“Keeps you spinning and surprisingly touched… a backyard phenomenon that turned into a sort of athletic performance art, with touches of a cult-like passion and a sense of spirituality.”
- Jay Handelman, Herald-Tribune
- Jay Handelman, Herald-Tribune
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Subjects: Documentary, Fitness, New Age, Subcultures, Gender Studies, Sociology, Performing Arts
• Trailer Gallery featuring Shaquille O’Neal
• Learn how to hoop with hoopers from the film
• How to make your own hoop
• Hoop Stories Gallery – stories from around the
• Image Gallery
• Where to find your hooping community
Hula-hooping is back. From South Central to South Africa,The Hooping Life documents the rise of an infectious new subculture, at the intersection of fitness, art, spirituality, and entrepreneurship. Introduced by hooper Shaquille O’Neal with a score by Basement Jaxx, The Hooping Life follows eight pioneers of the movement who sometimes left an established career to make a living as hoop-makers, performers, and teachers.
The film alternates between performance footage and interviews, self-filmed video diaries and street practice. Filmed over six years and with appearances by late hoop-promoter/entrepreneur and TV personality Art Linkletter,The Hooping Life celebrates the healing power of movement and the spirit of human inventiveness.
Try The Hooping Life for Women's + Gender Studies:
Performance and visual arts, from painting to dance to theatre, have historically been dominated by men. In 1989, less than 5% of modern artwork at the Metropolitan Museum of New York were by women, and even today, it has been over 14 years since a woman was commissioned to create a production for London's Royal Opera House (read more here and here). Hooping, on the other hand, has been a female-dominated performance art since its revival in the 1990s with women leading the field not only in public performances, but also in the founding of new businesses and fitness empires geared specifically towards the female market. The modern hooping movement is 90% female and has empowered women as business entrepreneurs and spiritual practitioners.
The Hooping Life features interviews with the founding mothers of the field, as well as a glimpse at the population - both LGBT and straight - that has joined the hooping movement.
Try The Hooping Life for Performance Arts:
Created as a leisure activity for kids and families, the hula hoop was a common item at toy stores and on the playground. But in recent years it has garnered national attention through Cirque du Soleil, America's Got Talent, the Ellen Degeneres Show, and music festivals as a serious performance art that requires year of practice and dedication. Through programs like "Hooping Idol" and "The Hoopie Awards" and businesses like Hoopologie and Hoopnotica, it is possible to make a career out of hula hooping, whether on stage or as an instructor. What are the creative fundamentals of hooping and how did it take hold as a performance art? How does one become a professional hooper and what outlets are there for aspiring performers? The Hooping Life follows six dedicated professional hoopers and a hoop troupe over several years as they navigate and grow their careers in this new space.