Adding Jumps and Leaps to Hoopdance

March 24, 2015 Caroleeena hoopdanceHoopingTutorialUncategorized


Grande Jete Leap with Hoop

Jumps and leaps are dazzling feats of strength and agility that bring energy, surprise, and even a sense of danger to our hoopdances. They are flashy level changes that can be combined with changes in speed, direction, hoop moves, and/or other dance elements to add dynamic and high contrast elements to our dances.

All jumps fall into five categories:
– two feet to two feet
– two feet to one foot
– one foot to the other foot
– one foot to the same foot
– one foot to two feet

We can jump:
– forward
– backward
– sideways
– in zig zags
– in circles
– straight up and down

When we add a hoop, the hoop can travel:
– horizontally from above
– horizontally from below
– horizontally from the side
– horizontally from the back
– horizontally from the front
– vertically from the side
– vertically from the front
– vertically from the back
– vertically from the opposite side

Hoopers can jump   
– into the hoop
– out of the hoop
– over the hoop
– while carrying or holding the hoop
– while hooping on the core body (head to feet!)
– while hooping on the hand
– while the hoop is in the air from a toss

So, as you can see, there are infinite ways to combine these elements. The only limit is your imagination!

Jumps can be high but they don’t have to be. If you’re utilizing your hoop, the only requirement is being able to clear the hoop and land safely.

In this video by Anah “Hoopalicious” Rechenbach, she demonstrates not only two forward hoop jumps but how to build strength and balance so you don’t injure your knees or trip over your hoop while jumping:


“I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames.” – Les Brown


Here are five other simple and fun ways to increase the height of your jumps
– stretching (all dancers should stretch 15 minutes a day!)
– skipping (skip for height, trying to bring the knee to the chin, then skip for distance)
– jumping (jump over hurtles using one leg at a time)
– hopping (hop over hurtles using two feet)
– bounding (like running but on the balls of the feet, taking large steps, lifting the knee high)


In this video Deanne Love demonstrates a simple jump through from behind with a turn. With all jumps, but especially with jumps from behind, it is best to learn them first in slow motion so you can build muscle memory of correct technique before adding speed and height. This greatly reduces the risk of tripping and will make you more confident in your jumps:


In this tutorial, I share a jump where you actually jump OVER the hoop while the hoop is vertical. I call it the Butt Flosser. It’s fun and funny and a total crowd-pleaser!


REMEMBER: You don’t have to jump through or over the hoop. You can simply hold the hoop and leap!  (See photo at top of page.) Here is a simple breakdown of the Straight Leap:


A jump I am working on right now is a Barrel Jump — a barrel roll in the air while leaping from one foot to the other. I plan to make a tutorial for doing it with a hoop but, for now, imagine that the staff or sword Srikanta Barefoot is using in this tutorial is a hoop and make accommodations to make it work! Notice the staffs and swords are not moving as he does this jump. He is simply holding them. As with all hoop barrel rolls, you can hold the hoop from the inside or from the outside, with one hand or with two. There are many permutations of this move with a hoop, perhaps even while it’s spinning on the hand (as many people do with cartwheels).


There are lots more jumps than I’ve listed here. For a list of tutorials for jumps, leaps and kicks, I recommend joining our Facebook Group: Putting The Dance Into Hoopdance and then checking out this list of tutorials:

Take to the air and soar! And as you do, know that you are building strength, balance, grace, and confidence that will benefit you throughout your life and make you much less likely to trip, fall, and injure yourself as you age. So fly!

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