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Sports & Play

Is hula hooping the next Toronto exercise craze?

Posted by Guest Contributor / March 21, 2013

Hula Hooping TorontoI always thought I sucked at hula hooping. As a kid I would struggle to keep it going for more than a few seconds. But the classes at Sugar Hoops are far from the hooping I remembered.

I recently attended a beginner class where I immediately made a rookie mistake. "Don't move your hips in a circle motion," said Mandy Harvey, owner and operator of Sugar Hoops. "Try moving them back and forth."

And just with that, I got it.

Sugar Hoops launched in January and offers classes with special hoops that are bigger and heavier. It's not only easier to keep up, but you can do tricks and dance around the room while hooping. Before I knew it, I was working up a sweat.

Hula Hoop Toronto"We like to call it 'exercise in disguise,'" said Harvey. "People come in for the workout, but then they realize it's actually a lot of fun."

Harvey teaches classes out of Dovercourt House and Centre of Gravity Studio (Gerrard East location) every week.

She offers different types of classes, ranging from silent and meditative to "jams" (which are like a circus dance party).

Harvey said the interest in hooping has boomed in Toronto and is part of a worldwide trend. "It's popping up everywhere. There's so many people getting involved. It's incredible," she said.

Hula Hoop FitnessMy class had 11 people who were all eager to be a part of the hooping community.

Despite my sad hooping past, by the end of the class, I was good enough to keep the hoop up while moving around the room blind-folded.

If you're curious to give it a spin, you can drop in for a class for $20.

Hula HoopsWriting by Amanda Cupido. Photos by Jessica Goebell.



annakarenina / March 21, 2013 at 09:25 am
NO! fuck off
Scar-Poo replying to a comment from annakarenina / March 21, 2013 at 09:50 am
Haha !!

Pess / March 21, 2013 at 10:02 am
$20 to hula hoop? COME ON
CaligulaJones / March 21, 2013 at 10:28 am
Whenever someone asks "how the hell can our economy continue to sustain itself when we don't seem to be making anything", I'll point to stuff like this.

That, and another part of the argument to "why don't we have as good a lifestyle as previous generations"...
Mike / March 21, 2013 at 10:47 am
Whatever works.
Person / March 21, 2013 at 11:17 am
This is absurd.
jean replying to a comment from Pess / March 21, 2013 at 11:21 am
Cheaper and more fun than most yoga! Way cheaper and more portable than buying weights or machines (especially the machines that you can plop in front of the TV so you can still continue to ignore your body while you work out)

It seems cheesy until you do it, then it doesn't matter. We forgot how to play when we 'grew up', and I for one am grateful for the reminder!
Bobo / March 21, 2013 at 11:58 am
Based on the above comments, there are a lot of a-holes reading BlogTo, looking for opportunities to express their repressed anger.

Anyway, I say hooping is great if it gets people active and smiling for an hour.
CaligulaJones replying to a comment from Bobo / March 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Hey Bobo: for $19 an hour I'll tell you jokes while we walk.

The first one is about people who pay $20 to hula hoop.
jen replying to a comment from jean / March 21, 2013 at 01:00 pm
Even cheaper; buy your own hoop and do it for free at home or in a park.
Steve / March 21, 2013 at 01:44 pm
I know a girl who hula hoops at clubs and stuff. It's a pretty serious skill with a lot of elements of belly dancing and baton. It would take ages to master, and is a skill I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate learning. check out this video
Mel / March 21, 2013 at 05:10 pm
Wow, stop drinking haterade people. Who could hate on hulahooping?? Try to have a great day despite how miserable you are.
Simon's Queer Brother. / March 21, 2013 at 07:22 pm
You have to forgive the Lefties. They feel it's their RIGHT to hate and be negative.
Harper's Slag Wife replying to a comment from Simon's Queer Brother. / March 21, 2013 at 09:00 pm
You have to forgive Simon's brother, he's a sad puppet of ideology, so he'll just say whatever most resembles the talking points he uses in place of thought.

(he's be nice, okay?)
Melissa / April 19, 2013 at 01:02 am
Of course it is cheaper to buy your own hoop and do it at home. However, realize that the price is for a class. They supply the equipment, they push you to do a certain routine, and they have a place/employees to pay. And hula hooping is a great workout. Should you really pay 20 dollars 3-4 times a week to hula hoop? No, you shouldn't. However, the class gives you a chance to go give it a try and see if it's a type of exercise that can work for you. They also sell a large variety of hoops. For people who want a fun workout, and want to actually try to learn tricks/improve hooping skills, you should definitely give it a go.
Andrew / August 5, 2013 at 10:26 am
I recommend watching Katie Sunshine's hula hooping videos on YouTube.

Setting aside the fact that she wears revealing clothing, her routines would be impressive even if she was wearing sweats and and old t-shirt.

The lady has serious skills!
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