Okay so I'm maybe a decade late on this particular bandwagon but let me tell you, readers, I have a new addiction. I took my first hula hooping class (the modern exercise calls itself "hooping" to distance itself from retro kitsch, but I'll stick with the retro kitsch, thanks) two weeks ago, and I am officially hula-hooked! I bought a weighted exercise hoop and I've been practicing daily - trying to avoid hitting the walls of our little apartment. So far I can only move the hoop between spinning on the waist and hips, and do, like, turns and stuff - I'm currently attempting to learn knee-hooping (and have the bruises to show for it).
Although hula hooping has origins in the ancient world, the modern hula hooping phenomenon began when the toy manufacturer Wham-O (whose other great success was the frisbee) marketed a plastic hula hoop in the summer of 1958 - they'd got the idea from bamboo hoops used for gym classes in Australian schools.
The toy was an instant hit, selling twenty million $1.98 hoops in the first few months of production and igniting a worldwide craze. Within a couple of years sales totalled over 100 million. There were even songs written about it.
Do you hula too? Can you do any cool moves?