Kittitas County Farmers Market

Hillia Hula (Hillary Matson) performs at Kittitas County Farmers Market this fall in downtown Ellensburg.

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A new business is hoping to get people hooping.

Hoop Dance and Fitness will begin lessons through Zoom video chat starting Oct. 12.

It doesn’t matter if you know how to hoop or not, said instructor and founder Hillary Matson. It also doesn’t matter how old you are, from ages 8 to 70. She said the problem adults usually have with hula hooping is they are using a cheap plastic hoop made for kids.

“It’s the size of the hoop that’s the problem,” Matson said. “People try it a couple times, it falls down, and they feel that they can’t do it. They give up. So, don’t give up, don’t worry and you’re not too old. A lot of people worry about their age. They go ‘aw I feel silly doing this,’ but that’s not true at all.”

While weekly lessons begin Oct. 12, there is a two-hour hoop/dance workshop scheduled for Oct. 10. This is for people who want to learn hooping as a hobby or performance art. The 45-minute classes starting Oct. 12 are for anybody who wants the exercise.

Matson also provides private lessons and is available to perform at events and parties.

People can find more information about registering for classes, performance booking and hula hoop shopping at hilliaproductions.com.

According to Matson, the intensity of the exercise is moderate, so it should be a good challenge for anyone. She said the lessons will start with an introduction and warm-up, then it’s straight into the exercise.

“It will be a full body workout, so we’ll be doing everything from having hoop on the core to strength-based exercises,” Matson said. “It’s a moderate workout. It’s not crazy like a boot-camp, so I don’t want people to be intimidated, but it will definitely get you sweating. The great thing is everything that I teach can be modified to a level that’s appropriate to you.”

Matson said she lived in Ellensburg for years and got her Master's degree at Central Washington University. She started performing at the local farmer’s market and venues. She moved to California after graduating and performed professionally for a few years. One highlight included being the opening act for the Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog show “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.”

She moved back to Ellensburg last year, saying she missed the town and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

“I really missed the small-town life. I really love it here, I miss the community,” Matson said. “I felt that was missing, where I was and I really just love Ellensburg and the community support.”

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