TAMPA, Fl. - Most of us don’t have a hula hoop. In fact, the last time some of us remember picking one up, we may have been around eight or ten years old. But the good old-fashioned hula hoop has made a comeback, and now it’s being employed, not only as a good work-out tool, but also a means of self-expression.
Abby Albaum owns Hoola Monsters, Inc., the first full-service hoop company in the area. Abby designs handmade custom professional hoops, she has a performance troop which works parties and festivals, and she offers sessions where you can learn the art of hoop dancing and get fit, too.
Abby says the hula hoop has made a comeback largely because it’s pure fun.
“Sometimes as adults we forget how to play, and to lose ourselves in the experience. So what happens in hooping is that you completely engage yourself in the experience, while you’re getting a good work-out," said Albaum.
World Hoop Day was created in 2007 to serve as a day for exposing people around the world to the art of hoop dancing, and also to promote various charities. One YouTube search, and you’ll find video of hoop dancers from Australia to Paris ‘celebrating the circle’ on hoop day.
Whether it’s World Hoop Day, or even some improvisational hoop dance at public events, Abby says the reaction is often the same.
“We get comments where people constantly walk by and say, ‘Oh, my goodness! That brings me back to my childhood,’ or ‘I couldn’t possibly do that,’ and within five minutes they’re spinning a hoop and smiling,” said Albaum. “Just talking about it, I can feel a smile on my face, because it’s so much fun.”
Abby will be at the Saturday morning market with her custom hoops on the corner of 1st Avenue South and 1st street. Her website is www.hoolamonsters.com.