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Brecken’s 2012 Hoop Tour Makes a Stop in Birmingham

Brecken Rivara
Brecken Rivara
Google photo

Birmingham Hoopers will host world renowned hoop performer Brecken Rivara of at a workshop in Homewood organized by Aurahoops this weekend at The Lee Center in Homewood. The workshop has been sold out for weeks, but there will be a “Light Up the Night LED/FIRE Flow Jam" Saturday night 7:30pm – 11:00pm at Casa de Moreno in Pell City, AL where local artists can gather to perform with their LED and fire flow toys.

The hooping craze has gradually made its way from California to Birmingham which is home to three major hooping groups; Aurahoops of Pell City (, Hoop For Fitness of Greystone/Inverness (, and Mettahoops of Cahaba Heights ( These instructors have been spreading the joy of hoop dance to locals for over five years. The face of the hula hoop has changed over the years and now incorporates fitness, dance, and athletics into the movement known as hoop dance. This weekend Brecken Rivara, affectionately known simply as, Brecken, will teach her own unique style of fast and sporty movements and will leave a lasting impression on local hoopers.

But Brecken is not the only hooper getting attention in the Birmingham area. Hoop For Fitness instructors’, Robbie Lewis, Ann Kirkwood and member Melanie Lyons are featured in the January 2012 issue of B-Metro Magazine. You can also see them in Mile Marker 7’s first music video to be released next month. Hoop For Fitness has also been selected to teach hoop fitness to children through the Birmingham Library system over the next few months. Jessica Humphrey Sparks and Victoria Laviolette of Mettahoops hold regular hoop jams at Railroad Park to the beat of the Birmingham Drum Circle (, a group created by John Scalici. But that is not all the hoopers are about. Brandy Hug and Dana Moore of Aurahoops are spreading the love through their Open Group on facebook known as Healing through Hoops ( This group provides a variety of assistance to underprivileged families and has been very helpful to tornado victims.

If you haven’t seen hoop dance or a hoop dance performance since the 50’s then you are in for a pleasant surprise. Luckily a documentary has been made and the movie is premiering all over the world beginning this January. The documentary, The Hooping Life, directed by Amy Goldstein, and produced by Anouchka van Riel, features pioneer hoopers; Hoopalicious, Tisha, Baxter, Jeffrey, Karis, Sass, Hoopgirl, Groovehoops, Shaq, and Art Linkletter. The trailer is viewable at To catch the movie in your city visit or for viewing dates.

Birmingham hoopers will be travelling to Atlanta on February 24th for the Atlanta premiere which is being hosted by Rebecca DeShon of HoopEssence. The Hooping Life film screening will be held at 7 Stages on Euclid Avenue at 9:30pm with a pre-show at 9:00pm. For more details and $15 early bird tickets visit

To learn more about hoop dance and the people who are making it happen, visit For a local class or to buy handmade custom hoops visit Hoop for Fitness where fitness puts a smile on your face.


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