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World Hoop Day in San Francisco

12/12/12 Hula Hoop Performances and Celebrations

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For anyone into numerology, 12/12/12 is a field day. Not coincidentally, it is also the climax of a series of World Hoop Days, as dreamt up seven years ago by a Bay Area woman. In San Francisco and dozens of places on every continent, people will spend part of Wednesday, December 12, swiveling and shimmying hoops in a tribute to happiness and peace--and fun, too.

Annie O’Keeffe, who lives in Pacifica and had had a Hula Hoop when she was young, believed that hooping deserved an international holiday. Her thoughts then spun far outside the hoop, and she envisioned the child’s play as a way to encourage world peace. A hula hoop does double duty as a toy and a piece of exercise equipment, and hooping is a terrific workout that can be both meditative (like running or swimming) and confidence-boosting--so O’Keeffe figured that doling out hula hoops around the world, particularly to people who cannot afford them, would spread joy and peace. (After all, who has ever seen an angry hula hooper?)

The World Hoop Day foundation relies on donations and avid hoopers (“ambassadors”) to distribute hoops in various countries and teach novices how to gyrate just so. With her interest in numerology, O’Keeffe launched the first World Hoop Day on July 7, 2007. Subsequent hoop days were August 8, 2008, September 9, 2009, October 10, 2010, and so on.

On December 12, 2012, in about 75 different locations throughout the world--including cities and towns in Australia, South Africa, Israel, Croatia, Japan, Mexico, Finland, Canada, Great Britain, Costa Rica, Spain and the United States--thousands of people will converge to dance, move and play with hula hoops. O’Keeffe calls the day “a fruition of my dreams.”

The Bay Area, of course, is hooping it up, too, with World Hoop Day celebrations in San Francisco, the East Bay, the Peninsula and South Bay as well as in Napa. If you go, you’ll no doubt witness some stupendous and creative choreography and twirling; hooping has come a long way since Wham-O’s plastic rings of the late 1950s let loose an international craze. You’ll probably get a chance to test out your own stomach and hips, too. Here are details of the hoop day parties around the Bay:

World Hoop Day Hoop Jam - Berkeley
December 12, at 11:30 am-2 pm
Come and warm up before performing special choreography for World Hoop Day at 12:12 pm, plus spontaneous and improvised moves. Music and hoops to use will be provided.
At Civic Center Park, 2151 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley 94704.

World Hoop Day Hoop Jam – Cupertino
December 12, at 6 pm
Hoop-dance for peace, to the rhythm of lively tunes. Loaner hoops and some refreshments will be provided; people are encouraged to bring snacks to share. All ages welcome.
At Cupertino Quinlan Center, 10185 North Stelling Rd., Cupertino 95014.

Napa Hoopers’ World Hoop Day
December 12, at 6-8 pm
The Napa Hoopers perform the 2012 World Hoop Day choreography and donate hoops that they have made. Hoops in child and adult sizes will be available to use.
At Veteran's Memorial Park, Main and Third streets, Napa 94558

World Hoop Day with the Temple of Poi
December 12, at 8-10 pm
Organized by Isa (“GlitterGirl”) Isaacs, a professional fire dancer and founder of the amazing Temple of Poi school in San Francisco, this hoop day convergence will crackle and pop with fire (or at least LED lights). Note that this is a leave-no-trace event.
At the Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco 94123.

Hula Hoop Relay Fundraiser
December 16, at 9 am-1 pm
Sponsor a hula hooping religious student at this fundraiser organized by World Hoop Day founder O'Keeffe and hosted by the Peninsula Temple Sholom. During the temple school’s usual four-hour session, students will be hula hooping in shifts. Half of the donations go to O’Keeffe’s hoop foundation and half to a nonprofit chosen by the students.
At Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Dr., Burlingame 94010. Suggested donation: $10 and up.

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