Want to start hooping but have no idea how to begin? Here is your step by step guide to beginning your hoop dance journey!
Step 1- Assess your ability.
It’s likely that you haven’t picked up or played with a hula hoop in 20 some odd years. That’s okay! If you are unsure if you can hoop around your waist, or if you are SURE that you CAN’T hoop around your waist, then you need a big, moderately heavy beginner hoop. (Don’t worry, we’ll help you figure out what size hoop you need, just keep reading.)
Let me just put this out there right now: it’s incredibly difficult for an adult to use a child’s hoop that you get from the toy aisle at Walmart. Children’s hoops are too light, too small, and simply put, not made for fully grown human beings; because children have drastically different body shapes than adults. Big heavy hoops are slower and easier to hoop with. They give you more time to learn the rhythm and movement for hooping.
Even after 6 years of hooping, I go back to my big ol’ cadillac of a hoop when I need a slow, cruisey, hooping session. When I just can’t get a trick or movement down, its slow, steady movement is there to give me the time and space I need to learn.
Big beginner hoops are a beautiful thing. They are forgiving and welcoming; don’t be surprised when you discover a new best friend in one.
Step 2- Why do you want to hoop?
Do you want to hoop for fitness? Are you working on incorporating dance into your hooping? Do you just want to rock it on your waist? Are you already a dancer or prop spinner that is looking into trying something new?
Just as there are different tools for different jobs, there are different hoops for different styles of hooping.
Fitness hoops are large and heavy. Here at Ruby Hooping we use a heavier tubing that results in a hoop that weighs just around 2 pounds, enough to get your body working and heart rate up, but light enough that it won’t hurt or cause internal injury.
If you are just starting out, but want to work towards the smooth flow of hoop dance, start with a beginner hoop. Beginner hoops are typically large in diameter, but lighter than fitness hoops. Once you have your basic and foundational moves down, you can transition to lighter hoops, such as HDPE and Polypro.
Lighter hoops are great for exploring off body movements and dance, as they are less taxing on your arms, wrists, and hands. The lightness allows more freedom for hoop tricks like isolations, palm spins, on body breaks, as well as faster movements and transitions. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what any of those things are just yet.) While it is not impossible to begin learning on lightweight hoops, it is far more frustrating than starting with a heavier hoop.
If you’re comfortable with waist and core hooping and do not want to explore the off body realm, try a big, lightweight hoop! The change in weight will challenge you, and you may find that you are able to explore some more dance and footwork.
If you are a poi or other flow artist looking for a new prop, or if you want to up your hooping practice, try minis or doubles! Adding another hoop can unlock some exciting movement in your practice. If you are familiar with poi, trying mini’s or doubles can help you find some interesting flow patterns to add to your skill set.
Step 3- Measure!
While the typical measurement for beginning hoop diameter has been to measure from just above the navel to the floor; in recent years, the prefered method for determining the best hoop diameter has been to base it off of waist and body size. This is because we all have different body types and shapes. You and your friend may both be 5’4”, if one of you has a 35” waist and the other has a 42” waist, you both need different sized hoops!
Just as kids hoops are made for kids, adult hoops are made for different sized adults. I personally, LOVE larger hoops, while my waist size may have gotten smaller, my hoops have stayed about the same size.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that there is absolutely NO SHAME in having a big hoop. As I said before, big hoops are beautiful things. With that, lets get to measuring! If you have no clue how to measure your waist, don’t worry, the internet has you covered with this little how to.
If you do not have a cloth or flexible measuring tape, you can take a piece of string, wrap it around your waist, and then measure that on a regular measuring tape, or yardstick, or ruler.
Alright! Time to get that hoop diameter! You can find some guides for determining hoop diameter here:
If you want to be all scientific and math-y, or if you are looking for different sized hoops for doubles, mini’s, or simply want to downsize and you’re not sure how, you can find a handy blog post and calculator here:
Step 4- Get yourself a hoop!
When you select a hoop, you will be asked for the diameter, which you calculated in step 3. If you are anything like me, you will probably wind up with an addiction to plastic circles, and will find yourself “needing” more and more hoops. Not to fear! Our shop offers a wide variety of hoops. Or, if you want to get started hooping, but don’t want to break the bank, or you’re not sure you’ll like it; we offer budget hoops that are great for starting out, or for loaning to friends!
Our lightweight HDPE hoops are great for exploring the DANCE in your hooping journey. They can be customized with decorative tapes to match your unique personality and style. If you feel that you need more glitz and glamor in your hoop practice, treat yourself to a performance hoop.
Step 5- Learn all the things!
Starting out and learning a new skill can be intimidating and downright frightening. Luckily, the hoop and flow community is one of the most welcoming I have ever come across. Sharing skills is done freely, help and motivation can be found all over the web, or right in your hometown!
If you’re looking for online classes, we highly recommend Deanne Love over at Hooplovers. She is truly the best and most well known hoop dance teacher out there, and she has a TON of classes ready for you to get started today.
>>>>We highly recommend her 28 Day Hooper Starter Pack!
We also have a Beginner Hula Hoop Tricks article with a few starter moves for you, or you can head on over to YouTube and check out our channel for guidance and inspiration! Facebook has a ton of groups for hoopers, if you want some hooper friends, try our group, Ruby Hoopers! You will find tons of other hoopers sharing videos, pictures, triumphs and frustrations daily.
You can also try meetup.com, to find classes and hoop support groups in your area.
Step 6- Go on with your bad self!
Now you have a hoop, some learning tools and resources, your amazing journey has begun! You have endless possibilities now, so dive in deep and find that juicy space for authentic self expression.
Even if you are merely hooping for fitness, you can find bliss and flow in the circle. We are so happy that you are here, and that you have chosen us to be apart your hooping life! Now go hoop!
Ruby Hooping Sponsored Hooper