By Caitlin Fuller
DTSS Student Reporter
When was the last time you picked up a hula hoop? A local woman has the solution for those who wish to get back into it, or beginners who want to try it out.
Leah Shoemaker has created an online presence for herself and her passion for hula hooping by posting online video tutorials for beginners. The videos were released as a free way for hula hoopers of all ages and skill levels to get the opportunity to try it out at home before trying it publicly.
After Leah attempted to host free public hoop jams that werent as successful as she had hoped, she looked at extra funding for online courses to encourage beginners to get involved, as much of the feedback given to her was from people mentioning they felt shy about coming to the jams.
I thought it would be great to create tutorials that people could watch from home so they could build on their skills and confidence, Leah said.
Funded by a Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) art grant, the five-part series of videos are interactive enough to act as personal lessons.
Hula hooping completely changed my life, so teaching people the basics to get them started has a special place in my heart regardless of whether it becomes as important to them as it did for me, or whether someone is just looking for a fun way to exercise, said Leah, adding that hooping burns as many calories as running.
Leahs YouTube channel currently has over 350 followers and is continuing to grow. She has been posting videos of her own hooping for the past four years, sharing her passion for it with the YouTube community. On her channel, Leah has multiple past videos of herself hooping, including a video in which she fire hoops.
If youre interested in taking up hooping, and possibly joining in a hoop jam in the future, Leahs video tutorials are available on her website at www.leahshoemaker.com/tutorials/ or her YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/leahtheshoe.