Hula hooping may bring back memories of childhood joy, or be a tool to tone the body, but for Caitlin Briggs, the hula hoop is her personal brand of bliss.

Caitlin, otherwise known as The Circular Witch, picked up her first hula hoop at the beginning of 2017 at a music festival. Mesmerised by beautiful and graceful hoopers she saw, Caitlin was determined to be one herself. In the beginning, she found that she could barely keep the hoop on her waist for more than half a second. Practice, persistence and perspiration have made her an expert in hula hooping and allowed her to perfect her performance. “I absolutely knew that I had found my calling,” Caitlin says remembering that first moment of ecstasy.

Now, she teaches hula hooping in West End to those who are passionate or simply interested in giving the art a go. “In my beginner classes, you will get an excellent foundation in both on-body and off-body movements, personal help and attention to ensure you see fast progress, and a lot of encouragement along the way,” she explains. “For more experienced hoopers, I plan to run classes tailored to learning more advanced tricks to further your skill set and inject excitement back into your flow.”

Performing, like teaching, has become another passion. “Apart from childhood dance lessons, before hooping I had never performed in my life! I never saw performing as a path for me before I discovered hooping. As I’ve progressed as a hooper, I’ve felt the strongest desire to share that passion and joy with others. Hooping has helped me come out of my shell and given me a lot more self confidence — it’s turned a shy, anxious girl into a complete perform-aholic! And that feeling of confidence within yourself is one of the main things I want to impart upon my students.”

Caitlin assures there is more to the circular piece of plastic that meets the eye. It can be a source of serious artistry and skill, she says. “I wish people knew that it doesn’t just stop at spinning a hoop around your waist. There is an almost endless amount of tricks that you can learn with a hoop. I often wish there was more time in the day to learn them all.”

She believes that hooping is for everyone, eager to rid any worn-out ideas about what performers ‘should’ be. “You can hoop no matter what your size, age or gender. I often talk to people who think they need a woman’s hips, or that they’re not slim enough, or they’re too old to hoop. But it’s really not the case. Hooping is an excellent way to get fit while not feeling like you’re exercising — and I promise you that you can do it too!”

She may be spending her days spinning around, but Caitlin has her feet firmly planted in her own kind of philanthropy, donating all proceeds from her initial classes to the Cat Cuddle Café in Red Hill.

Readers also enjoyed this story about Performing Champion Aarti Bajaj.