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).
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.