Getting Kicked out of Step Aerobics Class to Set the World Record

Submitted by: Betty Shurin

Betty 's Success Story

In the next week, I will post many success stories of dozens that have dropped 10 pounds and 4 inches off their waist in less than 1 month with my dvd and class.

There are many hula hoops and workout in the market. I get monthly calls from disappointed students telling me that all they learned is class is tricks. The teachers made no adjustments for poor alignment or over rotation which is so common with hooping. They tell me they are using a heavy hoop that is 3 pounds or heavier. Some use one of those handmade, light weight hoops which teachers use for tricks. But sports science would explain that those hoops are too light and small for the adult to keep spinning around the waist.

This is my intro not just a success story but rather a story in how I am on a crusade to make sure everyone feels successful within the first 5 minutes of hula hooping. And of course, it’s not about the hoop. It’s about being there to inspire and empower.

In 1991 I was asked to leave a step aerobics class at a gym in Aspen. Apparently I could not learn the fast pace of the teachers rocket routine. Every time we had to do a jump turn over the step, I landed on the gal next to me. (I am serious!) I was SO discouraged that my efforts to try a guided fitness class and have a fun social outlet were destroyed!

In 1998 I stepped into a larger, heavier hula hoop provided at a music festival in Colorado. This summer marked the resurgence of hoops on the outdoor festival scene. I didn’t know it at the time but that day, amidst the swarm of people hooping, that my whole life would change.

I was dangerously bad at hooping too. It took me a month to just keep it up and others told me I should wear a sign that said “Caution, stand back” Somehow the hoop would fly from my waist over my head, occasionally hitting others walking past. I was a freak show. But, I spent a lot of time in the hoop that summer as it made me feel playful and strong in the core.

I started applying techniques from yoga alignment, structural analysis that I learned from apprenticing with my father who was a chiropractor and the extreme sports that I was into. I found ways to stabilize the core muscles without moving my upper or lower body. This kept the hoop spinning level. I used lower body rotations from my years of snowboarding, this improves my balance and coordination when I wanted to walk around while hooping. I used powerful belly pumps similar to the Breath of Fire, in Kundalini Yoga and I took slow, balancing isometric moves from rock climbing to get really connected to what was going on inside of the hoop.

I got very proficient in the second month. This interested others who watched. At this time, there were dozens of hoopers standing around and practicing cool looking tricks. I had no interest in this. I just wanted to dance with my hoop to the music. As I say to all my students, the hoop is your dance partner. It can move on it’s own but moves way better when you move with it.

I use core pumps to control the speed and level of the hoop and skeletal adjustments to change the level of the angle of the hoop. I use my breath to feel the synergy between myself and the hoop. Moving in centrifugal force is like flying. The body releases from gravity/tension and starts to flow with the lightness of air, which is really breath.

I started teaching others how to keep the hoop up and how to use the hoop to lose weight and increase agility. I quickly spotted the same Top 5 Common Mistakes in the thousands that I taught in the following year. I developed a system where I could quickly target and correct their bad body mechanics within the first 5 rotations. I realized that everyone had what I call “the Excuse Syndrome” –I’m too fat, too old, have no hips, have no rhythm!
I saw them bringing their bad experiences in their body, into that new moment so I had to make sure I knew how to teach them. Sometimes we fail because we are using the wrong product. Sometimes we fail because we have no will to succeed. And in my 11 years of teaching with hoops, most of the time people fail is because the teacher has failed them. The teacher gives them the wrong sized and weighted hoop and has no body awareness to really target the individual needs.

This has been my passion, to make sure that everyone who steps into my class or walks past my hoop booth with a second glance, can feel empowered. It is my job as a teacher to figure out the blocks keeping people from their personal health and fitness goals and to supply them with the right program and product to always reach success.

In 2005, on a dare, I ran a 10k while hula hooping. My World Record goal was to complete the race without ever stopping or dropping the hoop. I have done this every year, with an amazing team of runners to block the 50,000 racers from running into my hoop. More stories and video on

So if you find yourself questioning what your next fun way to get fit might be, get educated before choosing a product and program. Ask questions and try a variety of styles and see what your heart and body responds to. And who knows, this new motion might propel you onto a whole new path.


Betty  Before


Betty  After