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Learn to hula hoop

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Hula hooping groups and classes are bringing more fun to the fitness and entertainment scene and proving that hoops aren’t just for kids

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Hooping is a full body workout. Photo courtesy of Lili Piggott.

Hoop classes in Cardiff are incorporating dance and aerobic elements into their practice.  

Ellie Pilott, trade market administrator and hula hoop performer, teaches hoop classes in Cardiff using elements of circus performance, dance and aerobics.

Her classes run on the second Wednesday of every month at Cardiff and Vale College International and involve a full cardio workout with hoops.

Ellie says hooping is beneficial for strengthening the core because the whole body is engaged.  

The hoop classes are mainly female and the ages range from 18 to 60.

Gareth Pahl, fellow hoop performer and teacher, became hooked on hooping after an issue with his health.

“I needed to get fit to get through it, and I’ve always been rubbish at the gym,” he says.

Hula hooping helped Gareth to recover and he says it has also helped him with back pain.

After months of practising, Gareth and Ellie created the Sparkles Hoop Troupe, a group of entertainers who perform at events and parties across the UK.

hoop convention

Welsh Hoop Convention 2018. Photo courtesy of Ben Rice @benricephotography

The ‘sparkletts’, as they’re named, are branching off into other areas of hooping, such as aerobic and dance.

Ellie says that hoop fitness classes are popular in bigger cities, but her classes are less distinguishable as fitness as they have circus-based roots.

The variety of classes and performances demonstrate the versatility of the plastic hoop, originally made popular in the 1950s.

“I think hula hooping became fashionable again about 10 years ago, and it is dropping off a bit now.

“But we have a good core group of people who keep coming,” Ellie says.  

Her belief is people are sometimes scared because they doubt their capability.

Ellie says: “People don’t want to look silly, but it’s fun if you come with a group of mates.”  

 

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