The year began not with a bang, but with a wiggle of the hips and a shimmy of the thighs for us as we had the pleasure of Obie, professionally known as Miss Pearl the Whirl teaching us to hula-hoop! The room was packed and it was great to see lots of new faces as well as regulars.

As well as the fun to come from the expert hooper, there was a serious decision on what our next year’s WI campaign was to be. We all put our votes in the boxes – grabbed a cuppa or glass of wine and the fun began.

Joan (87 years old)

Joan (87 years old)

Two women I met, Penny and Michelle became members after the evening it was so good. But, the prize of best hooper of the night goes to Joan, 87 who moved to the area when she was 16! It turned out it was her first ever time hooping too! She is a strong believer in staying fit and when you look at her you’d never guess her age so that’s something for us all to aspire to.

I asked Obie, who has been hula-hooping for three years to tell us a bit more. Here are some great tips (some of which apply to any New Year’s project you may be starting – she was so inspiring!)

How did you get into it?

My mum saw a hoop class in Time Out so we went along – I was unstoppable and immediately started looking at YouTube videos and going to hoop events. I then saw The Majorettes doing a hula hoop and roller skate show – YES at the same time! I thought I have to join this troupe – so I said hello to Marawa The Amazing and have been a Majorette performer and teacher ever since!

What are top three top things about it?

Keeps you fit and it’s super fun! (Improves balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health).
– Make great friends and teach amazing people.
– Builds confidence, self expression and creativity.

What were the hardest three things which you now look back on and wonder why you ever thought ‘I can’t do that’.

– At the beginning performing in public was daunting – but I have practised different ways of helping me to feel relaxed and confident.
– Mistakes aren’t the end of the world – I’ve learned to let go and and carry on.
– It was hard and scary to make a lifestyle change hoping that it would better for a work/ life balance.

How often do you do it; professionally and personally?

Obie (Instagram: @misspearlthewhirl)

Obie demonstrates

I decided to leave my full time job in design to pursue my hobby! Now the hoop has taken over my life – professionally on a weekly basis I work mainly in the evenings teaching adults and in the day children, I also co-ordinate The Majorettes. I perform at local to international events and attend festivals in the summer. In my spare time I’ll be at home practising or blogging.

I teach in East London: Tuesday in Hoxton – £12 and Saturday in Shoreditch – £12.

DBWI Discount – To book places email marawasmajorettes@gmail.com for 20% discount with WI membership card.

What was it like teaching such a mixed bag of women at the DBWI?

HOOPTASTIC ! The best thing was seeing such a wide age group all getting their hoop on! Some people had never picked up a hoop before, some had as a child – but everyone got involved – learning one trick or two that they could take away!

And finally, why is hula-hopping so good for you & why should the uninitiated try it?

It’s good exercise, it’s fun, it’s uplifting and it makes you happy! Hoops are also super cheap – hoops for life!

To watch or contact Obie (Miss Pearl The Whirl) here is her website; she is a member of world record hula hoop troupe The Majorettes founded by The Amazing Marawa. Find details of their local shop etc here.


2 thoughts on “Hooptastic

  1. Sorry to have missed it. Isn’t JOAN wonderful? Can I change my membership to dual as will be going to a few meetings in Walmer? Thanks Lynn

    Sent from my iPad


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