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In Hoopnotica Hoopdance Beginning Level 1, veteran hoopmeisters Rayna McInturf and Keaton Talmadge manage to systematically teach basic moves of the art of hoop dance to virtually anyone with the desire to dance and the appropriate hoop with which to do it. Their methodology is simple; each segment of the DVD whether viewed in the sequence presented or not offers an introduction that outlines and introduces the subject goal, a demonstration with instructions that repeats the move adequately enough to enforce the mechanics without annoying repetitiveness and a troubleshooting follow-up that details the most common mistakes along with the associative adjustments needed to tweak the move and get it under control.

Hoopnotica Hoopdance Beginning Level 1 details the following hoopdancing maneuvers: waist hooping, hip hooping, halos, passing and floating, and corkscrews. The DVD begins with a general introduction that defines the overall goal of the first level and a warm-up using the hoop as a tool to help stretch the body before attempting to dance. One of my only complaints about this program is the lack of a dance sequence as a finale that the student can watch and copy that incorporates all the learned moves. Some fun music and a beginner's routine would have capped off this DVD and launched it into a 5 star rating.

For those who are new to hoop dancing: make sure your hoop is an adult sized hoop made specifically for dancing. I own two different hoops from two different companies: the Hoopnotica Fitness Travel Hoop Combo fits the bill nicely as it comes apart and can be easily transported. Although perhaps a bit flimsy, this hoop is slightly weighted but not to the extreme as the Empower Cardio Core Hoop with DVD is. The Empower model is too heavy, making performing halos, passing and floating and corkscrews a little more painful if done incorrectly. Stick to a hoop made with dancing and not strict cardio hula-hooping in mind. A further caution--exercise or dance with your hoop in either a studio with a lot of individual space that does not restrict your movement and an extremely high ceiling with no dropped paddle fans or outside on level ground. When I use my backyard as my dance palace, I am unable to view the DVD instructions simultaneously, so some adaptation must be made: I watch first, try it and then observe again to make the appropriate adjustments helped out greatly with the troubleshooting segment. Even though I am not the most graceful dancer it didn't take me long at all to learn the first few moves and totally enjoy what I was doing. Working on the halos and the pass and float moves requires a little more space and a bit more patience. Nonetheless with very little practice, I was able to master these maneuvers with little additional viewing of the corresponding segments. Presently, I am working on smoothing out my corkscrew move--it took me a while to realize I had to rotate within the hoop to get it to settle on my waist/hip from halo position. Once accomplished, the body remembers the feel of the move and it becomes ingrained as part of the overall repertoire.

In general, hoop dancing is a fun way to tone the body and work up a healthy, cleansing sweat. Initially, you will feel the stress in your arms as you work through halos and passing and floating; similarly you will feel your waist and hips working as you keep the hoop in movement around your body. Although the two dancers featured on this DVD are in their prime, this activity makes a wonderful group activity for all ages and activity level--there is a local retreat house that sponsors a Cancer Survivors Weekend where I think this type of class would be phenomenally fun and therapeutic. My only other less positive comment is to depict dancers of all ages to illustrate the agelessness of this activity. Don't dis those of us who want to age gracefully and defiantly!

Bottom line? Hoopnotica Hoopdance Beginning Level 1 teaches the rudiments of hoopdancing in a concise and extremely efficient manner. Pop it into your DVD if you want to learn waist hooping, hip hooping, halos, passing and floating and corkscrews and then practice, practice, practice your way to a wonderfully therapeutic form of exercise that will keep you "hoopy." Looking forward to mastering my corkscrews to move onto Hoopnotica Hoopdance Beginning Level 2. Recommended for good fun and great exercise.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
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on March 29, 2013
If you have never hooped, get this DVD. It is great. This is a wonderful exercise that anyone can do in the privacy of your own home. What a great workout.
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on September 12, 2015
Nice video that teaches great beginner moves. Definitely a fun workout that had me sweating. The only thing I would change is to have a full nonstop workout on the DVD. It shows you the move but once you learn them you have to create your own workout.
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on August 11, 2012
If you are looking to begin Hooping but don't know where to start this dvd is the place. They really take you step by step through the whole process. They give you a ton of trouble shooting tips on how to improve so you don't become frustrated during the learning process. It is a beginner dvd but I was happy to see that it had some tricks that are, in my opinion, beyond beginner. There is nothing worse then getting a beginner dvd and watching it once and mastering it too quickly.
When I got the dvd I was just able to keep the hoop up. Now I can see the foundation of hoop dancing with the help of the dvd.
It's a good investment if you want to learn how to hoop dance.
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on May 9, 2013
this is an excellent workout for a beginner hooper. I've been hooping for about 7 months and i have mild scoliosis and degenerative disk disease so i have been taking my time with the beginner moves. this video is perfect for learning the basic moves and has a nice warm-up to prevent injuries. I already knew most of the moves except i'm having trouble perfecting them and with halo transitions from lower body to above my head. The troubleshooters section of this dvd helped me tremendously. I'm getting the second video asap. I recommend it to all new hoopers. Enjoy!
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on March 24, 2013
Watching the graceful moves of the ladies in this video was great inspiration for practicing with my weighted hoop. I definitely recommend the video if you have a hoop. There are way more moves than I ever imagined.
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on July 7, 2013
I didn't think you'd need a dvd to learn what to do with a hula hoop but you do! This dvd teaches you exactly how to do the basic moves. The instruction is excellent. You're taken step by step through moves which are built upon later, and there's even a trouble-shooting segment for each move. I also got level 2 and 3 dvds, and am on level 2 now. Beside instruction, the dvds include little segments where you can watch experienced hoopers do their thing. I'll continue to use the dvds as I learn.
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on August 3, 2017
was surprised at what one can do with this toy from my childhood!
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on December 16, 2014
If you are truly a beginner, this video will not help you. I never hooped much as a child but I wanted to learn for a good workout at home and for tricks and fun at festivals. The first chapter basically says something like: start hooping, good! Next chapter is about walking and turning and then moving from waist to hip. Each lesson is only a few minutes long. It's not like you can watch someone telling you to just hula hoop and you'll be able to do it. So it's hard to move past the first 3 minutes if you can't keep the hoop up for more than a minute. If you don't hoop but want to learn, I suggest just going for it and teaching yourself. Once you can go for several minutes without dropping, then watch the video.
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on February 28, 2014
Just started, plus size hooper trying to shed some lbs. I like the video and hoopnitica hoop so far. I enjoyed the warm up and am practicing waist hooping atm.
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