Go with the flow at this hula hoop workshop in Mumbai
Tomorrow, a 20-year-old will teach you hula hoop as flow art, going beyond the waist and challenging your legs, back and butt, too
The writer learns to perform the Butt Pass. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
We step into the spacious studio at House Of Wow to spot a dozen hula hoops strewn on the floor. Twenty-year-old Eshna Kutty picks three of them; each reaches her waist when measured vertically. She twirls them lazily — one on her waist and two around her hands. Then, without a moment's break, she shifts her position and two of the hoops find themselves around her feet as she balances on one leg and forms a T with her body. Though there isn't any music playing in the background, her movements leave us in a trance.
Instructor Eshna Kutty flaunts her flow art hula hoop moves
These tricks and transitions are part of the Flow Art Hula Hoop workshop that the Delhi-based instructor, pursuing a Masters degree in Psychology from Lady Shri Ram College, will conduct tomorrow at the studio. "Traditionally, you stand in a single position with hoop around the waist. However, flow art requires you and the object to move constantly through the performance. Forms like juggling and fire spinning are also part of flow art because you manipulate the object to flow the way you want," shares the self-taught artiste, who learnt the basics via YouTube tutorials four years back. Since then, she has taught at various locations including Delhi's Banjara School Of Dance.
Practising the Coat Wrap
We begin a trial session with the basic waist hooping. "Most people swirl their hips when they try waist hooping. That's wrong. You need to hold the hoop around your lower back, give it a hard push and then move your stomach back and forth to keep it twirling. This also acts as a form of workout as it helps firm up your core," she instructs.
We copy her movements and within seconds, the hoop swirls at least four times before dropping on the floor. Phew, we sigh inwardly and grab the hoop with a little more confidence. "The beauty of flow art hula hoop is that it helps you overcome shyness. Since the focus is on the object, even those who are too conscious of themselves can try it," shares Kutty.
At the hour-long workshop, the guests will learn a series of tricks along with variations. These include Chest Rolls, where you pass the hoop across the length of your arms via the chest. The same can be performed with your upper back. We try Coat Wrap, where we imagine the hoop to be a jacket and pass it from one hand to the other, enacting the process of wearing the garment. We repeat the movement a few times and soon, we get into the groove and enjoy the fluid movements — all without a single beat of music. "You can practise this to any kind of music. The workshop will feature an instrumental playlist," she adds.
Before the session ends, Kutty teaches us Butt Pass, a fun move where you use your derrière to pass the hoop from one side to another. While it looks breezy when she does it, we struggle to squat the right way. After a few attempts, we manage awkwardly. "But it's good exercise, right?" she smiles. We have to agree.
ON: January 26, 6 pm to 7 pm
AT: House Of Wow, 10, Natraj Building, Hill Road, opposite St Stanislaus School, Bandra (W).
COST: Rs 700
NOTE: Wear comfortable clothing. Avoid a heavy meal 30 minutes before the session.
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