August 1, 2008
By TARA HETTINGER The News and Tribune Fri Aug 01, 2008, 12:36 PM EDT
Trends are something that come and go.
Some never live to see the light of day again: men’s leisure suits, spandex shorts, multiple pairs of socks and shoe laces on at the same time and the big, ‘poof’ bangs on women.
Others are resurrected, whether people are ready for it or not, such as skinny jeans, Converse Chuck Taylor tennis shoes, bangles and mohawks.
One local woman is working to bring another item, whose heyday was in the 1950s, back to the spotlight: hula-hoops.
“I was thinking about joining a gym, but I didn’t want to be inside all summer. So, I started hooping and it took off from there,” Michele Finn, of New Albany, said.
Neighborhood kids saw Finn learning new skills in her backyard and wanted to join in on the fun. After getting so much interest, she decided to do something more.
She researched on the Internet and found out about World Hoop Day, a day where everyone is encouraged to participate in hula hooping activities. The second annual event is scheduled for Aug. 8.
She contacted the New Albany-Floyd County Parks and Recreation Department to further her reach. The group agreed to host a county-wide hoop day event, filled with music, refreshments, door prizes and demonstrations on hooping and how to make a hula hoop at home.
“We wanted to reintroduce the idea of hula hoops to the kids so that they can have balanced activity as they grow,” said Kathy Wilkerson, recreation director for the parks department.
The non-profit agency that started the world-wide event even taught Finn how to make her own hula hoops. With the help of donations from two local businesses, she and some volunteers are making 50 hoops to give away at Floyd County’s event.
Finn said hooping is a fun activity for people of all ages and provides a good workout. She said her 10-year-old sister lost six pounds in less than two months from it.
Finn’s 5-year-old daughter, Chloe, does it purely for fun. Even though she just learned a few months ago, she is already making up tricks and teaching them to others.
In her favorite trick, Chloe moves her hips as the hoop swings around her waist. She then places her arms by her side and shakes her body, causing the hoop to move to her neck. She twirls it there, gracefully putting one arm up through the circle. Then the hoop slides back down, spinning at her waist.
“I did it myself,” Chloe said of making up her trick.
Michele said she hopes this year’s hoop fest in New Albany will encourage more children — and even adults — to pick up the hobby.
Wilkerson said she expects about 100 people to come out and hula hoop together.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: World Hoop Day Celebration, hosted by the New Albany-Floyd County Parks and Recreation Department
WHEN: 6 p.m., Aug. 8
WHERE: Sam Peden Community Park
DETAILS: Have a hoop, bring it! Some will be available for people to use. Others will be given away as door prizes. There will also be music, refreshments and demonstrations on hooping.