Hello hoopers, When I practice I play around with different size hoops. I like both heavier and lighter,. When I first started to learn I was told to start with a large size. I've been working my way down. Some moves are easier than others depending on hoops feel, size, weight, etc...I find lighter smaller hoops are harder to waist hoop and smaller lighter hoops are easier for isolations. Is this a prefence thing? SHould you practice with one size? How much does this matter? Is being able to hoop with a smaller size necessarily make you a better hoop dancer? Let me know your experiences or what you think. Thanks
Adaira's points about the differences in the sizes are all great. I agree that it doesn't matter what size as long as it feels good to you. If the hoop you're using for a certain set of moves feels too big and clunky, try a smaller one. If you lose control of a small hoop and it's not enjoyable, try one a size or two up.
I don't think that small hoops = better hoop dancer at all, I think each size has its strengths and weaknesses. I think that you can use both large and small hoops to your advantage in your practice, too. Large, heavy hoops can help you build your endurance and muscular strength. Light, small hoops are great for precision moves and technical aspects of your practice.And I don't know where a small, heavy hoop lies but they're fun too! I've got a 33 inch, 160 psi hoop that I just started playing with and it's been really interesting to explore with it.
I think practicing with all sizes of hoops can teach you a lot more than just sticking with one size all the time. Everyone will form their own preferences about size, and some sizes are certainly better for specific tricks, but I think it's really important to experiment!
Everyday I hoop with three different sizes, my 33 and 35 polypros and my 36 hdpe hoop. I actually really enjoy going back and forth between hoop sizes because I feel like it makes me more comfortable with tricks all around. And you're definitely right, smaller, lighter hoops make isolations so easy! While with my 36, I love to do a lot of on body moves. Also, I've noticed that my flow/style changes a little between different sizes, so that makes it especially fun. As far as smaller sizes making someone a better hoop dancer, I don't think it's so much the actual size of the hoop, but the learning process and growth that comes with dancing with smaller hoops; I definitely had to re-learn how my body moved with the hoop when I got my 33, but after getting used to it, I love it! Not my all time favorite hoop, but I really love the style that comes out when I dance with it.
I love dancing with a variety of sizes and weights. To hoop jams and practices I will bring a pair of 33" twins, a little 30" poly pro, and a 37" 125psi 1/2" tubing, as well as my minis. I might bring a pair of 36" twins and a 35" polypro hoop too if I'm really wanting to have some options.
I love switching back and forth depending on my mood and the music. It really has made me a better dancer to practice with many sizes and weights. I used my smaller hoops exclusively for awhile cause the off body was so much easier, but then I tried out my old bigger groovy hoop and found that I could really, really dance now with the bigger hoop on my body.It's really hard to chest hoop without turning in the little guys but I can do it forever in the bigger hoops.
When I perform, I use my 33" inch twins as I feel they are the most versatile for me, but I really, really love all different sizes.
When I'm practicing I use a 40" 3/4" 160psi, a 37" 3/4" 100psi, a 36" 1/2" 125psi, two 36" polypros, my 26" minis, and sometimes I bring along extra 1/2" hoops to work on multi hooping. I love playing with all different sizes but my favorite is my 36" 1/2" 125psi. I think it lends itself well to both on- and off-body hooping. And I think playing with a variety of sizes can help make you a more well-rounded (hehe) hooper. Maybe it's hard to waist hoop with a small hoop, but you can do all kinds of off-body things with it, or practice foot hooping with it. And just think of Anah (Hoopalicious). She's an incredible hooper and she mainly uses bigger, heavier hoops and she can rock 'em like no other.
Mix it up, I say. And don't be afraid to try hoops that you think won't work. Can you waist hoop with your minis? Maybe.
Smaller, lighter hoops are not the ultimate in hoop dance. They are a trend just like huge heavy hoops were a trend. Like hoops made from rhinestones or cat hair will be the next trend. Follow the trend if you like, but it doesn't mean you'll be good as a result.
Practice is what makes you a good hoop dancer. :-)
I agree that using multiple weights and sizes keep you sharp. It's also great so that if you are ever out somewhere and stumble across a hoop you'll be able to use it comfortably even if it's not your usual hoop.