Born to Hula...

Baxter hooping
Baxter hooping

IF you can master the ‘art’, hooping is a great way to ditch the muffin top and switch wobbles for a more washboard look, writes Sammy Jones.

But actually, there are loads more benefits to be had by stepping into the round – as will be explained at the UK premiere of The Hooping Life, this Saturday night.

The documentary – being aired at Wolverton’s Madcap venue, took six years to complete and follows eight dancers who share how the hoop has changed their lives, and their communities.

But how can the humble hoop possibly be responsible for such a major wave of positivity?

The film will tell you how.

“It goes beyond just the physical sports benefits and touches on how hoop dance can help people overcome symptoms of depression, and for one hoop dancer, help them deal with the pressures of homophobia and then become a high profile hoop burlesque act in demand globally and appearing in music videos,” says Janine Haynes, heading up Saturday’s event.

Janine has been hoop dancing for four years, and teaching classes for the past three years. She decided to license the film here to give a platform to her passion, and hopefully inspire others to give the practice a spin.

“It is beneficial for a healthy mind and really is a positive way of uniting communities,” Janine says.

The film has got a fabulous score too – courtesy of dance aces Basement Jaxx.

Sharna Rose, pioneer of contemporary hoop dancing will attend the premiere.

“To have her here is an honour,” Janine says, “Sharna insired me in the early days – I used to watch her DVDs and think ‘I would so love to be able to move like her!’

“Now I’ve met and worked with her in the same learning environment and she is a joy to be around... very humble, and absolutely incredible...”

Half the proceeds from the event will be donated to city-based charity MK Mind.

Janine’s regular hooping classes at Madcap cater for beginners through to the more experienced.

“It is the most engaging, physical activity that you could come across, and attracts people of all ages, I dont think zumba or football does that, not so far as participation goes.

“Hoop dancing reignites the fun in moving the body and being active.

“It is stimulating and something you can do alone, or with family and friends.

“Whats not to like about it?” she asks, and her enthusiasm seems to have rubbed off, because we are struggling to think of a retort.

> Doors open at 5.45pm on Saturday, with a 30 minute hooping workshop for ticket holders from 6.15pm, followed by the documentary.

Tickets for the film and hooping session cost £13.

Alternatively, splash £18 out and enjoy post-film events, including that performance by Sharna.