Hoops - it's the new fitness craze, but it's not just hanging upside down in hoops making shapes in the air.

It's a full body workout and there's a lot of sweat and brute strength required.

That's what Hoops student Michal Parsons loves about the sport - the fact that she's now a lot stronger and fitter.

"You get a lot of people that sexualise it and say 'I want to come watch you practice' and be weird about it," she said.


"But mostly in our classrooms it's sweating and grunting and chalk on our hands and falling off the pole onto the ground, and bruises."

In the last three years instructor Marika Watt has seen interest rocket and has classes running every day of the week.

"It's super rewarding because you see girls that come in, they're just really not sure what they have got themselves into," she said.

"Then they do it and you can just see their faces light up when they get a move or when they finally get something that they didn't think they could achieve. So that for me is really what it's all about."

Jamie Hubbert has been learning hoop performance for less than a year. For her it was a natural progression after learning pole performance.

"I just really like to move in the air and make all these different shapes and everything. And it doesn't have so much of a stigma as pole so it's a really good way to get people used to aerial arts without feeling you're a stripper," she said.

She wants other people to appreciate the strength and skill required to control your body while dangling in the air.

And Watt believes the aerial arts could soon be an official Olympic sport.


"With time these aerial sports and these aerial acrobat things are going to move into that. A lot more away from the dance, maybe into that gymnast sort of vibe."

Anna Hastings says aerial performance has helped her be more active with her children and achieve things she never imagined.

"I learned that I can push myself further than I thought I could. I've really learned to trust myself," Hastings said.

Made with funding from