Jen 'Cookie Hoops' Cookson will be hooping with the masses at Starbelly Jam this weekend.

A hoop around Starbelly

Dancing with a hula hoop is all part of the music festival vibe.

Dancing with a hula hoop is all part of the music festival vibe.

And Jen Cookson, also known as Cookie Hoops, can’t wait to connect with folks attending the 14th annual Starbelly Jam festival. She’s been bringing her hoops to the East Shore festival for the past several years and has about 50 play hoops to share. They’re bigger and easier to manage because of their weight, making hooping accessible to everyone.

“I just throw them out on the grass and people can use them all day,” she says. “Music festivals were the birthplace of modern hoop dance.”

Hooping makes up a big part of the festival scene because it’s fun, easy to learn and makes people feel good. Studies have shown that twirling a hoop is mood altering, says Cookson.

“When people are hooping, their whole body is stimulated. It releases endorphins and increases the heart rate … if you hoop in both directions it stimulates both sides of the brain which has been shown to elevate mood,” she says. “It is such a simple thing but it does contribute to going to your happy place.”

Hooping is also great for health. Cookie started hooping in 2008 when she suffered from limited mobility due to back problems.

“I got a really big hoop to start with and it had such a dramatic affect on my health right away,” she says. “It’s so fun and it kept me moving when I couldn’t do a lot of other sports.”

Today, Cookson also facilitates Medicine Hoop Retreats and she explores the spirituality of hooping along with sacred geometry and connectivity to nature.

“It’s taken me in all kinds of new directions,” she says.

Cookie will be giving direction at Starbelly through workshops given on Saturday and Sunday including Hoops and Tricks along with Kids Alphabet Hoop Games. In the past, she’s vended hoops but this year she’s focusing 100 per cent on roaming and teaching hooping.

Being part of the Starbelly family is an honour for her.

“They treat me like gold and I feel like I’ve really grown as an instructor and a performer through that festival because of how much they’ve supported me,” she says.

This year’s Starbelly line-up includes Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Blue King Brown, Antidoping, Aesop Rock and Buckman Coe.

This year’s festival will also showcase a great selection of Kootenay talent such as Cranbrook’s The Good Ol’ Goats, Nelson’s DJ Rippel, Bessie and the Back Eddies and Tofu Stravinsky.

For more information about Starbelly Jam, visit starbellyjam.org. Tickets are available at the Crawford Bay Park gates.

 

Just Posted

‘Surrounding a community with a fire break won’t help’

RDCK offers fire danger assessments to homeowners

Caribou panel hears from critical public

About 250 people turned out Wednesday evening to give feedback on the provincial government’s caribou recovery plans.

LETTER: Bike lanes overdue

From reader Nancy Rosenblum

Mungall to host CleanBC open house in Nelson

Michelle Mungall is hosting an open house on CleanBC at L.V. Rogers on Tuesday from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read