IT’S a form of exercise that’s really starting to catch on in Melbourne. Yoanita Marselia goes for a whirl with Hooplovers founder Deanne Love.
Back in the 90s, the hula hoop was a silly yet fun toy. Friends competed to see who could keep the thing spinning around his or her waist the longest.
Now, hula hooping is a form of dance, and a great way to keep fit. It has many health benefits including body toning, muscle building and weight loss.
The trend, which started in the US, is becoming popular in Australia, especially in Melbourne.
Inspired by YouTube videos of hoop dance, Deanne Love set up Hooplovers, a Melbourne-based community of hoop dancers.
“I just started and it instantly changed the shape of my body, lost heaps of weight and I was so obsessed that I quit my job as a primary school teacher and I became a full-time hula hooper,” she says.
Hooplovers offers dance/fitness classes and workshops, as well as lessons for children and coaches.
The first step to hula hooping is finding a suitable hoop. Weighted adult-sized hoops are preferable as children’s hoops are more challenging to use.
Music is also essential for the exercise because it works as a guide when spinning, dancing and moving around.
“One of the great things about it is that it’s not a boring form of exercise,” says Deanne.
“It really elevates your mood, you feel really great, and there’s this sense of achievement as well because you’re learning new skills as well as having a workout.”
However, as with all exercises, doing it incorrectly can be dangerous. It’s important to adopt a proper posture when hula hooping. And a good place to learn, if women (and men) can’t make it to classes, is to look up beginner tutorials online and start hula hooping in their own homes.
“Make some space in your house or bedroom and give it a go,” says Deanne.