THE BASICS: A pop-up, two day hula hoop extravaganza in Shoreditch Town Hall, run as a collaboration between Fitness Freak and the lovely Marawa The Amazing (this is the lady who you may remember as an extreme hula hooper on Britain’s Got Talent- what a job title!)
THE BITCHES: Carly, Laura and Emma (across the other side of the hall!)
THE CLASS: A call on twitter for some unusual classes to sample had brought my attention to this feast of hula hoopery. Having attended a Fitness Freak rave class earlier in the year, I knew this was going to be an event of epic proportions. A whole hall full of glittery sequins and gyrating hips. Well sign me up!
I met Laura at the venue, and we suddenly realised that we were going to have some trouble finding the other HBs we were hoping to, just due to the sheer number of people. Not to worry, we’d look for them at the end- the music was starting in the cavernous main hall and we trotted in ready to wiggle.
Marawa was on the stage in some spangly orange hotpants, with a big pink heart on the back. Major girl crush.
Hundreds of hoops were lying around the edges of the room from the previous class, and we were invited to dig through and select some of the medium weighted adult hoops. The colour and excitement made it feel like we’d been given free reign in a sweet shop. It was a tough choice but I decided a purple hoop would most suit my outfit.
The whole hall (and it is truly huge) was filled with excited people, proudly holding their hoops aloft in their little bit of space. Marawa started over the speakers. Hoops on the floor, legs apart, and now rolllllll the hips. One way. The other. Wiggle wiggle wiggle. We had proven ourselves as good students- and were now ready to have the secret knowledge of mega hula hooping imparted upon us.
Hula hoops round the waist, we employed the thrusting technique Marawa had taught us minutes earlier (childish snigger). We practiced pushing off to the right, got used to that, then the left. It was easier to keep the hoop up in this direction, meaning I am apparently left hipped. Who knew?! As the music got faster, we had to work harder to get the rhythm of the hoop in time, and you could hear lots of clacking as hoops fell to the floor around you. It didn’t matter, you were in the zone, wigglin’ away and secretly chuffed at your hips’ ability to trick gravity.
I was pleased to find out that this class wasn’t just a hula hoop version of aerobics, but instead an hour of learning some pretty nifty party tricks. Hula hoops swinging around both hands, anyone? Er, that’d be us then. I struggled with the hoop swinging above the head trick, especially when we added the hip hoop in- does anyone possess such levels of coordination?! I do not. Laura apparently does.
As we tried and tested these cool tricks, Marawa’s majorettes danced around the room in their leapard print, helping those struggling, and wiggling along with everyone.
We ended up walking around the room with our hoops which must have looked like a fantastic sight from the stage, and then the finale came- for the purposes of the review, let’s call it MEGAHOOPING. We all started with three hoops (THREE! We are, like, totes pros) and then after we got these swinging happily round the hips, our partner had to throw lighter, stripy hoops over our heads. We had to catch them with out momentum, and add them to the whirring colour spinning around us.
One, two, three…. Laura was on a roll, and I ended up throwing thirteen hoops her head all in all!! Her face was a picture as she concentrated on keeping them all spinning- she was IN THE HOOP ZONE. It was pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever seen her do.
My turn! I managed about 10 I’m total, and was so proud of myself I was beaming. It really was easy to pick up once we’d learned the basics! We had a rest and looked around the room- people were still going. Marawa jumped into the audience and started asking people “how many how many?!” and people were jostling others forward who had managed hoops in their high teens. Marawa selected two of the highest recordholders. Yes people, you know what’s coming next.
A HOOP OFF.
Does anything get more exciting at this? No. No it does not.
Hoop after hoop was thrown onto these two amazing wigglers, and the record went to a girl who managed 23! It was a site to behold. The last few minutes of class was spent as a free style session, where we mainly listened to Shaggy and Peter Andre, and Laura managed to stop me from buying 5 glittery hoops that I didn’t so much want as desperately need.
THE VERDICT: Fitness Freak put on many a great one-off fitness events (in fact, this was so good, it went on for 3!) and although this is now over, look out for what else they’ve got up their sleeve next. In terms of hula hooping, I didn’t feel sweaty but it did feel like my torso had a good sculpting sesh, and I am now going to ruin every party I attend in the future, by knocking over ipod docking stations and bottles of wine with my newly learned, over-enthusiastic hula hooping tricks!