My passion for movement stems from my parents. They taught me the importance of being active by involving me in dance, gymnastics and other team sports at a young age. In middle school, I loved to hula hoop, roller skate and play basketball and continued to play sports throughout high school. After graduating, I decided to continue my education at The University of Florida in the field of Exercise and Sports Science receiving my B.S. in 2004 with a Specialization in Fitness and Wellness.
While exercise has always been a part of my life, I cannot say it’s always been as enjoyable as it is for me now. I spent about 3 years as a personal trainer and enjoyed helping others reach their health and fitness goals. Unfortunately, it ultimately ended in burnout. Although I felt great going to the gym to lift weights, do cardio or attend group exercise classes, at times I still struggled with consistency. Like many others, I get bored easily and lose interest when learning is no longer taking place.
In 2010, my life changed. My dear friend Adrianna Auriemma invited me to join her on a roadtrip to a music festival in Arkansas, the place where I first witnessed modern day hula hooping. As walked into the field to catch the next band, I saw a girl in front of us doing things with a hoop that I had never even conceptualized. Right then and there I fell in love. I turned to my friend and said “We are going to learn how to do that”. She gave me a funny look as if I were crazy but then agreed. After returning home from the show, I went online and bought my first hoop.
“Wow, how awesome! Now what?” I had no clue how to do anything besides waist hoop. So, I watched YouTube tutorials (thank you Deanne Love!), practiced outside behind my apartment and met up with my friend to hoop at the park once a week. We also took a local class with Abby from HoolaMonsters for some additional instruction. The more we practiced, the more we learned and the more addicted we became. Over time, hooping became a daily ritual. Each day I look forward to the time I set aside for myself to hoop and for all of the healthy benefits that it provides, such as weight-loss, mental clarity, and stress management.
The art of prop manipulation, dance and flow sends a rush of endorphins through my body that helps boost my self-confidence and keeps me showing up, wanting more. Hooping has taught me so much about myself and how to flow with life’s ups and downs. My spatial awareness, balance, flexibility and reflexes continue to improve and I find myself more connected to my mind, body and spirit. I am achieving things I never thought possible as lessons are transferred over into everyday life.
My gratitude for this unique practice is immeasurable. I also work as a licensed esthetician but find myself being lead back to my original passion for fitness. That’s why I have continued my education in fitness by becoming a certified HoopLove Coach, designing HoopFx Fitness classes and bringing instruction to my community. I enjoy sharing unique ways of facilitating movement, health and wellness with others and hope to unite more people through the art of hooping.