My Dance Partner is a Hoop

My Dance Partner is a Hoop

Several years ago, when I first started teaching hoopdance, one of my first students, who is now a very dear friend, casually mentioned something in class about the relationship she was forming with her hoop. I remember it like it was yesterday…she said, “The hoop is more than just a fitness tool…it’s my dance partner!”

Since then, I often reflect on that statement with my clients again and again and it STILL rings true! I even silently think about it and smile during my own personal hoop practice. It really IS the best way to describe the bond you develop with your hoop. Well, let me rephrase that…it really SHOULD be the way to describe your bond with the hoop.

Once you realize the powerful connection you create with this simple plastic ring, you DO think of it as a real partner in your life. You understand it’s helping you…there’s no mistake…you see and feel the powerful results of your relationship. Those that allow themselves to get to this point in their hooping journey really DO reap the benefits of reduced stress, weight loss, more energy, a smaller waist, tone arms and they are in general, much happier. I hear this from clients repeatedly, and when I do, it makes my heart swell.

Unfortunately, not all allow themselves to just let go and take their hooping to that level of intimacy. Yes, it’s very personal and can be emotional, even embarrassing, at first. Comments from others about hooping being silly, thoughts of self-doubt…if you let things like that get in the way, then the hoop will not be your friend…it will become just another piece of exercise equipment that sits collecting dust.

It’s only when you grab your hoop daily that you begin to feel a true connection. It’s there for you. ANYTIME.

Imagine wanting to dance, but your significant other isn’t one to just jump up and join you. Well, your hoop IS there, always ready to hit the dance floor! This can be at home or even at an outdoor concert. You have a dance partner for life in the hoop.

One of the things I love most is moving to music, really feeling the emotions of the song, which sometimes, are directed to my loving, supportive husband. In this way, with my hoop, I can dance and honor him without having to ask him to join in! It’s very special. I can devote a dance to him anytime, even if he’s not aware of it. That’s a special moment for me and my hoop. No one has to know but me…



I’ve never really told anyone that publicly, but I suspect lots of us that hoop think such things as we dance…because, as I mentioned, it becomes very personal when you allow it to.

In fact, I know this can be very true for others. Here’s a shining example from a hooping friend across the miles, Holly. As a tribute to her husband on their 39th wedding anniversary, she hooped at twilight to “their” song…I love this…so special…take a moment to enjoy, it is so very sweet!



Your hoop dance is yours and yours alone, and you style of hoop practice is all your own, too. You can enjoy it no matter where you are…out at a group event in public or home all by yourself. One thing is for sure, though… you really never ARE alone when you dance with a hoop. It’s a beautiful thing.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your experiences, if you hoop now…or perhaps your hopes if you are just getting started.

What It Takes To Feel Better at 55

I have had a revelation recently. Time for me to confess. It’s been LITERALLY weighing me down. I finally said “ENOUGH!” Time for me to REALLY figure out what it takes to feel better at 55…

WHAT?! Wait a minute! Didn’t I already know that? I mean, I hoop and I preach that to everyone, right?

Well, life gets in the way and boy, did I let it build a big wall in front of me! First, let me assure you that I know exactly how I got to this point…

When my husband got laid off from a 15 year career in May of 2014, that’s when I began to devote more time to just hanging out with him and enjoying life. It was easy to do, he was always around and we didn’t want to sit there and be sad while he was seeking employment. We went out to movies and out to eat. No fancy trips or big expenses, but lots of extra food in our local activities. All this fun time with him left little time for my own personal exercise time, and by that, I mean, no time hooping or even walking.

Now shortly after he lost his job, we decided to relocate The HoopShack, as you well know, so that took time and energy. I felt like I was spending time with hoops, but I really wasn’t hooping! It was a stressful few months, and what feels better than to just go out to eat and relax after a day of working and moving stuff from point A to point B. I think you know what I mean. Even pizza brought in became the norm for dinner. Anything easy and quick was the answer.

