Hula hoop stopped dan­ger of be­ing bear food

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By AIMEE WIL­SON

When Jo Day is not mov­ing her body in­side a hula hoop, she’s crunch­ing num­bers or mak­ing cof­fee. A bit of a ran­dom com­bi­na­tion for the 28-year-old from Lake Hawea, but she ad­mits af­ter trad­ing hos­pi­tal­ity for ac­count­ing she missed the peo­ple, so jumped into the barista seat once a week as well. The hula hoop­ing came into it while liv­ing in Canada three years ago, af­ter a lo­cal told her off for run­ning ‘‘be­cause of bears,’’ so she got on the In­ter­net and found some­thing else to do. Af­ter teach­ing her­self some tricks and skills and adding that to her al­ready built-up reper­toire of per­for­mance, in­clud­ing fire poi, she moved back to Wanaka, and started teach­ing oth­ers. ‘‘Most peo­ple just as­sume it’s all about us­ing the area around your waist, but it’s an all over body move­ment, which you can use for dance or fit­ness,’’ she said. Jo also joined the Wanaka fire dance per­for­mance group ‘Poi­li­cious’ six months ago, adding another el­e­ment with her hoop, and it has fast been gain­ing recog­ni­tion fol­low­ing the per­for­mance at the clos­ing of the Win­ter Games. The group has a busy sum­mer ahead, the only set­back be­ing the dis­trict’s to­tal fire ban, which meant its fire toys have had to be re­placed with LED glow toys in­stead. Mean­while, Jo’s hula hoop­ing classes have taken off, with a third one due to start in early Jan­uary, for those want­ing to learn. ‘‘It is phys­i­cally chal­leng­ing but there hasn’t been any­one I haven’t been able to teach yet,’’ she said. The se­cret, was hav­ing con­trol and good pos­ture with pos­i­tive move­ments. ‘‘Ev­ery­one can do it. It’s re­ally fun,’’ she said. Con­tact fan­tail­hoops9382@

Photo: AIMEE WIL­SON 628606125.

Hoopla: Hula hooper and in­struc­tor Jo Day of Lake Hawea.

Photo: CHE BAKER 628646158

Help needed: Wanaka moth­ers Su­san Hel­more and Me­gan Wil­liams with their daugh­ters Anika West, three, Olivia Hel­more, six and Suzanna West, five, who are hop­ing to earn badges like their moth­ers in Pip­pins, Brown­ies and Guid­ing.

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