Celebrating World Hoop Day 2009

While I try to keep this blog focused primarily on my writing, I am diverging today to share my favorite hobby with you. If you follow my twitter feed, you probably know I started hoop dancing about eight months ago.

Well, today is World Hoop Day and the Columbia Hoop Troop gathered to draw attention to hooping. We had hoped to take hoops to the local children's home, but that plan fell through (and is in the process of being rescheduled on a weekend--World Hoop Day being on a Wednesday was the issue.) Instead, a group of about eight of us showed up at the State House in the middle of downtown, turned on some belly dancing music, and just had fun hooping on the green.

We got a lot of stares and a couple tourists snapping pictures of us, but we also talked some of the suits walking by to hoop with us. It brought a lot of smiles to faces, and there was a lot of laughter. All and all, it was a great way to spend my lunch hour.

If you are wondering about the draw of hooping, I can tell you that I hoop for several reasons. For starters, the number of calories you burn per hour is super high. It is a low impact cardio workout that also tones muscles. So Hooping is Healthy.

Secondly, hooping is a social activity for me. Writing is a time consuming job, but I also work full time and have family obligations. I don't have a lot of spare time to socialize, but I get to see and meet new friends while hooping. We meet for the drum circle once a week, and a second time to practice and learn new tricks, so for me, Hooping is Community.

This list could go on and on, but I'll wrap up with the fact hooping inspires a childlike joy. You are moving, you are dancing, you are laughing. Your endorphins get going. The hoop hits the ground a lot in the beginning, especially when learning new tricks, but you pick it back up, laugh at your mistake, and try again. You learn new things and cheer at your accomplishments. So, Hooping is Fun.

We celebrated all these things today and more. We also invited everyone to celebrate with us. As we were packing up, we got a crazy idea to decorate the statue of George Washington with hoops (who knows, when he was alive he might have enjoyed hoop dancing if he'd been given the opportunity.) We snapped a couple pictures, and then broke up, going our separate ways with hoops over our shoulders and smiles on our faces.

Happy World Hoop Day everyone!


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