Tonawanda News

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March 12, 2013

Project 308 Gallery hosting hula hoop night

Tonawanda News — Hula-Hoops aren’t just for kids anymore, and Natalie Brown wants people to visit the Project 308 Gallery Thursday evening to find out why. 

The gallery is hosting a Hula-Hoop night 7 to 9:30 p.m., allowing novices and experts alike to pick up a hoop — or two or three — and show their stuff along to music put on by a DJ. 

Brown, proprietor of the gallery, said she was inspired to hold the event by large music festivals and jam band concerts she and her sister-in-law, Alyson Brown, like to attend.

“After going to a lot of jam band-type concerts I was exposed to the Hula-Hooper world and I always found it interesting and really fun,” Natalie said. “The people who do it as a hobby — or sometimes professionally — are really talented, plus it’s a really good work out.”

Alyson said Hula-Hoopers often gather at the shows with their custom-made and decorated hoops to do tricks and share in the fun.

“It’s so beautiful,” Alyson said of the hobby. “It’s mesmerizing and so graceful.”

It’s a far cry from the kind of Hula-Hooping one might remember doing in the back yard as a kid.

It’s not just about whirling a hoop around your waist for these hoopers — though that’s certainly an option as well. There are tricks and specialty hoops. There’s the knee-knocker, the footsee and the flamingo. You can hoop around your shoulders, elbows, neck and even use mini hoops around your arms.

Alyson said most of the tricks she knows were self-taught by looking up videos online. She has since been involved in area Hula-Hooping groups and meets fellow hoopers at Bidwell Park in Buffalo.

“During the summer time I go and Hula-Hoop on Bidwell (Parkway) and you’ll find Hula Hoopers every day,” Alyson said. “You don’t even have to know the person. It’s a nice way to meet people ... you find each other eventually.”

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