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It’s not just for kids PDF Print E-mail
Written by MAYAN FREEBORN   
Monday, 12 July 2010 14:42

Hula hooping can be beneficial for the body and the mind

Spinning a large hoop around the waist isn’t just a child’s game anymore. Bringing dance, movement and sexiness together, hula hooping can exercise the body while relaxing the mind.

Kelly Janes, 35, started hula hooping after seeing it at a music festival in 2006. Soon after, she began making hoops for herself using a heavier material than the hoops sold at toy stores.


Kelly Janes combines movement and dance in her hula hooping classes, which also provides a different form of fitness for her and her students.

All photos by: Sean-Paul Boynton/ Calgary Journal

Now, she’s been in the business for the past three years, making hula-hoops and teaching classes that incorporate dance techniques like belly dancing.


Mostly women in their ’30s, but also a few men, attend her classes, looking for a different form of fitness, Janes says.

“You can hula hoop from your ankles right up to your head,” she explains.

Janes says one of the first things she noticed about hula hooping was the exercise. “It was just amazing how quickly I started to tone up and shed the pounds,” she says.

Waist hooping helps tightens the core muscles, Janes explains. She also teaches other moves in which the hula hoop is propelled by the arms and other parts of the body.

“When you’re hula hooping -- move the feet, move the legs, move the arms. Even if you’re just waist hooping, get the rest of your body moving,” she adds.

The community of “hoopers” is rapidly growing in Calgary, Janes says, but there are only a few people who teach in the city.

Rebecca Light, 25, will be going into her fourth year of teaching at Free House Dance Plus studio, where she says she’s happy to see Calgarians getting into the sport.

“More and more people are trying it,” she says.

Because hula hooping is so fluid, it’s a beautiful and sensual dance, Light adds.

“You’re just feeling so good about yourself and that, I think, is more where the sexiness comes from,” says Janes. “It’s almost like a meditation.”

The website gives instructions on how to build your own hula hoop from simple materials available at hardware stores.