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Hula Hoop

Twirling, rolling, and throwing hoops

The hula hoop is a toy hoop that promotes physical activity. Today it is often made of plastic and twirled around the waist or limbs. Hula hooping is actually a fun form of entertainment and exercise. Hula hoops can be used by children in simple games or even by circus performers in their acts. Anyone can use them as part of their exercise routines and many elementary school gym classes routinely include them in class activities and exercises.

History
Children around the world have always played with hoops, twirling, rolling and throwing them. The hoops were made of grapevines and stiff grasses. In Egypt around 3000 years ago, hoops made out of grape vines were propelled around the ground with sticks. In ancient Greece their use was recommended for losing weight. In the 14th century, "hooping" was popular in England and medics blamed it for heart attacks and back dislocations. The word "hula" was added in the early 18th century as sailors that visited Hawaii noticed the similarity between hula dancing and hooping.

In 1957, the hula hoop was reinvented by two college graduates, Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin, who had founded the Wham-O company in 1948, now had their breakthrough. The idea came from a Californian who had visited Australia who told Knerr and Melin about children twirling bamboo hoops around the waist in gym class. So the new Hula Hoops were created with Marlex, a recently invented durable plastic (where the hoop hype helped as a kickstarter for Marlex production). Today, the hula hoop is known as the biggest and most profitable fad of the 1950s.

After the hoop was released in 1958, Wham-O sold over 100 million in two years. This was referenced in the 1994 movie "The Hudsucker Proxy" by the Coen Brothers, which gives a fictional account of how it was created. As the fad burned out, Wham-O again struck lucky with the release of their Frisbee.

Nationally Ranked Competitive Hula Hoopers:
Benjy Bronk,
Lori Lynn Lomeli.

Dance
It created a dance, the most famous dancer being Adriano Celentano.

Circus
The hula hoop then emerged in the world of circus in the 1960s. Russian and Chinese artists took the hula hoop to extremes. These influenced contemporary circus artists like Australian circus comedienne and hula hoop historian Judith Lanigan, who choreographed the Dying Swan — "a mix of tragedy and hula hoops" — using 30 hula hoops.

Today
The past few years have seen the re-emergence of hula hooping, spread by fans of jambands like The String Cheese Incident and attendees of Burning Man. These 21st century hoopers are making their own (much larger and heavier) hoops out of polyethylene tubing. These hoops are usually covered in a fabric or plastic tape to ease the amount of work in keeping a hoop twirling around the dancer, and can be very colorful, utilizing glow-in-the dark, patterned, or sparkling tape.


Source: Wikipedia


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