Monday, January 18, 2010


No, not basketball or rolling barrel hoops with sticks. Hoops as in hula hoops. I recently took my first Hoop Fit and Flow class -- I survived and I'm here to tell you about it.

First, let me put this in context. My first experience with any kind of movement class was a disaster. I was five years old, and my mother signed me up for ballet class. It was soon clear that I was lagging far behind the other five-year-olds and wasn't having any fun. So, after six weeks, the teacher spoke to my mother and counseled me out. Gym class throughout my school years was also a miserable experience. I was a bit smarter about it by the time I got to college, where I completed my PE requirement by taking duck pin bowling and archery, both of which involve eye-hand coordination but not much in the way of gross motor skills or grace.

Fast forward to 2010. Why in the world would I want to take a hoop dance class, you ask? Not knowing if this would turn out to be a good idea or something resembling an I Love Lucy episode, I went to a free demo. I found I was able to do the basic moves without embarrassing myself too much, and I actually liked it. So, I signed up. The classes are taught by Laura Marie and Ariana from
Hooping Harmony and are held at The Fix in Northampton, where I take Pilates lessons.

The class was everything they said it would be -- you burn calories, get your heart rate up, gain coordination, build skills and have fun. Of course, I dropped the hoop about a zillion times and, when doing arm and hand stuff, sent it flying across the room. But I was better at it by the end of the class and I didn't hurt myself or break anything. Classes are every other Sunday, from 2 to 3:15. I'm hoping some of my mates will come along and hoop with me. If I can do it, anybody can.
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