Hoop Dance, Plant Powered Living, vegan, lifestyle, love, infinite nature, LeelaHoopLove, Leela Ottombrino, fitness, hooping, love, college, health, nutrition, compassion, fire hoop, LED hoop

The massive growth of hoop dance as an art form as well as a mode of fitness is undeniable.  Even within the short two years I have been incorporating it in my life, I’ve witnessed the growth.

For those of you who may not know what I’m talking about, hoop dance isn’t referring to using your old school, plastic, Wham-O hula hoop, filled with water or beads.  It has little to do with the light, cheap, childrens’ toy hoops you can still find today at toy stores. Hoop Dance is an entire world of dance full of many expressive genres, all incorporating hoops.  These hoops are handmade out of heavier tubing and decorated with shiny, vibrant tapes of any color in the rainbow that add flare as well as ease in using the hoop. Hooping can be appealing to dancers, people looking for a fun type of fitness, technical geeks, children, older people, women, men, moms and dads.  A hoop can come in a large range of sizes, colors, and tubing styles. Hoops can even be made to fit two people in it at once, can be lit on fire, or even light up with the most magical LED lights for gracing the stage at night.

For me, the most alluring part of Hoop Dancing is that all of the beautiful tricks and movement created while working with the hoop is merely what we are able to think up while playing with a tube bent into a CIRCLE–  one of the most basic shapes; an infinite curve. Interestingly enough, the simplistic nature of the tool is what actually perpetuates its infinite possibilities.  While initially you look at it and think, “well, how much could you really do with a circle…?” you come to realize that the deeper you dive into the depths of hoop dance, the more and more possibilities for movement and growth you uncover.  Although I’ve had days where blocks in creativity happen, there has never been a point where I’ve felt anywhere near the end of learning all of the content associated with the hoop.  This is one of those things that I have hopes will keep my mind busy and creative for the rest of my life.

I find this type of expression has the most potential for individuals who have always wanted to incorporate more movement and exercise in their life but maybe don’t really enjoy the traditional workout.  For many people, going out on a run or working out at a gym isn’t inspiring and becomes a chore.  Hoop Dancing was my solution for this.  It’s playful, fun, beautiful and gives me an amazing sense of accomplishment with every chapter of growth I make.  It’s the type of exercise that you don’t even realize is happening (seriously!).  Hooping has positively changed my life in so many ways including my perspective on exercise, my self confidence, the way I learn, my ability to make new friends, and has launched me into performing in a way that I never thought possible only two short years after joining The Hoop Unit.

From a health perspective, finding hoop dance has brought me into a space of being more receptive to exercise, and has given me more love for my own body and its ability to move.  This has also translated into starting on my own personal path towards health.

 The inspiration to eat healthy and take care of my body comes from my passion for movement and the happiness I get from hooping.

When I found hoop dancing during my freshman year of college, I was at a crossroads between being dependent upon my family and moving towards independence.  This directional shift included switching the motivation for healthy living coming from my family to coming from myself. I am forever grateful to have found exactly what I needed in hooping.

If you are at all interested in hooping, I highly suggest checking out the possibilities in your area for taking a hoop class. Most classes provide a hoop to borrow and will introduce you to the basics.  Who knows where you’ll end up after that first day.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll fall in love and never look back.

Here are classes taught by two amazing hoop goddesses here in San Diego.

If you are located elsewhere,  I suggest just searching the web for hoop classes in your area.  They are becoming more and more popular.

If all else fails, YouTube has hours and hours of hoop tutorials that can inspire and help you teach yourself.

You can also order your own hoop online (the best way to learn is to have your own!). They are available on Etsy, many different websites, and even certain specialty stores carry adult-weighted hoops. Here are the links to purchase hoops from the two amazing hoopers listed above:

Check out a video of me and one of my best friends, Valentina, performing at the One World, One Y fundraiser show last year.  This is still one of my favorite videos of myself. And now, one year later, looking back on this shows me how much I’ve improved since then!


Hoops, Love and Health,