Number 13 on my “30 before 30” list is: Learn how to get a hula hoop twirling from my arm to my waist. Weird and random, I know, but I have a girl crush on all of the hippie chicks who show off their hypnotic moves at music festivals. I am pretty decent at the ultra basic schoolyard hooping (I can walk and hoop at the same time!) but lack coordination/flexibility, so that’s where my skills end.
When I saw a “Foundations of Hooping” class for beginners on the Des Moines Social Club calendar, I knew I had to check it out. It was just $5, an hour an a half on a Saturday and I didn’t even have to bring my own hula hoop! Plus I was excited to finally get inside the DSMC, which will have its grand opening May 10.
The instructor, Leah, was laid back and funny and started us out doing some stretches and “isolations” with the hoop. I think we had about eight women total in the class, including two girls who were out on a run and peeked in and then decided to join the class on a whim.
Everyone started out with the ability to twirl a hoop around her waist and arm, and a few got a little more advanced than that, but I didn’t feel like a total dweeb. Although I do tend to wig out when I’m in any group class with a bunch of mirrors because I get super distracted and feel like I’m a step behind everyone else. I just closed my eyes sometimes to get into my own rhythm.
I figure I won’t ever get pulled on stage at a Flaming Lips show, but I might be able to get good enough to impress people at a random backyard barbecue. Party tricks! Hooping was actually a pretty great core workout. I broke a sweat and was already sore later in the evening. It was also one of the most fun exercises I’ve done in a long time. A good mix of being goofy and trying new things, concentrating on my body and trying to just relax.
I’m not sure hooping is going to be my hidden talent (ha), but I think that with a little more practice I can totally achieve my goal. It sounds like there’s a pretty active little hooping community in Des Moines (the DMSC also hosts an intermediate/advanced class) if you want to work up to something. My little gif is not at all a representation of how cool hooping can be, so check out some of the videos on hooping.org to see some all-star moves.