Hula-Hooping not just for kidsWhen people think of Hula-Hooping they often think of it as a children’s activity; however, it has become increasingly popular as a fitness activity.
When people think of Hula-Hooping they often think of it as a children’s activity; however, it has become increasingly popular as a fitness activity.
Pauliann Pearson, who attended Two Harbors High School and St. Scholastica, first got acquainted with the activity in 2010 after the birth of her first daughter.
“I was looking for a workout that I could do at home,” Pearson said. “I went shopping and saw weighted Hula-Hoops. I thought it looked like fun, so I bought a children’s Hula-Hoop instead because it was only $3 and went home to play. I couldn’t keep it up. I looked online how to Hula-Hoop and came across a video. I spent hours that day looking at different videos of people hoop dancing or ‘hooping,’ as the hooping community calls it. Everyone looked so happy and graceful spinning in their hoops. The tricks were sweet, too! I then looked up information about the physical benefits of hooping. Hooping is supposed to burn 80 to 100 calories per 10 minutes. So I bought my first dance hoop online. I hooped every day after my little one went to bed and
it became a ritual, and maybe a slight
For Pearson, who grew up playing basketball and soccer, physical activity and hard work is something she’s used to. But hooping is different, as it can be done solo or with a group.
Pearson graduated from Scholastica with a bachelor’s degree in education and is now planning on getting certified in personal training and then helping people who want to get involved in hooping.
“You don’t technically need to be certified to teach hooping, but you can learn a lot about hooping itself and how to teach it properly from taking some of the available courses,” she said. “There is a teacher-certification course online I plan to take that will teach me how to teach the art of hooping, as well as expand my current hooping level. My dream is to teach courses for the community through community ed classes, fitness centers, as well as personal and group lessons. I would love to have or rent out a studio to do this in.”
With teaching others, Pearson would be able to help others gain the confidence that hooping has helped her develop.
“Hula-Hoops are generally seen as a childish toy, so bringing one into public (they aren’t very discreet to haul around) was at sometimes difficult for me,” she said. “Now I start dancing with it and doing tricks. Then everyone wants to join in and it makes everyone happy. I find myself smiling when I am alone dancing and I don’t get embarrassed when I accidently hit myself in the head. Hooping has helped me gain so much confidence.”
Although hooping is popular around the world, it’s not that big in Duluth yet, but Pearson hopes to help change that.
“I have been making Hula-Hoops for a while now, and hope to sell them online as well as at festivals and arts and craft fairs,” Pearson said. “I hope that people will be more inclined to buy the hoops if they know there is someone that can locally teach them how to use it. There is a great group, The Spin Collective, in Duluth where a very talented hooper hoops with fire, and I have finally just met a few amazing girls in Duluth who have been recently introduced to hooping and are as in love with it as I am. I hope to spread the word of the physical and mental benefits.”
Pearson said anyone young or old can learn to hoop, no matter the person’s body type or physical abilities.
“If you love music and dancing, this activity is for you,” she said. “You can listen to music and just dance like a little kid and use the excuse that you’re exercising.”
Hooping is also a good way to forget about some of life’s little stressors.
“You don’t have time to think about the busy craziness of life when you are keeping a Hula-Hoop going or trying to nail a trick,” Pearson said. “It is a great meditation.”
Currently, Pearson is trying to help raise interest through the “North Shore Hoopers” Facebook page. Those who are interested in trying it or seeing more of the activity can visit the page for information.
Duluthian Sarah Packingham writes about sports for the Budgeteer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.