Your best dance partner follows your every move and never steps on your toes. It’s light, bright and graceful.
Ask not who this dream partner is; it is the hula hoop.
Hula hooping was once an activity only enjoyed by children with cheap plastic hoops which clumsy kids always managed to bend in half. Now, a group of ladies known as the Ferris Hoop Dancers have brought hula hoops to Ferris and transformed them into something much more than just a child’s toy.
“My favorite thing [about hooping] is being able to express myself through dance without it being weird that I’m just dancing… the hoop adds some normality to my weirdness,” Ferris psychology and a pre-med junior Irma Collins said.
Collins has been hoop dancing for several months and loves the flow and freedom a hoop can bring. She enjoys the workout she gets from hooping and says it is the best one she has found for her body.
Hooping newbie, Sarah Conner, is a dental hygiene senior has been practicing with a beginner’s hoop for about two months and is starting to find her flow.
“Once I actually learned how to keep it going around my body, I realized how much fun it was, and how much of a great workout it was too,” said Conner.
Hoop dancing can make anyone break a sweat. It gets the heart pumping and tones the belly, arms, and legs.
Hoop dancer and Ferris pre-radiography junior Shayla O’Brien, like many other Ferris Hoop Dancers, started learning hoop moves from friends and YouTube tutorials.
There are countless moves to be learned and many different styles of hula hoops to choose from; there are even DIY hoop alternatives made with simple materials from the hardware store.
Ferris pre-pharmacy freshman Patti Witting first saw hoop dancers at Electric Forest, an electronic music festival held in Michigan. Soon after she started hula hooping on her own.
“Hooping allows you to get exercise while having fun and listening to some great music,” Witting said. “It’s not stressful like some sports that rely on you doing all that you can to win or to be the best.”
Many of the group members like listening to electronic music while hoop dancing. It is easy to groove to, find a nice flow, and get lost in. Some Ferris Hoop Dancer favorites include Beats Antique, GRiZ, and Zeds Dead.
Students interested in hoop dancing or even those who want to watch, can get information by joining the Hoop Dancers at the URec on Wednesdays at 5 p.m.