As 2014 winded to a close, he still had no job and my clothes were tighter. I stayed away from a scale as much as possible, but I knew…I had gained a few pounds. I needed bigger bras, even. Yep, let me go there a second. That’s where some of my fat goes…up top, in addition to my waist, hips, bottom and thighs! Oh, this was not what I wanted. If anyone out there knows the pain of spending good money on expensive support bras, only to find out now you are needing to buy more because you are outgrowing the new ones you bought 3 months ago, then you understand! Never mind that my shoulders and upper back were hurting from the extra weight on my chest.

Sure, I was hooping at training sessions with clients, maybe hooping a few minutes here and there on my own…but NOT doing a personal, daily practice, one like I tell everyone they should be doing. NOT at ALL! I was a hooper hypocrite. I’m admitting it right now!

Finally, when my husband landed a job, it was cause for celebration, so we did travel. A lovely trip the the Bahamas added another couple of pounds to my small frame. At this point I was at 135 pounds. This was in February 2015. I was back to where I started when I first picked up a hoop in 2007.

Maybe I would have made some progress towards changing my ways shortly after my husband returned to his new job, but the week after he started, a car hit the brick wall along the north side of my home, sending bricks and glass into 3 rooms of the house! Luckily, no one was hurt, but dealing with all those repairs, from insurance paperwork to contractor scheduling, has added more stress to life, just when I thought things might get back to some normalcy. It certainly made me forget about being healthy the last several months. I gained a couple of extra pounds since then and recently, I just had to stop the madness. I’m refuse to grow out of my perfectly good clothes! No!

Since earlier this year I have known what I needed to do, but avoided it like the plague. I was just TOO tired! I kept telling myself a little story, a NEW story. A story that I never had never told myself before. I think I was trying to justify my extra pounds. I was saying things like, “I’m NOT 47, not as young as when I first started hooping. It’s not going to work the same now that I’m 55…I’ll never get down to 120, so I shouldn’t try.” Truthfully,  I really don’t NEED to get to that weight at all. I just want to have more energy and have my clothes fit a bit loose again. I love me some elastic waist pants, a good pair of stretchy palazzo pants I adore, even yoga pants, but sometimes, a good pair of jeans zipping up easily is what a girl wants. No struggle. No reminder of the extra 8 pounds that make them SO tight. Just slip on, zip up and go, you know??!

Well, about 3 weeks ago I made the commitment. I got off the scale one morning, looked in the mirror and said “NO MORE EXTRA WEIGHT!” I decided to make myself a project, a living science experiment. I wrote down a realistic goal to lose those 8 pounds and listed some things I needed to do to accomplish this goal:

  • Move EVERYDAY 60 minutes total (breaking it up into 3 -4 sessions HOOPING &/or walking)*
  • Commit to getting 10K steps
  • Use my heart monitor & activity tracker for accountability & motivation
  • Start cooking more, stop eating out as much
  • Eat more during the day, less at night
  • Quit eating food COMPLETELY after 8p (or 9p at the LATEST)
  • Burn more calories moving than those I consume eating (to jump-start loosing a few pounds)
  • Really cut back on/eliminate processed sugar, wheat, carbs and crap
  • Eat more protein and colorful veggies/fruit (limit on citrus, because of the higher sugar)
  • Stop drinking diet sodas
  • Drink more water, about the same number of ounces as the pounds I weigh

If I do these things, then it will happen. That was my thought, but would my hypothesis be correct? 


I burned MORE calories than my weekly target goal AND in less time than it was suppose to take…THAT’S how efficient hooping is!

Today, I’m happy to report that I’ve dropped a few pounds, and my waist/belly is not pooching now. My ankles are not swelling or in pain. I have less aches and pain all over. I feel MUCH better and most importantly, not sluggish! I feel younger again, too.

Wow…not rocket science…jus’sayin…I had to just DECIDE and COMMIT. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I had read books, watched shows, poured over internet articles and listened to news reports. I even had hoops at my disposal anytime. Actually using them, plus applying all the suggestions and tips I knew was the hard part. Now that I better understand what works for me, I can take a more conscious role in my health.

