Three days past the due date of her second child, Jenny Jo hula-hoops on Siesta Key Beach. The activity is second nature to Jo, who has been hula-hooping and making her own hoops for nearly three years.
“I can hoop right around my belly,” she says, smiling. “It doesn’t matter.”
Since rediscovering the hula-hoop as an adult, Jo has started a hula-hoop program called Hoops of Fun. The classes take place on Siesta Key Beach in knee-deep water, at The Yoga Hangout SRQ and, soon, SaraDance.
Making hoops takes Jo about an hour. She makes them on her 30-foot blue sailboat that is currently docked in Sarasota Bay. From measuring the size of the hoop to putting the tubing together to wrapping the hoop in colorful tape, Jo finds the whole process meditative.
“That’s when I think about all kinds of things,” she says. “I just relax and enjoy it.”
Hoops of Fun is for all ages, says Jo. After hula-hooping through both of her pregnancies, Jo now understands the benefits for prenatal hoopers, and she wants to share them with other mothers.
“I know what will make mothers feel better, what they can and can’t do,” Jo says.
Before she moved in 1998 to North Port, Jo was working as a private nail technician in her hometown of Rockport, Maine. When she came across DIY hula-hoop videos online, she turned her focus to making hoops and teaching classes and quit the beauty industry.
Jo believes you should do what you love, especially when it’s something from which others can benefit.
“It’s almost like I found my original childhood,” she says.
Although her clients range in age, Jo says everyone can relate to having fun with the hoops — especially bright and colorful, glittery hoops. When she’s hula-hooping on the beach for fun, she can’t help but smile.
“People are happy when they see the hula-hoops,” she says.
Neighborhood: Sarasota Bay
Your neighbor since: July