DIY Ideas & How-To GuidesHoopmakers University

Hillia Hula

Hillia Hula

1. Tell us your roots - where were you born and raised? I was born and raised most of my life in Yakima, WA and started hooping when I moved to Ellensburg, WA.

2. Why hooping? How did the journey begin? I remember randomly buying a kids’ toy hoop at a yard sale because it looked like fun. This was before I knew that hooping existed. I Googled “hula hoop workout” and found a hoop dance video for the first time. I was absolutely mesmerized by the beauty of hoop dance and knew I had to find a way to learn what I had seen. Unfortunately there were no instructors or classes around the area so I had to rely on YouTube videos and the few tutorials I could find. I started in a small storage room in my apartment and used my webcam to record my progress. I fell in love with hooping and wanted to do it all the time, wherever I could. I guess you could say not much has changed since then because I am still obsessed with hooping! I started off as a busker at local farmer’s markets and gradually gained the confidence to expand into a full time performance artist.

3. What has the hoop taught you about life? I can honestly say that hooping has changed my life for the better! I spent many years trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. Looking back, I would have never imagined I would be a hula hooper doing half of the things I do now. Anything is possible! At the time, I was also dealing with many anxiety issues. Hooping allowed me to escape into a sort of trance and allowed me to immerse myself in a creative flow process. My love for hooping gave me self-confidence and ambition like no other. There is a great freedom and joy that comes with expressing yourself fully without fear of judgment.

4. What's next? How is your hoop life evolving? I’m currently doing lots of performances across the west coast and am grateful for every minute of it. I also love making creative videos to share and am always inspired to push my perceived limits and step outside my comfort zone. My goal is to travel and share hooping with as many people in as many places as possible. That being said, I definitely hope to busk and perform abroad in the near future.

5. What aspect of the hoop community do you value the most and what do you hope to contribute to the future of hooping? I love the support and inspiration the hoop community gives one another. Each hooper has a completely different flow unique to them. I think its great that we can have our differences in expression of movement and still support each other rather than striving for one, correct style. Our community thrives when we lift one another up and grow with each other. I personally hope to encourage and inspire other hoopers and hope to contribute by creating lots of fun new hoop concepts.