My activity of choice, hooping, of course and some walking, is so easy to do, y’all! You need only look at any of my videos to see what I do and how I do it. Not a lot of fancy tricks, just basic skills and moving around, dancing here and there. Thanks to the heart monitor, I’m learning what level of hooping is in my “fat burn zone.” I knew it, but just haven’t been doing it. I’m finally back on track…both in activity and diet…my goal is to keep this up so winter doesn’t affect me as bad as in the past few years…starting early to create better habits NOW going into the seasonal changes ahead.

So, I strap on my iPod and headphones and GO…see?



Of course, this takes time out of my day. So, I had to make the time. All this was possible by organizing my day better, wisely scheduling my business tasks/writing/phone calls/computer work/Facebook/other social media time and cutting back on TV. Unplugging from technology and plugging into, well…ME! Getting my butt moving inside AND outside, too.

After almost 3 weeks, I see progress. I’m under my 131 plateau on the scale after months of no success…today, I’m at 128 pounds, I’m just 3 pounds away from my goal. I already notice a difference in the way my clothes fit. If I can even simply maintain this, I will very pleased!

With winter coming, I needed to get into this habit and mindset. I think, most of all, THIS was a motivating huge factor. I’ll be 56 this winter, too…every year it’s going to take more effort to keep up with this, I know. If I create good habits, it won’t feel like such a stretch as I age. That’s the point. That’s the key. Putting them off year after year was not going to make it any easier when I reach 60, or older, so I needed to get started.

THIS is what it takes for me to feel better and have more energy at this stage in my life. I made the choice that I wanted it that badly. I’m fitting it in, even if some of it is before bed or first thing when I wake up (which, by the way, is a great metabolism booster for me, I am finding, so I will keep those hoop sessions up, morning & evening, plus some mid-day hooping) I get up happier and sleep better, so if that magic pill works, I’m going to keep popping it!

OK, that felt good to put it all out there…I’m accountable only to myself…and writing this out helps me process my progress.

If you want to process and have progress, let me know and we can work together on it! You now know I have all sorts of ideas! I’m even running a special this month for my email subscribers, some savings to help you get started! Check you inbox soon!

It’s NEVER too late to start, y’all. REMEMBER, the hoop meets YOU where you are and it is always waiting for you…and each day is a new day to start fresh!

aRound Chest and Shoulders – Part 2

As I mentioned in my last post, almost every person who starts hooping wants to successfully learn how to spin it on the upper body. I’ve decided to break things down for you in some new videos. I can tell you now that there will be 4 videos total in this series. They are packed with information and will help you understand how to navigate hooping around chest and shoulders in a more intentional way.

In Part 2, aRoundJoy on the Chest & Shoulders, I continue this journey with you, sharing more with you about what keeps the hoop spinning on your upper body. Even if you have already are hooping on the shoulders or chest, this video will help you gain more insight into strengthening not only basic hooping fundamentals, but also certain muscles of your body and why it’s so important to do so.


As you’ll learn, watching all these videos, solid chest and shoulder hooping all starts with learning very basic fundamental skills, the same things I teach in my aRoundJoy Basics course.In fact, this series is just a sample of the free bonuses that members are enjoying. I’m so very passionate about helping everyone learn hooping in a more organized & structured way, that I couldn’t help but share with more of you so that you can understand how I train my clients better. My hope it that you’ll get to know my style better and stick aRound so that I can train you even more!

In future videos and posts, I’ll be sharing specific tips for hooping on the chest and shoulders, as well as other hoop dance moves, that will allow you to become proficient, fluid and strong in your personal hoop practice.

What is something you are struggling with in your own hooping journey? Let me know. I’d love to help you improve and move towards even more joy with your hoop!

aRound Chest and Shoulders – Part 1

If there’s one thing that almost every person wants to do with their hoop, it’s learn how to spin it on the upper body. I’ve decided to break things down for you in some new videos. This will help you understand how to navigate hooping around chest and shoulders in a more intentional way.

