You LOVE hooping. In fact, you love it so much that you want to spread the joy and fun fitness benefits with others. You’ve decided to become a hooping instructor, and that’s great! But there’s just one problem… you’ve got no clue how to start. I totally get it, and I’ve been there too.
Twelve years ago, I was in your shoes, and it’s been a wild adventure discovering what it takes to teach safe, fun and effective hoop dance classes. Back in 2007, I didn’t know where to start. As an avid hooper, I’d developed a solid foundation, in terms of my own hoop dance practice. I’d learned a bunch of tricks, and I knew that I wanted others to experience the benefits of this powerful movement meditation practice. People were constantly asking me to teach classes, but I’d never taught group fitness before, and I needed some help.
At the time, HoopGirl was one of the only (and most credible) hoop fitness programs in the US. So, I reached out to then-hooper-extraordinaire, Christabel Zamor. And before I knew it, she’d agreed to travel to Florida, where I helped her host the first-ever East Coast HoopGirl Teacher Training. The event certainly jump started my teaching journey, and it’s also where I first met Casandra Tannenbaum (Hoola-Fit Co-Creator).
After a couple of years implementing the HoopGirl program and developing my own tribe of students, I wanted to switch things up and try out new exercises, hooping drills and techniques. By then, I’d earned certifications in other forms of movement, and I wanted to put my group fitness knowledge and hoop dance teaching discoveries into a new curriculum. Christabel was also shutting HoopGirl down with plans to leave for Bali to start her breath work company. So, it was time for something brand new.
Fast forward to 2012… Hoola-Fit was born!
Today, teaching hooping is still one of the most rewarding aspects of my job, and I also train hoop dance educators through the ACE-Approved Hoola-Fit program. I now hold 9 different fitness certifications, and teaching hoop dance is what launched my career as a fitness pro. So, with all of that said (and 12 years under my belt as a hoop dance educator), I wanted to share 5 of my best teaching tips for new hooping instructors:
- Be Patient with the Process: Teaching hoop dance is just as much of an art as hooping itself. And just because you’re a skilled hooper doesn’t mean you’ll be a skilled teacher without commitment, education, planning, and practice. As the old adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Keep in mind that hooping is still an emerging art form, and the vast majority of people aren’t familiar with the health and wellness benefits of it. So, you’ll need to educate yourself and work to build community. After all, the more you know, the more you grow. So, get familiar with these facts:
- Hooping increases cardiovascular endurance
- It builds coordination and balance
- According to the American Council on Exercise, hoop dance burns an average of 420 calories per hour
- Fitness experts agree that when people find an activity they enjoy, they’re much more likely to stick with it. For this reason, hooping is not only FUN. It’s EFFECTIVE.
- Handmade hoops are best for hoop dance classes because we can size people based on height, body type, skill level, and flow style. Setting a newbie hooper up with the right sized handmade hoop lays the groundwork for success.
Then, educate your local community too! Host hoop jams to generate excitement and bring hoops to share. Offer demonstrations, and consider a “First Class Free” promotion to get new students in the door.
- Make Sure Class Flows: Developing an effective class format is one of the most important things you can do. You’ve got to start with a great warm up and be sure to incorporate moves that target the muscles that will be worked when you teach your new concepts of the day. Gradually increase time and intensity. Pepper in some super fun activities to build community and wrap things up with cool down and stretching.
- Plan, Man: Write down your class plan(s). And don’t try to do too much. Most likely, your first few classes will generate lots of beginner hoopers, and it’s going to take time to learn the basics. So don’t feel like you have to cram everything in all at once. Planning in advance will help to build your confidence, and it will also assist with tracking time.
- Practice: This is critical. Especially in the beginning of your teaching journey. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice in front of family and friends. Practice in front of your dog! And consider starting off with free or donation-based classes to get your feet wet as a teacher.
- Be legit. This means insurance, CPR & First Aid training. It also means that if you’re charging for classes, you’ll need to be in compliance with state and county laws. Teaching hoop dance is a form of income, so if you’re taking money for your services, then be sure to track it and file taxes accordingly. You may want to meet with a CPA to make sure everything is kosher. And finally, consider further education by attending a hoop dance teacher training. I’ve got a great blog that explains more about the different training programs here.
Of course, there’s tons more to say about teaching the art of hoop dance. And I’ve put together a totally free “Learn to Teach Hoop Dance” master class. In it, I’m giving away my proven 7-step strategy to become a successful hoop dance educator. You can grab your spot here:
You can comment below with questions or future blog topic suggestions too! Until next time… Happy Hooping!