How did you guys meet?
Sammi: I have known Nic’s husband since we were 16 so we met through him.
Nicole: When I first started going out with my husband, he took me to meet two friends of his for drinks; queue Sammi and her boyfriend. This was during a world cup match and we bonded over our lack of interest in football!
And I am guessing you then bonded over hooping? How long have you been hooping for?
Sammi: Around three and a half yearsNicole: I dipped my toe in the water in 2006, but I’ve been properly doing it for fun on and off since 2010.
What inspired you to start Hooping? Did you start together?
Sammi: We had both been interested in it without mentioning it to each other until New Years Eve one year, when I said I wanted to try and it turned out Nic did do. We went on the hunt for a workshop to go to one weekend and the rest is history!
What keeps you hooping?
Sammi: Hooping is so much fun! There is always something new to learn and so many different people to learn it from. Especially being part of the London Hula Hoopers group you can always find hoop happenings to suit you.
Nicole: I’ve never been into sports and have had trouble keeping a steady workout routine. This feels like I’m just playing with a toy, I just pick it up when I’m bored or distracting myself from things. I don’t even really think about it as exercising- it’s just a nice bonus! There is also a bit of it being a puzzle learning new moves. I love puzzles and I get this buzz when I’m struggling to ‘get’ a trick and suddenly it clicks and works. Oh, that’s the best feeling!
What is the best thing about having a friend that hoops?
Sammi: You always have someone close by that is happy to come to the park in any weather to hoop away!
Nicole: It’s great motivation to get to classes and having someone to talk to about it is awesome.
What’s your favourite trick?
Sammi: I love the two hoop weave, could do it for hours!
Nicole: Hahaha! Vortex??? Even if it is our in-joke that it’s the only move we know how to do. (Not anymore, luckily!) I can’t knock it; it’s fun, it looks impressive, and it will always have a special place in my heart for the as the first trick I mastered.
What is your favourite hoop trick that Nicole can do?
Sammi: Chest hooping! This still eludes me!
And Nicole dose Sammi have a trick which still alludes you?
Nicole: Sammi’s ninja ambidextrous skills with picking up tricks with the mini-hoops. I’m useless with my left hand, so I’m always in awe when she can start whirling the mini ones around in both hands like it’s nothing. Just need to practice more with it though and I can get there!
What has changed for you since you started hooping?
Sammi: Before moving to London five years ago I didn’t know many people here and hooping is a great excuse to get out and meet new people as well as great exercise!
Nicole: I get anxious very easily and I find after I play with the hoop for even just 10 minutes it helps me to de-stress and collect my thoughts. It’s made me a bit more carefree and reminded me it’s OK to have fun as an adult- it’s absolutely fine to go to the park and play, and it makes people walking by smile. Bonus!
Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about your hooping experience?
Sammi: Having a hoop buddy really encourages you to keep it up (as if you need help with that) and you bounce of each other. You can help each other with those tricks that you just can’t seem to get! It also helps to have two pairs of eyes looking out for hooping events going on so you don’t miss anything!
Nicole: I’m so glad I gave it a second go! It definitely helped to have a friend interested in it as well. Sammi is a great hoop buddy to have because she’s always up for a spin in the park in the summer and we keep each other motivated to attend classes when we can. We’re both a bit obsessed with making sure our future dream homes will suitable for our hooping needs; large front room -or just a hooping room, high ceilings, big garden… move over Barbie Dream House!
Since we did this interview Sammi and Nicole have both moved house and they have hoop space!!! YAY
So who are your hoop buddies? And how do they inspire and motivate you to keep hooping?