H is for Hula Hoop

I let Sam pick the word for the letter H. And he picked Hula Hoop. Another double letter score. Nice job honey!

When he brought up the word, he said that they used to make him mad, because he could never get it to work. I wasn’t very successful at it either. Did any of you have success? What’s the secret?

Hula Hoops existed for thousands of years. Originally, they were made of natural materials like dried grasses, willow, or rattan.

Author, Charles Panati, wrote about how doctors in fourteenth century England were treating patients for back pain from hooping with metal hoops. He also added that the word hula comes from the Hawaiian dance and was added because the dance and the rhythm needed to keep the hoop moving up around the waist are similar.

One use for the hoop, was for the Native American Hoop Dance. It’s a form of story telling where the dance is typically performed by a solo dancer with anywhere from one to thirty or more hoops. The hoops are used as props to represent the elements of the story being told, primarily animals, reptiles and insects. The dance itself uses rapid movements and builds these elements with the hoops around and about the body.

The contemporary hula hoops that most of us are familiar with are made of colored plastic tubing and were invented in 1958 by Arthur K. “Spud” Melin and Richard Knerr.

Interest seemed to have died down in the 1980s, but it has become popular again with hooping groups who have banded together in an online group called Hooping.org. There are businesses out there that will custom make hoops for recreation and exercise. LED lighting and fire have been added to the hoops to create new options for them.

A woman I went to High School with, Jennifer Jensen, is a CEO, Instructor and Performer at EclecticHoops in Venice, California. She has been making custom hoops since 2010. Be sure to check out her Facebook Page, EclecticHoops.

#CharlesPanati #HulaHoop #NativeAmericanHoopDance