Not too long ago, three friends founded a hula-hooping company in the Hartford area called Beat City Hoops. Their mission is to encourage creative expression, support community camaraderie and strengthen the culture and artistic beauty of their beloved city of Hartford. They are currently offering classes at the Hartford City Ballet and are working on expanding their classes in the surrounding areas.
Last Friday, Beat City Hoops was a part of the Connecticut Science Center’s Liquid Lounge – a “geek-chic” party for the 21+ crowd held at the Science Center with access to all the exhibits, food and drinks, live music and local demonstrations. As soon as I got to the Liquid Lounge, I high-tailed it up to the 5th floor where I knew my friends would be. Since their class offerings often conflicted with my Zumba classes, I was curious to have the opportunity to try hula-hooping in my 30s (as if I thought something would improve with age).
As soon as I get there, my friend Jess hands me a custom-made pink zebra print hoop. I stall by telling her that I needed to finish my beer before I took a test drive, but eventually my cup was empty which meant that this hoop had to go around my hips. Jess gave me a quick demo of how I should stand and how I should move my hips to keep the hoop up. Basically you stand with one foot in front of you and a slight bend in your knee. You rock your hips back and forth – if your hoop starts to drop, you thrust your hips forward as fast as you can (a move I have yet to master). So I flick the hoop around my waist and start rocking back and forth. What is this? Am I actually hooping?! The hoop didn’t stay on my hips for very long, but long enough for me to feel the burn in my core. Oh my god, after only about 5 minutes of hooping I could feel it in my core. I was hooked!
Like I previously mentioned, I cannot make it to any of BCH’s classes at the HCB, but a Sunday afternoon class is in the works. I’m absolutely down for this one! Jess tells me that you can burn up to 600 calories in an hour of hooping! She’s even lost 30 pounds since she started hooping (You go girl!) So if you’re in the Hartford area and looking for something different, you should definitely check them out! You can find them on Facebook and Twitter. Did I mention they sell custom-made hula hoops, too?