25th February

Week 1/Block 2 – Wednesday 25th February


Smiley Teach = Smiley Class!

Smiley Teacher = Smiley Class!

This was our FUN NIGHT dedicated to all happy hoopiness!


We were energised by our funky disco lights (thanks to Sounds of the South) and party atmosphere tonight.


We had a mini workout and then focused on our play section. I like to give you a play section each week in which we just have fun but all the time you are still hooping and getting a great workout.


We headed straight into the turbo hooping and got those pulses racing, then onto the halo with our steps and turns. You all looked a lot more stylish and more comfortable with this move than in recent weeks. WELL DONE.


We worked on our new move ‘The Limbo’ and you all did fabulously well! Lot’s of arms in the air and hoops spinning on a vertical plane. This move is really good for working those tummy muscles and we will keep practicing so we get a good few sets out of this in the following weeks. But onto my favourite… this week I had one of my favourite party tunes on the schedule. Good old Dolly Parton! Yay! We got into the country groove and worked on our grapevine before adding those few extra steps to turn it into the ‘Electric Slide’. Another great effort – well done y’all!!! It was great to look around and see everybody really giving it a go and our whole hall was filled with crazy line dancing hoopers! I wish we’d caught that on camera.


By this time we were really in the mood for fun and got our reggae groove on with our final play section – Follow the Leader. This one really gets us sweating and giggling. I hope you enjoyed yourselves and I know you were all ready for a rest so we took a break for the second half and handed the floor over to our special guest– the Super duper Guest Hooper by the name of Bee Varga. Bee amazes me with her talent acquired after such relatively short period. We were very lucky to get her along as I know how busy she is with her performances and studies. We watched in amazement as Bee strut her stuff and dazzled us with those LED hoops (if you are interested in buying one of these let me know). Oh and that outfit – WOWZER!

Tartan around!

Tartan around!

If any of you are brave enough to hoop it up like a pro then let me know and I can get Bee to contact you about the clothes she supplies.


I wanted to open your eyes to hoop dance as I doubt any of you have seen this before. There are lots of hoop dance styles that you can learn – Bee’s style is very fast and great for performances in clubs. You are all capable of learning the tricks and moves but fire it up with some funky attitude and make it your own. Slow or fast the key to hoop dance is flow. This is why I talk to you about transitioning between moves. If you can move (apparently) effortlessly from one move to the next then your performance no matter what style will appear graceful. It’s not all about fancy moves – in fact you may have recognised a lot of the moves Bee threw in as moves we have worked on – the reason it works is because Bee has her own style and makes it look so easy to magically move the hoop from one part of the body to the next. I love the club style and watch in amazement as hoopdancers like this whirl around at hyper speed but I also love the slower floaty style of hoop dance – don’t feel intimidated if you see a style you think is not for you. Create your own style and do it your way – for example long floaty skirts look beautiful with sustained spinning to Latin/belly dance music…perhaps this is something we can look at in the future and even try out in class.


Try it out for yourself. Go home, put some music on that you love, get in the hoop and just dance with it on your waist, get your arms into it, move your feet and have fun. Think about what styles of music you like dancing to – this would work while hooping too. That’s why I try different styles of music each week – what inspires you? If you want some pointers then have a chat with me, email or contact me via the forum.

18th February

Week 6 – Wednesday 18th February

This was the last class of our first block and I’d like to thank you all for coming along and joining in so enthusiastically each week.



It was LATIN WEEK and tonight we covered a lot of ground and I really enjoyed myself so I hope you did too! We tried some salsa based simple steps before hitting our turbo hooping session.



I tried to give some pointers on learning the limbo move, the music really spurred you on and I was impressed to see you improve so quickly. There were lots of laughs and lots of limbo arms in the air – I wish we had the cocktails to go with them! It is nice to have such a close knit class.



People have been hit hard by the cold and flu bugs and you seemed to get quite tired out quite quickly – or was I working you too hard?! I notice that you are still struggling with arm movements while taking steps but we will get there. The more you practice the more natural it will feel and you will be stepping around freely and not having to think about keeping the hoop up. Each week you are getting so much better – you can see that when we take our walk around the room. I give you the options to add arm work but it is something to take in your own time.



We tried some floor work again and this was your real challenge! This suggests to me that we need to keep practicing this move – let’s get our bums and legs nice and toned! Keep going – I sat up half way through and you were all crashed out on the floor! Funny though – seeing you all flaked out, giggling and red faced! What is it about that move that hits you so hard?! REMEMBER TO BREATHE!



