Obviously, it is imperative that I learn how to do this immediately. So I started researching, and this whole new world sprang into focus for me. Hoop diameters! Tubing diameters! PSI! Glitter tape and grip tape! You guys, did you know you can get hoops with LED lights in them?!?!? OMFG.
You can also get hoops that light on fire, but I'm not even letting myself daydream about using one of those. I'm a clumsy oaf and I do not want to add a hula hoop and fire to that equation. One or the other, but not both.
Anyway, I decided that I would procure a hula hoop, watch a bunch of hoop dance tutorials on YouTube, and practice the basic moves in the park for a while to see if I have any potential at this or what. If it turns out I'm not a total irredeemable spaz, I'll consider investing money in actual lessons.
So I researched hula hoops and it started looking like it was gonna cost me $50-$80 for one. Which is a terrifying amount of money to spend on a hobby I might end up sucking at, especially since my employment situation is a little...nonstandard.*
But wait! All is not lost! Family Hoops in The Annex has hoops on sale for $25!!!
Owner Kavita Matthews creates and sells the hoops in her own home, which is probably why the exact address isn't on their website. I contacted her to get that information and we set up a meeting for that afternoon. OMG you guys she's fantastic! She showed me the different sizes of hoops, explained the advantages of each, and let me try them so I could feel which kind worked best for me.
(Fine, I'll show you fire a hoop video. But don't expect me to ever do this. Srsly.)
I've never hula hooped before, by the way - I tried once when I was a kid, but the hoop kept falling down so I gave up after a few tries. I have to say, a weighted hoop with grip tape on it does seem to make a difference! But also? Kavita took the time to give me some pointers. We ended up spending a good half hour in her side-yard while she coached me and showed me cool stuff, and by the end of it I could keep a hoop spinning around my waist for minutes at a time. I even learned that if the hoop starts to creep downward, I can kind of duck down and nudge it back up with my butt.
I don't know if I'll ever be able to do any super-fancy moves, but the amount of improvement I saw in that half hour certainly makes me want to keep practicing and see where it goes!
The hoop I picked out is striped with glittery and metallic tapes in shades of pink/red/fuchsia. The colours jumped out at me right away and, interestingly, that hoop was the one that worked best for me out of the several that I tried. This gorgeous sparkly pinky-purply hoop just felt like mine right away. I walked home with it slung over my shoulder, feeling like a total badass.
In future, I may take videos of any hooping progress I make and
inflict them upon you without pity or remorse post them here.
Kavita, thank you so much for your incredible customer service! Everyone else, go "like" Family Hoops on Facebook now!
*I bring in some money with my art, but mostly earn my income modelling for art classes...and the art schools are all closing down for summer vacation. Yikes.