Hula Hooping Tips From An Expert

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We have an amazing festival shop right now with everything you need for music festival season – including one awesome new item: hula hoops! If you’ve ever been to a music festival surely you’ve seen hula hoopers in action, and it always blows my mind the way they are able to move their bodies in tune with the hoop. Hula hoop culture spreads far beyond festivals, as well – when I lived in San Francisco, seeing hula hoopers in the park was a daily occurrence on sunny days. I would sit and watch them for hours as they played music, danced and laughed – they always seemed so carefree and happy. Personally I’ve never been able to master the art of hooping but I had the chance to interview Tiffany Connor, a hula hoop instructor who is featured on our website this week (pictured above), and she shed some beautiful light on this nostalgic pastime.

Tiffany is wearing the Printed Crop Legging and Fringed Crochet Raglan Dress; Also pictured: Alite x Free People Tent.

hula hooping

How long have you been hula hooping?

It will be 3 years this June.

What do you love most about it?

Hooping has enlightened me so much since I first began.  It helps to center me when I am stressed or troubled and has helped me become a more positive person by discovering my inner peace.  I feel completely free when I hoop.  I love hooping mostly because it helps me connect with people and relate to others – it’s a great way to express yourself without using words.  In February 2013 I became a certified Hoopnotica instructor. I enjoy both the fitness and dance aspect of hooping because it allows me to connect with many different people. I am in the process of getting my own hula hoop website up and running, and in the future I hope to have own my own hoop and yoga studio!

What drew you to hula hooping in the first place?

I went to my first 3-day music festival (Dave Matthews Caravan) a few summers ago and saw a girl hula hooping. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. She was moving it up and down her entire body so effortlessly. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and it was right then that I decided I was going to learn how to do it. The next day I ordered myself an extra large 42″ beginner hula hoop and began practicing in my backyard every day… I’ve been addicted to that plastic circle ever since.

hula hooping

Is hula hooping a good form of exercise?

Hula hooping is a great form of exercise and has many benefits. First of all, it is fun! It is also a great form of self expression and helps relieve stress. Hula hooping can burn between 400-600 calories per hour. It’s a great workout for your core and is a low impact exercise. It also helps to increase endurance, core/spinal flexibility, and stability, and improves posture and coordination.

What is the most challenging aspect of hula hooping for someone who is just starting out?  

I think the most challenging aspect of hula hooping is “finding your flow.” In other words, how to make your hoop dancing flow effortlessly and look graceful. Hula hooping is all about feeling and understanding how the hoop responds and reacts to your body. When I’m instructing, I always have new hoopers hula hoop around their waist with their eyes closed for a little bit.  This allows hoopers to feel the points on the body where the hoop connects, instead of being so concerned with watching what it is doing. Hooping with your eyes closed will teach you a lot about your body and how it moves inside the hoop.

hula hooping

What is the perfect outfit to wear while hula hooping?

The most important thing when hula hooping is that you are comfortable and can move freely in whatever you’re wearing. My favorite thing to hula hoop in is a bathing suit top and loose, flowing pants. You want to be sure not to wear anything that will get in your way while you’re hooping!  Yoga pants or shorts are great for hooping with a tank top or sports bra.

Hula hooping is very strongly associated with music festivals – what is your favorite music festival you’ve been to?

It’s really hard to pick a favorite.  But my top festivals that I’ve been to are Electric Forest, Snowball, Bass Lights, & City Bisco.

What festivals are you planning on attending this summer?

Electric Forest & Wakarusa.

In addition to a hula hoop, what essential items would you bring to a festival?

Tents, blankets, pillows, tapestries, flashlights, chairs, tarps, backpack, extra clothes/shoes, cooler, CamelBak, case of water, glow sticks, gum, candy, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, drums, iHome, sunglasses, towel, bathing suit!

festival must haves

Items pictured: Liberty Backpack, Miss Brooks Sunglasses, Survival Pack, Colored Tattoos, Santorini Fringe Halter, Shibori Print Cutoffs, Row Of Daisies Crossbody, Handpainted Folding Chair, Deep Dyed Sandal, Alite x Free People Tent.

Shop Hula Hoops in the Festival Shop!

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Comments

Meadow -April 9, 2013, 11:05AM

I’m so excited that you are spreading the love of flow! I have been an avid hooper for about 3 years myself and now spin fire semi professionally. Hooping centers the soul and connects you to a higher level of energy. It takes you to a meditative state allowing one to use the body to communicate and pray without words. I am already a HUGE fan of free people and look to the lifestyle they represent for inspiration whether for festival wear, going out, or work, so it absolutely thrills me that Free People has come full circle (no pun intended) and have introduced hooping! Hooping is a perfect fit for the brand and I’m so excited for everyone who continues to be inspired by Free People!
~Meadow

Hannah -April 9, 2013, 9:44PM

This has totally inspired me to want to take up hooping as a hobby! I’ve been to festivals and see it happening all the time, just wasnt sure if i could do it myself.
i am looking online at buying one right now.
totally gonna teach myself & rock that hoop at Wakarusa!
LOVE fp.

Stephanie -April 11, 2013, 1:10PM

I just started hola hooping this week! It is so much fun. It really doesn’t seem like exercise because I am having so much when I am doing it.

DaddyDabs -April 12, 2013, 3:43PM

Hey Arvolyn Hill,
Take a chill pill and let people live.

Monica -April 13, 2013, 12:47PM

I think it is great that Free People is showing hooping now! I think hooping is a great form of self expression. It’s wonderful to see a fellow hooper spreading her talents to a vast audience. I think hooping is going to be huge in the future. It’s great that Free People realize this, and that they are paving the way for all hoopers! This is a great blog!

sydney -June 12, 2013, 8:19PM

Does anyone know where the tents in the back ground are from? They are too cute and I want one!!!

makenna -May 14, 2014, 2:48PM

I have been hooping for two years now and its so great to see it coming back.. Im going to the forest this year as well! maybe I will catch you hooping. :)

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