“A hoop is a perfect circle, and you can’t break a circle. When all the things in my life have been broken, my hoops aren’t.”
– Ariel Vandiver
Inspired by the hula hooping class offered by the Student Recreation Center, Belinda Schlesener, non-traditional undeclared major, decided to create the Hoop Group at Emporia State.
“We actually started meeting periodically last year when Megan O’Brien, a graduate student from Lawrence, suggested we have a hooping session at the ESU Recreation and Fitness Center,” Schlesener said. “It’s not an organized, structured class. We have fun trying and practicing whatever we want. It’s interesting to learn new tricks and skills from other hoopers, and (hula hooping) doesn’t require too much (space).”
Schlesener said there are some talented hula hoopers in the group and that everyone learns from each other.
“We also have hoops of all sizes – hand hoops, medium hoops, large hoops, weighted hoops, flexible hoops. We bring a lot of extra hoops, so there’s plenty to try,” Schlesener said. “People hoop for different reasons. Some of them hoop for fitness, some for fun, and some are very talented hoopers with a variety of tricks.”
Ariel Vandiver, junior earth science major, found out about Hoop Group by talking with Schlesener at the Activities Fair earlier this semester. Vandiver is hula hooper with a variety of skills.
“It’s kind of a therapeutic thing for me,” Vandiver said. “I struggle with… pressure (in) my life. You know, a hoop is a perfect circle, and you can’t break a circle. When all the things in my life have been broken, my hoops aren’t.”
Schlesener said that although she does not do too many tricks, she does hula hoop for fitness, which she said is good for the abdominal muscles and joints like in the shoulders, knees and ankles.
Breanna Morrison, graduate industrial organization psychology major, said she considers hula hooping a relaxing way to spend her spare time.
“I always like just hula hooping. As a graduate teaching assistant, I don’t have too much time to exercise,” Morrison said. “Hooping can be really relaxing exercise and it’s a lot of fun.”
Schlesener’s goal for the Hoop Group is to make hooping available to all ESU students.
“(Hooping) can be done alone or with a group, and gets us moving. Hooping is very popular on the East and West coasts. It’s becoming more popular now in our area,” Schlesener said.
The group meets at 2 p.m. every Thursday in the Fitness Room in the Recreation Center. The class is open to hoopers of all skill levels.