How To Hoop Like you Had Years of Formal Dance Training

August 25, 2015 4 min read


Do you want to appear as if you had years of dancing classes when you were younger – even if you never stepped foot inside of a studio? I took some classes as a kid, but I never stayed in them for very long. I was sort of a quitter most of my life. I quit dance, gymnastics and most things I tried. I even quit trying to hula hoop! (GASP!)

I was self-trained in my own expression and didn’t like to be told what to do. However, hooping taught me not to quit! Now, during and after performances, I am usually told that I look like I had dance classes for years! I am going to share some of my secrets.

Here are some tips to fool your audience into thinking you had years of dance training.

1. Point Your Toes!


A simple tip for any skill level. This doesn’t have to mean you walk around on your toes the whole time. Just pay attention to what your feet are doing when you lift them up. Even if you aren’t that flexible, it still makes you look like you know what you’re doing.

2. Don’t Just Stand There!

Take up space! Move around as far and wide as you can, while being elegant and soft in your movements. Please don’t record your videos vertically. You will find yourself out of the frame if you’re moving around far enough. Try not to wear a small hole in the grass by staying in one spot. You will want to cover ground and dance!

3. Practice Spinning

Yeah, we all get super dizzy at first. Practice and build up your tolerance. One tip that helps me is to stop spinning and turn once in the opposite direction to relieve the dizziness.

4. Make Lines and Shapes


Experiment doing different things, even if you feel it looks silly or won’t look good. Use your mirrors or video camera to see what it looks like. If you’re not sure, ask a friend to give you feedback on your new movements and shapes. Use your legs, arms, and whole body. Pretend you’re trying to take really great silhouette pictures and make different poses while you do some simpler tricks, such as isolations.

5. Get Low

Use those leg muscles and get low on the ground. Bring yourself back up again in an elegant or flashy way. I recommend Ashley Logan’s video called “Get Low”. There is a copy of it on YouTube and on her facebook page.

6. Big Movements


Photo credit: Jennifer Dennehy (A very experienced and long-trained dancer turned into expert hoop dancer and big inspiration)

Reach as far as you can upwards, to the side, downwards and all around. Use the hoop as an extension of your body parts. Reach high as you hold your hoop. Toss the hoop up really high and catch! Take up as much space as you can (as long as you have the space). Practice in big, unrestricted areas.

7. Put in the Time

Nothing makes you look like a flowing expert than time and practice put into getting to know your hoop. If you want to look like your inspirations, get ready to put in years of your life dedicated to the art. You can be just as good or maybe even better! However, this will not happen overnight. Use our other articles and resources on this website to find out how you can get as good as possible as fast as possible!

8. Absorb Inspiration

Find your favorite hoop dancers online and watch their videos. Study their bodies, their movements and their overall appearance. Pause their videos and study what shapes their bodies are making and what their arms and legs are doing. Rachel Sullivan’s YouTube Channel (danceswithcircles)

9. Cross your Legs!

Making sure my horizontal planes are clean during this doubles move

Not only does this method help you get a fancy looking spin, but it also creates an awesome shape effect. If you want to use this for the spin, here is how. If you cross your right leg over your left leg, that creates a good spin to your left. If you cross your left leg over your right leg, that will make a good spin to your right. Think that whichever leg is behind, that is the direction you will spin.

10. Have Fun!

Let loose and don’t take everything too seriously. The more pressure you feel, the stiffer your body becomes. Dancers have flowing, loose, and elegant movements. They are comfortable in their bodies and their art. If you feel you are working too hard to achieve this, step away for a while. If all else fails, refer back to number 7.

I do have more tips available so watch out for other articles that may reveal more of my secrets!

The post How To Hoop Like you Had Years of Formal Dance Training appeared first on The Spinsterz Blog.

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