Healing Hoops 

Hula-Hooping helped Chloe O'Hearn through a stressful and difficult time in her life, and now she's passing that hoop healing on to the girls at Youth Villages.

O'Hearn and five other women (three of whom are members of the Hooper Troopers) began teaching basic hooping skills to Youth Villages girls last fall. At the end of each four-week hoop training session, they teach the girls to make their own hoops.

"Working with these girls is a way for me to heal myself through helping others. I know it's had a positive impact on me, so I hope it has a positive impact on the girls," O'Hearn says.

It appears to be making a positive impact on Sierra, who lives at the Youth Villages residential girls' campus.

"Hooping keeps me going. It keeps me looking forward to something different in my life," says Sierra, who practiced neck hooping at a recent hooping session at the Youth Villages campus.

On August 4th, the women who teach hooping at Youth Villages are hosting the local premiere of a film about the healing power of the hoop. The Hooping Life will screen at "My Big Backyard" at the Memphis Botanic Garden, and funds raised will be donated to Youth Villages.

"The movie has a very uplifting message about how hooping has helped people. One of the hoopers talked about how it helped him with suicidal depression, and a woman in South Africa used hooping as a way to recover from rape," Hooper Trooper and Youth Villages volunteer Adriene Holland says. "The message of the movie resonates with what we're trying to do."

The film will be followed by a post-screening hoop jam, and adult beverages and concessions will be available for sale.

"The Hooping Life" premiere at the Memphis Botanic Garden, Saturday, August 4th, 7-11 p.m. $15

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