Q&A with Hula Hooper Jami Kendall

Jami Kendall '16 combines hula hooping with elements of dance into a style that is uniquely her own.

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giphyI: When did you start hula hooping?

Kendall: I think I started the summer before, so last summer, just right before.

I: Was it born out of any other activity?

Kendall: Well I guess, yeah, I was in cheerleading and I did dance when I was younger, but I saw it on Instagram and was like, “wow that’s kind of cool.”

I: Do you do lessons or anything?

Kendall: Nope. I just kind of watched videos and moved.

I: Do you practice any specific routines?
Kendall: I usually just freestyle it, but if there’s a certain part of a song I know really well, I might choreograph a certain move.

I: What kind of music do you like to hoop to?

Kendall: About anything, really. Whatever feels like I can flow to it really nicely. I do listen to a lot of EDM and dubstep because that’s a really popular music type to hoop to, it just makes it easier.

I: Do you perform ever?

Kendall: I’ve never performed. I have gone to concerts and done it in my own little square, but not in front of an audience looking at me.

I: Where did the idea come from? Why hula hooping?

Kendall: I was seeing them at a lot of concerts––EDM concerts––and I was like “oh that’s cool.” With the lights flashing and spinning around, it was kind of mesmerizing, and I wanted to have people’s attention like that, doing something creative. And not being in dancing or cheerleading, I wanted a creative outlet.

I: You had said earlier you chose it partially because it was a stress reliever, do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Kendall: With it being stress-relieving– Whatever mood I’m in, I can just pick my music and just flow to it and it’s completely relaxing.

I: Like a meditative experience?

Kendall: Very much, yeah.

I: Do you know anyone else locally who hula hoops?

Kendall: By name, no, but I have seen people walking around downtown, hula hooping in parks and I’m like, “that’s awesome,” cause I want everyone to do because it’s just a fun thing to do.

I: Are there figures or big names of people who hula hoop?

Kendall: One of my favorites is this girl named “hooping ninja.” She’s just amazing, first of all. She has all these different colored hoops, and you can really see her emotions through her videos, and I just think it’s crazy, it’s awesome.

I: How do you plan to continue with this? Will you continue in college?

Kendall: If they have hula hooping competitions––I don’t think they do––but I will make it a thing, because that would be cool to have a place where a whole bunch of people can maybe even learn. I just learned today that there’s classes in New York, and that would be cool to do––just meeting a whole bunch of people who hoop, and learning different techniques and how other people move.

I: What was your first experience like?

Kendall: I remember sitting in my backyard and watching youtube videos during the summer––It was like 90 degrees outside––and just refusing to stop until I did a certain trick five times in a row. And that was not common for me, I am always the person to give up on these things and I’m always like, “no, I’ll just cheat, I don’t care, I’ll just move on,” but this time I was actually like, “no, I need to get this. If I want to get better I need to practice and I need to get this down,” and it just continued from there and eventually I started incorporating dance moves with it and just going with the music, and it became a lot easier to just add tricks here and there as long as I had the right movements.