To get you back on your feet (literally) we then worked our arms again with a bit more style so this was your star move of the evening and just when you had got back into your safety zone we headed into the nights play section! Well done for getting into our dance of the week with such enthusiasm! I hope you enjoyed it and didn’t find it too silly – we’re here to have fun and get fit at the same time and sections like this are perfect ways to keep going without realising it. There were lots of smiles around the room and you all kept the hoop going – fab!



We hit a few challenges this week which is good. It proves that you are learning something new. I read through the feedback again from the week before and it is nice to see that you are surprised at the amount of moves you can do with a hoop. It really is an excellent fitness tool and next week in our performance night you will see the more streamlined dance aspects.



Don’t forget to tell me if you are planning on bringing anyone with you next week so I can add them to my list. As you know space is tight. We’ve been spoilt while our friends have been poorly so I expect 25th to be a bit busier again but this night will be more informal and is intended as a treat for you. Come along, join in and prepare to be dazzled by our super duper guest hooper! In future classes I want to try to keep the number to a max of 20 so be prepared to get booked if you want to keep coming. You guys will have first dibs.



And so, the end of the first block…



Now we’ve come to the end of our first block tell me what you’re enjoying and what you’re not. The feedback you filled in last week was helpful but I want to make sure I work on the moves you want. Are you happy with the informal atmosphere? Chances are that if not you would have left weeks ago! Every week you are working hard and I would estimate that you are well on the way to burning those 600 calories in that hour. Work harder and burn more or relax, hoop it up and just use the hour for a bit of fun!

11th February


Wednesday 11th February


Tonight we had more space and were really able to stretch out our legs and our hoops!


We got hoopy with some attitude to the love themed valentine music! We’re still really working on stepping side to side while hooping and this week I threw in a mini line dance to see what you thought. I want to keep things fun for you so it is important that you’re enjoying it. I try to keep you going with enough moves so you feel you are learning something each week while still getting a great workout. You are great at the lasoo hand hooping and you are fab at changing direction so we will start working on our transitions (moving from one move to another smoothly).



For now, the moves we need to work on are the hip hooping and the off the body pass with kick overs. That is the killer move and we only managed a few minutes of it this week! To give you a break we took to the floor and went for a little walk…(under the moon of love)! After you got your breath back I thought I’d give you a challange – you’re so good at the hand hooping that I thought it was about time we tried the scissor kick. I don’t know why but you looked quite scared by this! YOU CAN DO IT! It looks more impressive than it really is, you’ve already got the basics so it’s just trying it in a new style… we’re going to revisit that move. In between all sets I do try to give you a few seconds to catch your breath – whether in the form of a turn or slow hooping. The break in the scissor kick move is to put the hoop down but continue kicking your legs. It is the only move I’ll let you leave the hoop out of!



Time seemed to fly this week and I was a bit shocked when the cool down music began so I hope you all had fun and went home feeling empowered by the music of the week! Next week get ready for some latino tracks!



You very kindly took the time to fill in some feedback forms and I must say that I was so pleased to hear that you are all enjoying it, learning something new, socialising and discovering the ‘Can do’ aspects of hooping. The only negative seems to be the space – this is something I am continually trying to address, as you know I’ve started a small second class and taken a couple of our JPC hoopers with me and now that class is already fully booked. I will continue looking for somewhere else locally but it is so difficult finding a venue that is available and is big enough. We do have the summer to look forward to so maybe we could do some outdoor classes and events. In the meantime it will continue to be operated on a first come first serve basis so if you’re enjoying it make sure you book your place!



Thank you again and happy hooping!

4th February

Wednesday 4th February


Tonight you really worked out! This week I threw you in at the deep end and got you really sweating… sorry ‘glowing’!


The music was more fast paced than in previous classes and we kicked off with some sets of power hooping then gave our abs a rest and worked on the arms. I thinks this is your ‘rest’ section but not for long as we hopped back in the hoops and got shuffling across that dance floor. Even though I know what a GREAT workout hooping is, it still amazes me how tiring it is once you really get moving. Just think of the benefits for your body!


You all did really well at recovering the hoop after shuffling or stepping along and I was really impressed at how well you did when we took our hoops for a walk around the room! (HINT HINT – I’ve added details for the Race for Life).


