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Hula hooping: a trend that’s getting around

Averi Creef, Staff writer

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Hula hooping can be a difficult skill to master, but not for senior Grace Davis. From dancing to fire, she’s got it all down.

Her interest in hula hoping  started after she watched videos online and gained inspiration from her friends. Davis started hula hooping two years ago, at age 16.

Although the hula hoop has been around since 1958 and many people can do it, Davis does it a little differently than most. She mainly does dance hooping.

Davis wasn’t a dancer as a child, but she found that hula hooping helped her find her own rhythm and balance. She mainly “hoops” with day hoops, which are polypropylene plastic. She does it with the hoop bare or with colored tapes, which are added for extra grip.

“There is dance hooping (which is what I mainly do) and then there are people who do circus hooping. That contains doing more with multiple hoops (sometimes 5 or 6) and involving acrobatics like bending over backwards or hooping on their foot while their leg is extended above their head,” Davis said.

Davis’s hooping doesn’t stop with dance. She also adds fire. Parents and adults always say “don’t play with fire,” but this rule doesn’t apply to Davis. Hula hooping appears simple with just one hula hoop, but when fire is added, there’s a lot more to it.

“The fire scared me the first time I tried it, but after a little bit you realize as long as you respect the flame it won’t hurt you. I’ve never been burned. And of course we take lots of safety precautions which make you feel safer as well,” Davis said.

Hula Hoopers that use fire have to take precautions against getting burned. They have to be careful to not catch fire and they have to use caution when they are surrounded by the fire. There are certain types of protection that Davis likes to use, like Kevlar sleeves and natural materials when adding fire to her performance.

“We use Kevlar sleeves on our arms and parts of our hands to keep the flame from burning our arms. It’s also very important to wear all natural materials because anything synthetic can melt into your skin if it comes in contact with the flame. There is always a safety person on watch with a fire blanket or extinguisher,” Davis said.

Hula hooping isn’t known much as a sport, but seeing somebody do it can be entrancing. Hooping is a full body workout that takes practice, energy and passion. Davis plans to continue to hoop and perform at local venues, so keep an eye out for this super hooper out in the community.

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Hula hooping: a trend that’s getting around