Who’s Tilly & what’s hooping?

What’s hooping?

Essentially it’s dancing and doing circus-style tricks with “hula” hoops, but for adults! The hoops are usually colorful and oversized and are fantastic for a great full-body workout that feels more like playtime than slave-to-the-gym time. Hooping burns about 420 calories per hour just by hooping on the waist, and can burn 600+ calories in an hour once you start adding the cardio of tricks and dancing. Here’s an example of me practicing on my own at the gym:

For more hooping resources, visit Hooping.org.

Now, who is this Tilly Whirls?

Hi! I’m Leslie, I hoop under the name Tilly Whirls.

That’s me. Hello, my name is Leslie Perales Loges, and I love to hoop.

My hoop life began in the winter of 2011. I came across it by accident on YouTube, became entranced, convinced myself I had to learn to do it, and was immediately hooked.

To be honest, I hate the gym. When given a free six-month gym membership I went about three times. However, I’ve fallen for the hoop, and now you could say I exercise almost daily. Though I think of it more as playing, because it’s fun.

I started learning hoopdance through many, many online videos uploaded by amazing hoopers, and through the Hoopnotica series of DVDs. I began with two hoops and am now trying to control a collection that seems to consistently be pushing 80+ hoops, even with my twice-yearly purge.

I want to share my journey and experience with the hoop here, as well as use this site to talk about all things hooping. I’m an FXP Hula Hoop and Hoopnotica certified hoopdance teacher and teach in the Herndon/Reston area of Virginia. I’ve taken many hours of workshops from professional hoop dancers and trained circus artists. I am insured through K&K.

By day I work in corporate communications for the largest family-owned real estate company in the country doing public relations, internal communications and social media. I’m originally from a small town in Michigan, attended Grand Valley State University and graduated with a bachelor’s in communications with a concentration in journalism in 2007. I was originally against moving to the Washington, D.C. area (I mean, come on, these summers are hot and muggy), but am glad I did. I actually really love it here.


10 thoughts on “Who’s Tilly & what’s hooping?

  1. I love the progression from the two videos!

  2. shanaschmitt says:

    I’m working on using lighter hoops. Right now I am using a water weighted one that I made and I’m just having trouble switching to anything lighter and still being able to do tricks. We seem about the same size and I wanted to know about your LED hoops. How lightweight are they? And what size are yours? All the girls are know are pretty tiny, i.e. use 34″ hoops which I don’t know if I will ever be able to do. Any tips are this yooper hooper?

  3. shanaschmitt says:

    Feel like sharing the info on how you chose to purchase your first LED hoop? I’m currently working with a water weighted hoop and am having trouble lightening my weights and still being able to do all the tricks I’ve learned. I use a bigger hoop right now, I’m nervous that even a 38″ hoop might be too small. Any tips for this yooper hooper would be great thanks!

    • Tilly Whirls says:

      Hi! If you’re using a water weighted hoop, I’d try to move to a non weighted hoop first. Perhaps a 3/4″ 160psi hoop that’s maybe 42″ in diameter or even a little bigger (bigger will help you move down to non water-weighted). Once you get there, then I would consider buying an LED.

      It’s perfectly fine to buy a 40″ LED, or even a 42″ if that’s what you need. If you tell the LED hoop maker you’re more comfortable with heavy hoops, or let them know what size you’re working with now, they might be able to make a good suggestion for you. I got my first LED hoop custom made for me by Cosmic Hooper. It was about $150.

      My first LED I went small. I had been hooping about four months, was using a 38″ heavy hoop and I ordered a 36″ hoop in a beginner sort of weight/tubing size. It took me a couple months to really get used to it. Now it’s been nearly a year since I got it and it’s too heavy (though I still use it sometimes), I’d just prefer a lighter one.

    • Tilly Whirls says:

      Also, I started with 40-42″ diameter beginner weight hoops (3/4″ 160psi). I moved down to a 38 after that, then a 36-37 a few months after that. I can work with a 32-inch hoop, but my preference is a 36 in 1/2″ 125psi polyethylene, a 36″ 3/4″ polypro, or a 37″ 3/4″ 100psi in polyethylene. My old LEDs are HDPE, both 36″, one is 7/8″ HDPE and the other is 5/8″ HDPE. My new LEDs that I’ve ordered are 36″ 3/4″ polypro.

  4. instillari says:

    That is so cool! It’s funny because my nieces (who are 5 and 7) just learned to hula hoop and so when I tried doing it I couldn’t. So then I actually ended up buying a hula hoop and learned how to do it and find it quite fun. I obviously can’t do any of these dances, haha, but I think you inspired me to try it out! Very cool and if you are interested it would be great if you checked out my blog 🙂

    • Tilly Whirls says:

      Awesome! It takes time to learn to hoopdance, but it’s a great way to work out and it’s a lot of fun. If the kids hoops are too difficult and weighted sport hoops too heavy (I never use weighted sport hoops), consider getting an adult hoopdance hoop. HoopMamas on Etsy.com makes some really beautiful ones, or you can try Hoopnotica. Hoopnotica also carries DVDs to learn some of the tricks, but you can also look up tutorials on YouTube. Hope you have fun hooping with your nieces! I love hooping with my nieces. It’s the best. ❤

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