You’re all doing brilliantly at our lasoo/hand hooping move! We need to concentrate on switching arms so you don’t end up with muscles on one arm and like Mr Muscle on the other! Your strength will develop with practice. Try the lighter hoops if you are struggling and remember those bruises might start appearing on the back of your hand – this is normal and shows the effort you are putting in! Be proud of any bruises you achieve!!!


When waist hooping and hand hooping, I’d like you to start working on your technique and inject a bit of style into your moves. We looked at our technique and I asked you to check your feet positioning and to ensure that you are pushing from the core when waist hooping (think tummy button!!). Remember to take a deep breath in to re-align your spine and encourage a nice straight back and central movement. When hand hooping, think about what the rest of your body is doing – don’t just let it hang there! Stand tall, engage your whole body, step with purpose, breathe, bring some grace and style into the whole movement.


Off the body hooping with kick-overs is what got you really sweaty this week. This reminds me to tell you to make sure you stay hydrated! There is a water cooler outside the hall so feel free to pop out when you need to top up or bring bottled water with you. WELL DONE for trying it out although I thought I was going to lose a few of you at that point! You’re here to workout aren’t you?! Try this move as fast or slow as you feel you can. This is great for your legs and keeps the arms working at the same time. So a 2 for 1 deal! No wonder it’s tiring!


You needed a little break after that body blitz so we tried the hip hooping again. This is the move where you let the hoop drop below your hip bone instead of above and it’s great for your bum! It’s also good for those of you with sciatica as it really gets you wiggling while giving you a nice massage.


Finally we tried a couple of ‘trick’ moves. The limbo style and also our booty shaker! Everyone had a go and I was really impressed – the limbo is another tummy toner move – you really feel those abs working when you push up into the hoop. The booty shaker is a little funny to watch when you’re learning…you have to stick your bum up high and really push it out!!! This is great for strengthening your back. We’ll work on those moves again soon.

28th January

Wednesday 28th January

Tonight’s class was a bit more about play! This week we sweated (again), we laughed, we got hit in the head and we got our feet moving!


Well done everyone for taking steps, shuffles, grapevines and turning while hooping to the DISCO themed music. You will notice that when you move side to side you need to adjust the points at which you hit the hoop with your waist. It can be quite difficult to change the movement without losing control of the hoop so everybody did really well! Go as slowly as you need to in order to allow your body make the adjustments to keep the hoop going. After some practice you will be more co-ordinated and will have taught your body how to deal with the new move. Now we just need to get our arms engaged while we move but one thing at a time! When you’re just trying to keep the hoop up you might not be able to think about your arms at the same time!


It was great to see you all moving around while hooping. Now we’re not so grounded and we can really start to explore the space around us and get some structure to our routines so you can start to feel the burn! I’ve got plans for you lot!


We also checked to see what it’s like hooping in the opposite direction. You were great at this. I still struggle as this was something I wasn’t aware of when I began hooping and so I’ve developed an overly dominant side (anti-clockwise). It’s great that you managed the change with ease. This will ensure you develop evenly as you exercise.


Each week I am aware that I don’t follow my plan step by step. I try to adjust to your needs in class. I have been able to spend one to one time with most of you and as a result you are really progressing. As the weeks go on I predict that we will be able to follow a class plan all the way through! ALWAYS remember that this class is for you and you should feel free to ask for more challenges if you are ready to move on. I can give you moves to try out and practice while others are happy to maintain the basic waist hooping position. As I say each week – don’t do anything you feel might be too hard or painful but do be BRAVE and try some of the extra moves out. Keep challenging yourself I will continue to introduce the new moves but am happy to let you decide when you are ready to try them out.


We tackled the hand hooping again last night – this is your speciality! I am so impressed! Just remember to grip immediately before/as you push out with the palm of the hand so the hoop is not dangerously whirling freely around your hand. This should stop the risk of it spinning off and hitting someone else in the head! The hoop needs to sit between your thumb and fingers – not spinning around your wrist until it hits you in the head! Check that you are making the hoop spin horizontally. If it dips you need to be stronger with the push and grip. Your hands and arms will get stronger the more you practice this and the easier it will become. Try using a lighter hoop to begin with if that helps.


Well done everyone and thank you for coming along with SMILES! You all have the right attitude for hooping which will keep you motivated and allow you to learn more easily. Next week we’ll have a go at the bottom busting hip hooping!