Monday, 3 September 2012

Hooping at Hula Honeys

I love hula hooping. Running can be quite boring, rather solitary. Bellydance is my career and although I've usually got company, the music is challenging. But hooping is the best of both worlds! You can listen to whatever you like - cheesy pop or the latest rubbish on MTV - and you don't have to interpret it much when you're hooping. And while it gives a reasonable cardio hit, with plenty of opportunities to flex and sweat, it also has the luxury of usually being done in a group atmosphere. For me, it doesn't feel like work or a workout, it's no pressure and just fun!

Last week I went to the first of a new hooping class, in Portobello Community Centre, called Hula Honeys. The instructor was a personal trainer so the class was fitness-orientated, but mostly it was fun-orientated! The trainer was Kim Sibbald, recently hitched up in Edinburgh from Brighton. She was fan-tastic! The phrase 'bubbly personality' must have been coined to describe Kim. She obviously knew her stuff, and was excellent at hooping, but additionally she was so charismatic, energetic, and such a good mover! I grinned for the entire length of the class!

Kim got us - there were 15 in the class, some who'd hooped before but most hadn't - to some retro pop, eighties and nineties so right up my street! Once she broke down the basics of hooping, she taught us a barrel-load of tricks - leaning forwards, leaning back, overhead with the hoop on one hand, then bringing it down to your waist and back up again, hooping with your hand as you bend forwards (for me, an opportunity to gain some spectacular shin bruises), and my very favourite - the wedgie, which perhaps one day I'll get the hang of!

If you want to know more about these moves I recommend you get in touch with Kim!

Half way through the class, Kim gave us each a jelly baby and a fitness challenge. Wall squat for as long as possible, with a bottle of wine for the one who could hold it longest! After about 2 minutes, there were still 6 of us in the squat! I must have had the bit between my teeth because my legs were screaming but I wasn't stopping. Then four of us proceeded to the second round - walking plank for as long as possible. When none of us dropped out, Kim brough on the nuclear option - hooping with TWO hoops for as long as possible. I'd never done that before but - hey presto! - I won! And got to go home with a nice bottle of white wine and an even bigger grin on my face.

I really hope Hula Honeys takes off in Portobello. It's a great place where a fun class like this with an exhuberant instructor really should be successful. Sadly I can't go back (it's on a Thursday night when I'm working during term-time) but I would LOVE to!

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