re doing it! Finally! Problem solved! ( I wanted to put a picture here but my web guy said I might get sued. Picture a bumpy rainbow in sections. Very strange.)

After an enthusiastic first few days, you are super sore! You even have bruised hips to show for it. No pain no gain right? Its exercise. Like any new skill practice makes perfect. Your neighbor made it look so fun and easy!

Except those bruised hips are pretty bothersome. You might even need to take a break for a few days. Every time you think about hooping you remember how sore it made you. The hoop ends up in the basement rec room gathering dust with all the other workout equipment. Sighing, you tell yourself, “maybe that just wasn’t for me”. Weighted Hula Hoop No-no! Saddest.story.ever.

Because for thousands of us, hooping changed our bodies, minds, and lives forever.

Here is the Truth about Weighted Hula Hoops. In my experience, which is extensive, weighted hoop stories all have these things in common: The enthusiast in question is looking for a quick way to tone up and slim down, the lure of quick yet fun results hooks them every time. Little research is done, and the easy availability of these commercial hoops is enticing. I have seen MANY new hoopers start out with weighted hoops and NOT ONE of them stays hooping, at least not with a weighted hoop. The few that stick with hooping switch to a mid-weight or light weight hoop, meaning a hoop that’s weight is determined just by its materials, the tubing used, and the little extra weight added by the covering or tape. Many never hoop again after the bad experience with these hoops. I have seen horrific photos of bruises and even tales of dangerous blood clots caused by weighted hooping! Most simply give up and never hoop again, which is really a tragedy.

So where to begin if not with one of these? First, measure your waist. DO NOT JUDGE. It’s just a number. Multiply that number by 1.4. This is YOUR beginning hoop number. Ex: My waist is 28 inches 28 X 1.4= 39.2. I round down to get my hoop number of 39 inches. This is the diameter of my hoop. If you live in Bloomingotn IN, you can pop into The Dance Circus and pick one out, I make them myself. If you do not have any hoop makers in your town, you may indeed have to start making them yourself, but it really isn’t terribly hard, and if that isn’t your cup of tea your best bet is to try ETSY. There are SCADS of great hoop makers there. I recommend a nice big fat hoop to get started. Look for PE tubing and a 3/4″ diameter. Skinny lightweight hoops can be VERY frustrating for a beginner. Trust me, been there. What you want looks something like this:

Nice beginner hula hoops

Once you get a hoop that is right for your body, you should be able to keep it up and get some good cardio going with your core engaged, knees bent slightly and pelvis tipped upwards. Pretend your pelvis is a bowl and you are tipping the bowl towards you. A rocking motion from one foot to the other will push on the inside wall of the hoop and keep it in motion. **Many beginner tutorials out there on YouTube, too many for me to recommend just one.

The material weight of your hoop is certainly adequate to get you in shape,( most weigh about 1 pound or more) and yes, pretty quickly. Like any regimen, start 3 days a week for 15-20 minutes and add time or days as you go. Playing music is very nice and helps the time go quickly. Best plan is to grab a hoop buddy, which really makes for a fun workout, you can share tips and laugh together! Hula Hoop buddies Check back here for more hoop info and remember Hoop Dance is a really big conglomeration of all different genres of hooping, one size does NOT fit all.

Hoop Dance Classes starting soon!

Hoop Dance Class beginners(2)

Paula “The Fearless Ringleader” is teaching Hoop Dance Classes at Panache!

New Spring sessions are beginning April 14 & 15

Mondays at 7 PM are for Beginners only. Tuesdays at 8 PM are for Intermediate Students

Monday Classes run April 14 thru May 19th:

“You CAN learn to Hoop Dance!” Beginner Level

Join this wonderful 6 week hoop dance course with Paula, Co-founder and Fearless Ringleader of The Hudsucker Posse, for a Beginner’s Only Fun-damentals Hoop Flow Class. Paula has five years experience hooping and many years flow-experience in her hoop. Class will focus on hoop dance as a great way to get fit while getting in touch with your inner dancer. Learn tricks and techniques for Core, and arms legs and more! Class is 50 minutes of FUN, FLOW & FITNESS!  $90 for 6 weeks includes the use of a hoop during class time. Paula can help you select the proper size during the first week. Bring water, you will work out in this class! Wear soft shoes or socks, and close fitting clothing similar to yoga-wear, Baggy loose clothing can lead to a frustrating class.

Tuesday Classes run April 15 thru May 20th:

Copy of  Hoop Dance Class beginners

“Warrior Flow Hoop Class”- Intermediate Level

So you have had some experience hooping and are ready for the next step? Join this Intermediate Hoop Dance Class with Paula of The Hudsucker Posse and take your inner Hoop Warrior to the next level! It is recommended you have had 1-2 six week sessions with Paula at Panache or elsewhere, OR that you have a good grasp of hooping through your own practice, ie:30+ hours of “Flight-Time”. This class will focus on really polishing our hoop dance practice and deepening your experience in the hoop through drills, drill and more drills, as well as deeper guided meditations to Unlock your true potential.** It is expected that hoopers at this level have a favorite hoop already for class use. However hoops will be available at the first class.

TO REGISTER: www.panachedance.com  See: Class Series page.


dance circus3

We are proud to open the new shop today at 109 E Kirkwood in Bloomington In.

Location is easy to find at the corner of Walnut and Kirkwood, just East of the intersection on the North side of the street adjacent from Farm Restaurant on Kirkwood.

We hope you stop in and see us soon!

The Dance Circus is on the move!

The Dance Circus is on the Move

We are pulling up the tent stakes soon!

Dance Circus is thrilled to announce we will be opening a new, larger, and more sunny location at  Don’t miss us in our new “Venue” in early February, 2014:

The Dance Circus
109 E Kirkwood Ave
Bloomington, Indiana 47404