London Hoop Fest

I don't even want to write anything this week, I just want you to watch the video! Seriously I am so proud of these guys. This was pretty daunting task for me, having gone to my first London Hoop Fest in 2012 I'd have never have expected to be teaching at it so soon.

When I looked out at the sea of faces knowing over the next 90minutes I would have to turn them all into show girls, I was a little taken a back. Lucky for me they all had a little show girl inside them and that was the easy bit. The hard bit was that I felt like a bit of a drill sergeant, 'again, again, again' I even had a whistle. But everyone worked so hard at it and finally at the end it felt like we were little kids calling our parents (Anna Rowan and the other teachers) up to watch our show!

It was beautiful watching the routine and I even felt a little emotional at the end. Especially hearing comments like 'I hadn't smiled so much in ages, thanks Bree' and 'that was the most fun, EVER!'

Hoop Yoga with Beka Hoops


When I found out that Beka Hoops was coming to London to teach a Hoop Yoga workshop I was excited but also a little hesitant. I love hooping but yoga…I’ve always found a little dull and a lot intimidating. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve got the hooping bit so I’ll only have to look silly half of the time, plus its BEKA HOOPS. You can do this!!!’ I’ve been watching her videos for year, I simply couldn't pass up an opportunity to meet her. 

When I arrived at Indaba I immediately sought a spot at the back of the class. Then Beka arrived and asked us to arrange our matts into a circle and I had nowhere to hide.


Over the next three hours we used the hoop as if it were an extension of our own body. There was a lot of giggling which I’d never seen in a yoga class. Beka was so passionate about both of her practices, she’d teach us something and then bounce off with excitement that she clearly couldn't contain. 

I can’t tell you how many times the word ‘Wow’ came out of my mouth. I’ve been saying for the longest time that I should do yoga as I am sure the flexibility would help my hooping but after seeing Beka do a headstand with the hoop spinning on her toes I think I am genuinely converted! There might me a yogi in me yet!

By the end of he class my legs were quivering but I was relaxed and ready to take on the world. Hoop yoga gets a massive thumbs up from me!

Beka runs Hoopurbia which is being held in Berlin this year! I am very tempted to book, who is coming with me??

Why I Started Hula Hooping

People always ask me in class why I started hula hooping? And honestly it was a bit random, some people might even call it fate. Yes even me….it was totally fate, I was meant to find this circular piece of plastic and it was meant to change my life! To start with I went to a circus in London and while all the other performances entertained me, the hula hooper had me mesmerised. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, it really was a magical moment for me. I still don't know who the girl was but when I went home that night, I lay awake imagining ‘what it would be like to be able to move like that’. I was not a dancer, I had never hooped but for some reason that performance captivated me and I fantasised about it for hours.

I had never thought of hula hooping as exercise but a few weeks later I was bored with the gym (as usual) and decided to google ‘fun fitness classes in London’. Guess what I found… of course you already know, hula hooping!!

It took me a while but I finally found a class!! I emailed my friends, most of which said it was the most random email I had ever sent but one friend Gina said yes!

Gina was a natural, which is the worst thing that can happen in your first hoop class!!! You go with a friend thinking, ‘it doesn't matter if I am rubbish, because we will both be rubbish’. My bubble was burst, Gina’s hoop spun steadily around her waist whilst mine spent most of the time on the ground. Not to mention the loud bang my hoop made when it his the wood floor, cringe!!!

The teacher Anna Hulagan, eventually noticed me struggling and suggested I ‘face the wall’. Yes, it was like being the class dunce and I was a little distressed by the suggestion but, it turned out Anna had hit the nail on the head, with out being distracted by what everyone else was doing I was finally able to keep the hoop up.

Something really clicked for me in that class, the obsession was immediate. I wasn't very good but I kept trying because it was worth it for those moments when I finally got it right. I am not a natural but I work hard, really hard.

Bree Kirk-Burnnand

Hoop Buddies Nicole and Sammi


When Sammi and Nicole first came to a HoopFit class together it made me realise how beneficial it was to have a hoop buddy so I decided to interview them to find out more and here it is!


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?

All My Grandchildren Will Be Learning to Hoop

When I saw this video on YouTube it made me smile right to the end so I decided to find out more about Yvonne.  Here is our interview.

Tell me a little bit about yourself? My name is Yvonne, I’m 52 and I have 2 daughters Astin and Ashlyn. I’m in a long term relationship with Prince , I have 3 grand children  Tatiyana 5  Christian 2 and Jayden 8 months I’m from New Jersey.

What inspired you to start Hooping? As a child I was the only daughter out of 3 brothers so I had to find games that I could play alone like jump rope, jacks and the hula hoop, and always loved it. It’s been years since I even seen a hula hoop, so one day last year I was looking at YouTube videos and came across a video of Ji Min Hwang that young lady was throwing that hoop all over her body and I was hooked all over again. I started looking at more and more videos trying to learn this thing called hoop dance which I had never heard of and then I seen mini hoops which I never knew there was such a things, so I ordered me a hoop and began practicing. And I fell in love all over again.

What is your favourite trick? The trick I’m working on now is hooping on my foot and on one leg can’t wait to get that down pack.

What has changed for you since you started hooping? I’ve been hooping for a year now and can’t imagine it not in my life. I use hooping to maintain the weight I have loss and to keep my in shape I hoop at least 4 times a week.

What would you like to do with your hooping in the future? There are no hoopers in my town and I had made it my mission to change that and I will be spreading the word that the hula hoop is back. All my grand children will be learning to hoop my granddaughter Tatiyana been hooping since she was 3 she is 5 now and loves it

If you would like to see more you can follow Yvonne on Twitter @katana229