Well, Hula Hoops are back, widening a new verb, hooping, and gyring a new focus, Hoopercize. In other words, Hula Hoops aren’t just for fun anymore, although Hoopercize teacher Jody Williams would argue with that statement. "It’s so much fun, you forget you’re exercising," she says.
Williams, 39, is certainly not a child of the Hula Hoop fad of the 1950s. She got her first hoop a year or so ago, after her brother, musician Harold Griffin, noticed some girls hooping at a music festival in New York. "He came over, and we made some hoops out of irrigation tubing," says Williams. This is not the light, child-size hoop on sale in toy stores; Williams is talking about an adult-size hoop with some heft to it that makes spinning the sphere around a circling torso a lot easier.She started playing with her hoop, looking online for hooping tricks, practicing intermittently. Then she suffered a herniated disk and stopped all exercise for five months. This fall, Christy Leichty, author of Dream of the Marionettes, a musical produced at Cite des Arts, invited Williams to Hula Hoop as part of the carnival that preceded the play.
"That’s when I really started practicing," says Williams. "I’d never Hula Hooped in public." She improved her technique to intermediate. "I’m not a Hula master," she says. She noticed she lost weight, 10 to 15 pounds in two months. "I had tons more energy, and I felt great. It helped my back. The worst pain I have now is if I have to bend over and pick up the hoop."
So she sent out a question on Facebook (remember this is not your mother’s Hula Hoop) and suddenly found herself facing a hooping class. Nine women hooped it up at an inaugural class at Camellia House, in early December. This week, Williams begins teaching a larger class at The Alamo, the new art/studio space on Simcoe.
Williams built her routine on some dance steps. There are also elements of rhythmic gymnastics. These days, she says, she doesn’t want to dance without her hoop. And by the way, if you’re looking for mastery, check out Williams’ 5-year-old son, Basil, circling four hoops simultaneously on Facebook. As ever, 1959 or 2010, the little kids could always Hula Hoop better.
To sign up for Jody Williams’ Hoopercize class, call her at 781-6154, or contact her through Facebook. Williams' instructional skills are good enough to turn staff writer Mary Tutwiler into a seasoned hoopster (see video below).
The Louisiana Supreme Court has punted on its first chance to decide whether a new state constitutional provision declaring gun possession a fundamental right could void a long list of criminal statutes that regulate firearms.
New Orleans' offense, which ranks sixth in the NFL, isn't helping many of its skill players pile up Pro Bowl-type stats. Rather, the approach of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees has enabled a wide range of play-makers to emerge periodically with high-production outings.
Amid mounting pressure from deep-pocketed business interests, an ordinance that would have phased out a 2 percent rebate merchants in the city and unincorporated Lafayette Parish receive for collecting sales taxes has been pulled.
From jewelry to home goods, deals abound
Forgiving shapes for NOLA Bowl
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, December 12, 2013:
As part of a national undertaking known by industry insiders as the “Butterfly Project,” a rebranded version of The Daily Advertiser is set to launch with Sunday’s edition of the Gannett-owned paper.
Louisiana moved up a slot to 48th in the ranking of healthy states — once again, thank God for Mississippi! — so all this frettin’ about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid per Obamacare ... fuggidaboutit! We don’t need Medicaid no more!
The Denham Springs woman who placed Christmas lights in the shape of a butter finger on her roof in a display of anger directed at neighbors has doubled the trouble for the 2013 holiday season.
The New Orleans architect behind the 1984 World’s Fair also left his mark on Lafayette.
Laid back vibe just right for NOLA Bowl
The 30-second commercial, to run around the state, is the Democratic senator's first TV spot in her bid for re-election to a fourth term.
It's a number that has edged up but falls far short of the thousands who are eligible for subsidized coverage.
A group of mostly higher education leaders will make recommendations to state lawmakers about how to tweak the policies governing tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges.
Week long specials and a ribbon cutting celebration held in Parc Lafayette
Fort Worth company's new facility at Lafayette Regional Airport will build helicopters primarily for the export market.
Could River Ranch restaurant be the next star?
Move over Hooters — there’s a new breastaurant coming to town.
Hashtag, retweet, like, share and do whatever else it takes to get in good today with the jolly man in red.
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.