Guest Post: DIY Hula Hoop!
So I recently got into hooping with some friends and when Tamber said she would like to show everyone how to make a hoop on the blog, I had to say YES!! So here it is! Thank you Tamber!!
I'm going to show you a few tricks for making your own hoop at home.
Here's what you'll need:
-3/4" or 1/2" 100psi Black Irrigation Tubing. This can usually be found at most hardware stores, you may have to buy a whole roll--enough for a few hoops. I recommend 3/4" for beginners, but you can use 1/2" as well.
-Connectors. They should be somewhere in the same aisle as the tubing, get the same size as the tubing you chose.
-Something to cut the tubing with. If you think you will enjoy making your own hoops, I would highly recommend a cutter like the one I have pictured. It makes life so much easier than using a saw, etc.
-Tape. Electrical tape is cheapest and you can pick that up while you're at the hardware store, but if you want fancy shiny tape you will more than likely have to order some. I use this website. (http://identi-tape.com/hooptape.html) They have shiny and glitter tapes, glow in the dark tape, and gaffer's tape (for extra grip).
-Scissors. For cutting the tape.
Step 1: Cut the Tubing to Size
For a beginner I recommend 3/4" tubing for a hoop that measures from the floor to about your belly button, or larger if desired. The bigger the hoop, the slower it turns...the slower it turns, the easier it is to learn a trick! It's nice to have different sized hoops hanging around. Sometimes if I'm having trouble learning a trick I'll pick up a larger hoop and try it out for a little bit. Once I've got it down with the bigger hoop it translates pretty easily back down to the size I usually use.
Step 2: Put the Connector in
You can cut a few notches off of the connector (as shown) with your cutters (be Careful!! those little ends will fly!) so it doesn't create such a flat spot in the hoop, but if you don't have a cutter the connector can go in as is. You can heat up the ends of the tubing with a hair dryer to soften them up so that the connector goes in more easily.
Step 3: Tape!
(Taping can be a bit of a challenge the first time, but it gets easier each time you make a hoop..)
With electrical tape of any color, go over the spot where the connector is a couple times to reenforce that joint a little.
I put down a layer of electrical tape first. I like the stripe look so I spin two tapes at once, but using only one color is perfectly fine too. I hold the hoop between my legs and use both hands to turn and guide the two tapes around the hoop at the same time for the stripe technique. The trick to taping is getting the right angle so that the tape slightly overlaps and you don't have any gaps where you can see the black tubing underneath.
If fancy tape isn't in your budget right now, don't worry you can just use electrical tape--or even strips of pretty leftover fabric, be creative!
*If you want some extra grip, you can put gaffers tape around the inside of the hoop. Be sure this is one of the middle tapes and not the last to go down, because it will peel away really easily if it doesn't have any other tape over top. You can also put it along the same way as the electrical tape---that stuff comes in plenty of colors too!
*If you're using shiny tape it has a paper backing on it...I recommend not trying to use it right off of the roll but cutting it into manageable lengths and pulling the backing off as you go. Angles are REALLY important for shiny tape. I always border my shiny tape with thin electrical tape or gaff so that it lasts longer.
Step 4: Hoop!!
Go outside if you can, put on your favorite jams, and dance with your new partner! Youtube has a ton of great tutorials and hoop videos for inspiration and how-to.
I have met so many wonderful inspiring people through being involved in my hoop dance community and I’ve had a ton of fun too. Since becoming a full time student I haven’t had the time to be as involved as I once was but I still regularly hang out with many of the people I’ve met. Together we’ve helped out at kids’ events and benefits through a non-profit we started called RVA Hoop House (http://rvahoophouse.org/) and performed regular and fire hoop at bars with bands or at outdoor events. I’ve even substitute taught hoop dance classes for friends a couple times. I never really sought out to do any of these things---I’m actually kind of shy---but my friends were encouraging and inclusive and I always have a blast. You would be surprised how many opportunities there are out there!
Here are a couple sites you might find helpful for learning more or making new hoop friends:
Hooping.org. (http://www.hooping.org/) There is a plethora of all things hoop here.
Hoop City (http://www.hoopcity.ca/) It's kind of like facebook for hoopers. Make a profile and connect with other folks.
Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/) This site is not just for hoopers, it's a great place to find other things that are going on in your community too. You can use this site to find hoop dance classes or local hoop jams. Here in Richmond, we have tons of things for hoopers to do and a lot of the word gets out through facebook and/or meetup.
Happy Hooping! :)
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