Hula-hooping is back. From South Central to South Africa, THE HOOPING LIFE documents the rise of an infectious new subculture , at the intersection of fitness, art, spirituality, and entrepreneurship. Introduced by hooper Shaquille O’Neal, THE HOOPING LIFE follows eight pioneers of the movement who sometimes left an established career to make a living as hoop-makers, performers, and teachers. Through interconnected stories, THE HOOPING LIFE offer insight into their lives and struggles and the strength, pride and humor they maintain to expand what they love to do, hooping: Tisha, who comes from a family with a history of gang violence, creates a hoop program in South Central to keep kids off the streets.
Having himself survived gang-ridden streets in Los Angeles, performance artist Karis puts on a show that defies the bullies of his youth by pulverizing gender stereotypes within the hoop. Across the country in the Bible-belt, Baxter, the son of a Southern preacher, overcomes suicide hooping and in turn teaches the Hoop Path to thousands of hoopers worldwide. In South Africa, Sass fire-hoops away the trauma of a brutal rape. Christabel an overweight grad student in debt teams up with Hoopalicious to go on an international tour. In this partnership, sparks fly as commerce and art collide. After a difficult separation, Hoopalicious struggles to maintain relevance in an ever-evolving community while Christabel’s entrepreneurial spirit and new babelicious body thrive as HoopGirl.
The film alternates between performance footage and interviews, self-filmed video diaries and street practice. Filmed over six years and with appearances by late hoop-promoter/entrepreneur and TV personality Art Linkletter, THE HOOPING LIFE celebrates the healing power of movement and the spirit of human inventiveness. British electronic duo BASEMENT JAXX provides the buoyant score that captures the free-spirited nature of hooping.