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How to Do an Illusion Hula Hoop

Learn how to do an illusion hula hoop from hula hooping expert Natalie "McFancy" Wise in this Howcast video.


To do an illusion, you want to practice without your hoop, a lot, first. So we're going to put the hoop down, and what you want to do is really do a lot of stretching, and practicing doing what is called a sanding split. So the way to do that is you stand on whichever foot is more comfortable, find one that is the most stable for you, whichever foot it might be. You can try both, I suggest doing both. And then you're going to bend forward, place your hands on the floor, and take your other leg and lift it as high as you can. Ideally you want to make this a straight line, like what is called a standing split. Practice doing this, practice taking your arms away and reaching them back behind you. Do the other side quickly, and forward, leg straight up in the air, really keeping my leg straight, and reaching my toe all the ay to the ceiling. This takes a lot of flexibility. Now it doesn't mean that if you aren't flexible that you can't do an illusion, I'm still going to teach you that technique.

Okay, so then what you're going to do is what is called a pivot, or a pirouette. So you're going to step onto your right foot, with the weight into the ball of your foot, so that your heel is almost off the ground. Then you're going to rotate your body all the way around from one side to the other. So without doing the illusion, I'm just going to practice the pivot. Step onto your right foot, rotate all the way around. Okay? One more time, pivot all the way around.

So then what is going to happen is we're going to add our standing split into that turn. What's going to happen is my left toe is going to make an arc this way, up and over to the other side, and my head is going to do the underside of the circle, on the other side of my leg. So my head goes this way, my toe goes this way, you want to keep them at opposite points.

So putting those two together, with the sanding split, stepping into it, and also doing the turns. You can place your hands on the floor the first couple times to practice, okay? So we're going to give it a try, placing your foot where you want to turn, hand on the floor, leg up, turning all the way around to the other side. I'll do it once more. Placing the hands on the floor to catch yourself.

Now of course this trick is not an illusion unless you don't use your hands. So what I like to do is to think about, my arms are shooting back, reaching back behind me, keeping my lats nice and tight, and into my body. I'm using the momentum of my chest and my head to swing myself around, okay? So here we go, illusion with no hands. One more time.

Now what do I do with my hoop when I'm doing my illusion? There are lots of things that you can try. Okay, so starting with the hoop in your left hand, passing to your right, going behind your leg, passing off and ending in your right hand. Left hand, I'm going to pivot on my right foot, my left leg is going to arc up and over, my head is going to go down, and I'm just going to pass around my leg, so. Again, going the other way.

And that's how you do a hula hoop illusion.

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