Hula hooping renews a sense of childhood
Steamboat Springs — Renewing a sense of childhood, hula hooping offers more than just a full-body workout.
It’s a way of life.
“Hooping is so joyful for me,” said Meg Henry, one of the hoop dance instructors at Sundance Studio. “It makes me feel beautiful and alive. I get mad at it sometimes if I can’t do a new trick or something, but it always teaches me patience.”
The moment she laid eyes on a mesmerizing hooper at a String Cheese Incident concert, she had to find out what exactly hooping was all about. Now, six years later, she is one of the hoop instructors at Sundance Studio and has found a community of friends in an unlikely place.
“I think it’s a new trend based primarily on the music culture like String Cheese Incident,” said Kristen Rockford, owner of Sundance Studio. “You would always see a lot of hoop dancing at those concerts. People have begun to incorporate it more into their daily lives.”
When Rockford had the intent to open a studio in Steamboat Springs, she was searching for a Zen-like atmosphere to practice yoga and dance. Eventually, the location was deemed Sundance Studio to not focus on one area of expertise but to reach out to different areas of expertise such as martial arts and other forms of dance. A priority for her was facilitating the wellness of the community.
Bringing unique talents and expertise, instructors with extensive backgrounds in yoga, Pilates and various forms of dance have had the opportunity to teach classes at the studio.
Recently, hoop dancing has becoming a widespread trend across the nation and slowly is becoming a well-known force here in Steamboat. Sundance is one of the only studios so far to offer hoop dancing for kids and adults.
“I think dance is still underappreciated, undervalued and underutilized as a form of exercise,” Rockford said. “There are a select few in this town who know it’s such a wonderful form of exercise and expression — and good for your body and soul, too. But I’m hoping it will continue to build.”
Henry said she starts with the basics for hooping beginners. The basics don’t necessarily mean bigger hoops and trying to make it go around and around the waist, but rather controlling the hoop. She teaches students to practice more hooping off the body on their hands and legs.
“For me, personally, the best benefits are the form of self-expression and the release, relief. It provides you with a way to meditate and work out at the same time,” said Morgan Kurz, a certified Hoopnotica instructor who recently moved here from Lake Tahoe and is a new instructor at the studio. “It combines a lot of different attributes into one exercise, and I can’t do that with a lot of things.”
Beginners, take note: At first, it can be a frustrating concept, but it requires patience, energy and effort to persevere through those challenging moments.
“I think people need to know it’s an amazing way to get in shape,” Henry said. “It’s not easy at first, but you don’t realize you are exercising, and you can do it outside or even at the concerts. It’s a fun way to get out and be active.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Explore a mix of in-person and virtual events happening this weekend in Routt County.