Nicole Tucker, a senior at SUNY Cortland, is president of a club that lets students flash back to the 1990s, a nostalgic time when the Backstreet Boys and hula hooping were among the latest trends. While boy bands may be a thing of the past, the hula hoop is making a strong comeback on the SUNY Cortland campus.
“I saw my friends hooping and it looked so intense,” said Tucker, about her college companions. “But when I picked up the hoop for the first time, it just felt right. It’s so fun, plus it can burn up to 800 calories an hour.”
The Hoop Dance Club of SUNY Cortland offers hula hooping as an unconventional alternative to the routine work out. Members increase their heart rates by tossing and twirling the hoops around their arms, legs and waists while listening to motivating and energizing music.
The club, established in 2007, meets on Wednesdays and Sundays from 9 to 11 p.m. in the Park Center dance studio. Practices are not mandatory and new members are always welcome.
“Hoop dance is focused on recreation and fun,” said Tucker, a physical education major from Holland, N.Y.
She described the club as “blissful,” as it is a way for her to work out her mind, body and spirit.
“I love how Hoop Dance Club is laid back,” Tucker said. “It is stress-relieving and you are doing something great for your body.”
“Another unique aspect of our club is the fact that we make all of our own hoops,” Tucker said. Members make their own hula hoops by shaping tubing and connecting it with decorative and colorful duct tape.
Although they do not engage in recitals or competitions, the club performs at various campus events such as Health Day and the Student Conference on Diversity.
Katy Rendinaro ’11, who earned a B.A in therapeutic recreation, is the founder of the Hoop Dance Club. As a freshman, Rendinaro, shown above on the left, saw a hoop dance performance at a music festival and instantly became mesmerized. She recruited her friends to join her in hooping and worked with Recreational Sports to launch the Hoop Dance Club at the Taste of the World celebration on campus.
For more information, contact Nicole Tucker.