A large corporation in the city where I live, ( ok it's actually Hanes Brands)...
has contacted me several times in the past few years to come and teach hooping as part of their fitness regimen. A very nice personal trainer who works there calls me once in a while and I go teach. So far, nothing ever really comes of it.
So they called me again this year, asking how much I would charge them for 15 hoops. I gave them a fair price, but they decided to order from an online business, since I don't really have an established business.
I understood that, and it was OK with me. I told them if they need me, just call.
When the hoops arrived, the personal trainer called me, in shock. The hoops were just solid black! I thought it was funny-- that they had just ordered rings of plain tubing-- and the trainer asked me how much I would charge to tape the hoops for them. Then I never heard back.
Or: I never heard back until they wanted me to come teach a class. So I arrive, and the personal trainer there is un-boxing the hoops, which have been in the cartons for two months now.
Well, it is worse than I thought:the hoops are NOT just plain black tubing, they are thick black foam rubber slipped over a metal ring! The box says they weigh 3 pounds but they feel like FIVE. To make matters worse.. the foam rubber is not attached to the metal ring inside the hoops, which means that if you were having to hold the hoops to perform a move, such as passing the hoop around your body, or stepping through, or a lift over your head, you wind up holding the foam rubber but the metal ring inside slips around! You can't really grip the silly thing!!
The whole situation is sort of hysterical in a way except that the hoops were received more than 30 days ago which means that the company can't send them back now. These things are really heavy and I am not even sure if they are safe to use; I almost feel like someone might actually injure their spine using them. I taught a 30-minute class and I myself used one to teach with and I really don't feel comfortable with people who are not in good physical shape to begin with using these.
Two other points: FAIL: for not purchasing local. We are in North Carolina and there is no shortage of hula-hoop makers and good quality hoops to be bought here.
also FAIL: for the person who did the ordering to not ask somebody what to order! She obviously had no idea anything about hoops but it was her job to do the ordering. She ordered from Wal-Mart.
Here is a link to what they bought; It is called a jFit Weighted Hula Hoop, and by the way, THREE of them broke during a 30-minute class; whatever holds the metal ring together inside the foam rubber came loose:
So what can we learn from this? I never thought to troubleshoot what kind of hoops they would buy for me to teach with, so I guess that is something to consider. They said they were buying from someone else and I let it go at that.
We took the broken hoops to the lady who does the purchasing for the company and she says that she will have the broken hoops welded back together. *sigh*
Ok... go ahead and laugh. And they have not called me back yet with definite dates/times to come and teach. Any suggestions, comments, sarcasm? ^_^
lol this is pretty funny indeed, I've had similar issue with people that think. they are smarter than your or simply don't trust your judgment as a hooper and try to do it themselves. I would send her a professional email stating the problem you are having with these hoops and that they don't fit your needs as a teacher. That the hoops take away from the class experience and are not practical in general. In addition, tell her of another route she can take to purchase better hoops at a better cost as well as help local small business, meaning helping the economy. Moreover she will not have to pay extra to fix the hoops she bought. She may or may not want to continue working with you though, just for the fact that you pointed out her wrong doing.
If they ever really start having a regular class, I will probably write a letter like this. Thanks so much for your consideration and the time you took to answer ^_^
Another approach is to change what you teach to fit the tools that you have been given to use.
If the hoop's too heavy and precarious to dance with, can you use it as a weight, a stretching aid, a prop of some sort? You could adapt yoga or aerobics or fitness games to include hoops rather than teaching hoopdance.
I like your suggestion, Tink. At a later time, if employees ask for hoopdance classes, then the need for appropriate hooping material hoopdance could be requested.
It's what I will HAVE to do, to use these hoops. Off-body moves are pretty much out of the question. I lifted the hoop over my head and dropped it to my waist and thought it was going to pull my arm out of the socket! Problem is: I am not a fitness teacher; I only know hooping. So maybe the personal trainer who works there might be able to work out some stretching exercises.
Ok. Sarcasm first and then my serious answer... It's so good they ordered from "an established business". I'm sure someone took the heat for that one, and they would be sure not to let that on to you.
So here's what I would do since I am not a fitness instructor either. You have raised valid safety concerns with the equipment and you don't want injured participants for one thing. And the other matter is you would probably like to have a successful teaching relationship with this client.
If you're anything like me, and you make hoops, you may have about 10-20 of them hanging around at home at any given time. I would let your contact at the company know your concerns teaching with the hoops they bought giving them your legitimate reasons for not being able to teach in the way that you are trained to teach with them. It's a safety issue. Let them know you will bring in your hoops to teach the class and bring them back home with you again. Once they get feedback on how much better the participants like your hoops you never know, the company may eventually order a set or you may continue carting them back and forth. You might even decide to provide them with your adjusted rate which covers the cost of bringing your own hoops. If you think that would be a dealbreaker and you want to continue with them then let that one go.
I keep a set of budget "class hoops" anyway that I make without using the expensive sparkly tapes. I just use various shades of vinyl or electrical tape and gaffer. They look good, and work perfectly well. I always bring 1-2 hoops done with sparkle so that if students want their own hoop you can show them how much you can do them up. Or you may decide it is a cost of doing business and an opportunity to upsell after class by taking orders for hoops and/or videos. Rest assured, those students aren't running to Walmart for the other hoops!!
If the company doesn't want your hoops and won't provide hoops you feel are safe then what I would do is walk away and look elsewhere. They're not the only gig on the planet, and there are no shortages of places who would want you as a hoop teacher. You're looking awesome in your photo!!
Of course I have plenty of "Street Hoops", extras that I take to events.
Actually I took 5 new hoops to sell and sold 3 of them. I also took my own personal practice hoop to the lady who does the ordering and SLAMMED it into the floor as hard as I could to prove to her that mine won't break, like 3 out of 15 of the new ones they ordered did.
(my hoop is 160 PSI. Go ahead and TRY to break it). ^_^
I don't think it is a matter of the company not wanting my hoops. I think it is a matter of corporate red tape and the place being too big. It's not like the personal trainer, who IS really a fitness teacher, is in charge of ordering. The ordering is done by an administrative office, by someone who neither works in the fitness dept and will, very possibly, never use these hoops. She might have never actually ever had to SEE them except that I carried the broken ones up to show her. It was just her job to order something for the company that was within their budget.
She did her job, and ordered hoops.
The personal trainer had asked me on the phone about weighted hoops. I had told her that I don't recommend heavy hoops, like those 5 pound ones, and that my very heaviest water hoops weigh maybe 3 pounds.
You never know how your words will be interpreted. Next thing is, the company ordered 3 pound hoops.
I just want to laugh... so hard honestly xD
People just think they know everything there is to know about everything, don't they?
I LAUGHED TOO. I thought it was hysterical when I got the phone call asking me how much I would charge to put tape on the hoops! I wondered how much they paid for plain black rings of tubing. I figured I would wind up doing something, like even just putting one line of gaff tape on for friction. Also thought it was funny that they didn't order from me but they called me for help!!!
When I realized what the hoops actually ARE... well now it is not so funny to me, because it presents me with a challenge that I am not sure how to conquer. But if everyone else thinks it is hysterical, that is OK ^_^
here is me laughing at the ppl who ordered the rubber and metal rings...
HA! ahhhh hahahaha haha ha ha ha ha haahaaaaa,...im crying!
HA! omg!, this just illustrates how non-hoopers really have no clue of the importance of the hoop itself. They dont even know how much every small detail of a hoop makes a huge difference in a persons ability to perform with it.....massive FACE PALM