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Hula hooping artiste to conduct a workshop in Covelong this weekend

Eshna Kutty’s luggage is a large round cloth bag. It’s filled with hoops of psychedelic hues — neon pink and orange, fluorescent yellow, bright green — in different sizes. “I can spin around 10 hoops at the same time, if they are of the same size,” says the hula hooper from Delhi, in town to host workshops this weekend at Surf Turf (Kovalam and Mahabalipuram). She spins a few around her neck and torso and does a dance step with the grace of a ballerina. Interestingly, it was “a case of two left feet” that got her into hooping.

“When I was 16, I saw a video of a lady hooping on YouTube. Intrigued, I practised waist hooping for a year. I didn’t know you could do more with it,” says Eshna. After stumbling across a few more videos, she realised that this is a completely new art field. “It comes under flow art, which also comprises others forms like juggling and poetry.” She enrolled herself in dance classes: hip hop, a bit of contemporary, free style, locking, salsa. “I learnt ballet because I had this sudden urge to join a circus school in France,” she laughs.

All these dance forms are now incorporated into her hooping routine. Aesthetically, she says, it’s a lot harder to incorporate hip hop moves into hooping. At Covelong, Eshna is currrently getting acquainted with the surf board and the sea. Hooping while stand-up paddling may just be part of her upcoming plan.

The 23-year-old self-taught hooper travels around the country conducting workshops. “Spinning hoops around the waist is most challenging. But that’s what I start my classes with. And when students get frustrated, I change things and teach them hand hooping, which is a lot easier,” she laughs. People assume that they need to rotate their trunk to keep the hoop airborne, but it’s actually just back and forth movement. Not only does it help improve hand-eye coordination, hooping also tones muscles and if you use weighted hula hoops you can burn fat, she adds.

It took Eshna a couple of weeks to get the rhythm right. But she’s happy that some of her students pick it up in 10 minutes. “I also like the fact that a lot of guys attend my class. Hooping is for everyone.” She thoughtfully adds, “It’s interactive. Sometimes the hoop feels like a naughty dog who is not listening to you.”

For workshop details, call 9958923235.

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