Several things I learned about hoop:
1. The hoop will fit neatly in your butt crack and that’s just something you’ll have to get used to.
2. OPEN SPACE OH GOD THE FALLING OPTIONS
3. Shorts are the enemy of hoop, so you have to wear pants or leggings! Except when you are wearing leg warmers then go ahead, ps. DAT ASS. (Leg warmers and shorts are a good look).
4. Sometimes the hoop turns and you get le crotch shot:
5, THIS is extremely difficult and you shouldn’t do it unless you are named Lauryn and have been hooping for 3 years. LAURYN I HATE YOU YOU ARE INCREDIBLE.
SHE FREAKING TURNED THE HOOP SIDEWAYS.
Gravity not applicable, nothing to see here.
But seriously, here’s some takeaways:
6. Abs, you guys. This is the best pole cross training ever because it’s like HIGH STAKES pole, with a balance challenge. Like, if pole were a squat, hoop would be that squat on a wobble board. Also, the squat is performed on the ledge of a high building and you could totally die. Am I making sense?
Anyway, my core was super engaged as I performed the already tough poses with the added work of trying in vain to control the motion of the hoop. (Give up, you can’t), which brings me to my next point:
7. Swinging around is fun. WHEEEE. Except when you can’t stop it. The swinging on a hoop is not a neat, predictable motion you can sort of control like a spin pole. It is just 360 degrees of nausea. I mean fun. I mean, good, nauseous fun. It is really a blast to twirl on purpose though, and like spin pole, your extensions can regulate speed while your legs are totally free to pose. Cool!
8. There’s a definitely mind-f**k aspect to the height thing. Which surprised me, because i’m upside down on a pole a lot of the time. But as Lauryn, who also poles, said, there’s something psychologically calming about having a point of contact to the ground in pole.
Which leads me to my next lesson:
9. Hoop is not for wimps. I hopped off like 4 times because I got spooked. BUT, it’s kinda good for a thrill if you’re feeling a little blase about pole, and bonus: you’ll never feel more secure on a pole in your life as after you’ve hopped down from a hoop. On the topic of a different kind of fear, here’s another hoop benefit: you can post your pics ANYWHERE, because no stigma! Yay! And with your pole training, you know they’re going to look dope. Sigh, hoop is so pretty. That said…
10. It’s so much harder to look graceful on a hoop than seasoned performers like Lauryn make it look. Especially transitioning in and out of poses which, SURPRISE, is one of the harder aspects of pole as well. Hoop and pole… not so different after all? LET’S ALL THE AERIALISTS JUST HOLD HANDS AND CHANT BECAUSE WE ARE SISTERS.
So, do you guys do other aerial arts to cross train? This was seriously an awesome strength workout with tons of flexibility potential, so I’d love to keep up with it. I could have done without all of the banging in personal places though, which brings me to my 11th and final takeaway about hoop:
11. Beware when choppering from the side of a hoop.
Just, trust me.
PS. New Yorkers, check out hoop with the lovely Lauryn every Tuesday at 6! She’s the sweetest and a BEAUTIFUL dancer. Here’s the studio website, which has poles too or duh, I wouldn’t be there.