In Part 1, aRoundJoy on the Chest & Shoulders, I share with you what you need to know before getting started. Even if you have already started, this video will help you gain more insight into strengthening basic hooping fundamentals and why it’s so important to do so.



As you’ll learn, watching these videos, solid chest and shoulder hooping all starts with learning very basic fundamental skills, the same things I teach in my aRoundJoy Basics course.

In future videos and posts, I’ll be sharing specific tips for hooping on the chest and shoulders, as well as other hoop dance moves, that will allow you to become proficient, fluid and strong in your personal hoop practice.

What is something you are struggling with in your own hooping journey? Let me know. I’d love to help you improve and move towards even more joy with your hoop!

Why You Should Look Up

I get asked everyday to troubleshoot problems that my hoop training clients are experiencing. They come to me with questions…I give some suggestions and tips to try. One that is always helpful in almost every situation is very simple, but often forgotten about. It’s easy to do and anyone can do it, although it’s sometimes the last thing to consider.

Let me explain more…you see, it all starts with your eyes and where you are focusing them. YES, it’s just that easy! Here’s a few reasons why you should look up…

  • When you look up, you are putting yourself in uplifted state of mind. You think taller, lighter…and thus, you are happier. This can effect your attitude during hoop practice, for sure. Even if you don’t hoop (yet), pay attention to where you are focusing your eyes as you go about your day and then check your attitude at that moment. Try looking up and see if you feel a shift in how you “feel”…this is actually a great pre-hooping practice.
  • Focusing up puts your body in the correct posture for successful hooping and proper technique. You only need to refer to the first bullet point to understand that when you think taller you actually stand straight and tall…so this is all related to remembering to look up so you can place the body in the right alignment with more ease.
  • You can hoop while not looking up, but if you want to have that confident, fluid style, looking proud, motivated and happy, then looking up will help you accomplish that. Again, refer to the previous two bullet points. This is all tied in together. See how this is all related?
  • Now, in this short post, I’m not going to technically break down each move and explain how looking up helps specifically. Just know that the concept of correct posture matters in ANY move. A wonderful side benefit from hooping, when done properly, is better posture, ANYTIME, not just when  hooping. It all starts with looking up, whether you have the hoop with you or not.
  • When you look up, others can see your face, and if you seem uplifted, it makes your hooping more inviting and a pleasing experience for the observer. If you want to share more joy, let others  feel it, hooping is perfect for that. If you want to do more connecting with others and attract more joy, just think about your gaze, where you are looking and what your face is saying to those watching you.
  • Perhaps the biggest reason why I have trained myself to not tilt my head down is due to my inner ear issues and fear of triggering another vertigo attack. Looking down while turning can make you dizzy. Nobody wants that. I suffer from vertigo occasionally, but I digress. That’s a topic for another day. Just keep your gaze up and look with intention at objects, focal points, as you turn. I’ll go into more of this in a future post.

I realize, at times, you JUST want to peek down, see what’s happening, perhaps, with the hoop spinning on the body…it’s inevitable. My best advise is to find a reflection to watch yourself in…a mirror, if accessible, a window or glass door…or sometimes even a vehicle if it has enough flat, shiny area on the side. You can also just glance down PERIODICALLY with your eyes, while not moving your head down…you eyelids will almost looked closed, but your shoulders, head and chin should remain up. Use that as a little technique whenever you feel the urge to look down. It takes some practice, but if you focus on small eye movement, keeping the other body parts in alignment, it will become your new normal.

Enjoy this short video and get inspired. Again, even if you are not hooping right now, looking up can help brighten you day. It’s never a bad thing to try and develop into a daily habit.  You’ll be that much more prepared to start hooping!



Don’t forget! I have a free waist hooping video series that also explains more about how focusing up and posture are related…sign up anytime right here! It’s a great preview of what it’s like to train with me!