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Name of Activity:

Hula Hoop Routine and Dance

Purpose of Activity:

To introduce students to the concepts of different levels as well as to domain specific language – Hamstrings, Deltoids, Abdominals, Core Strength, personal space, general space.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

1 hula hoop per child, music player

Recommended music:

Timber (Kidz Bop Version from Kidz Bop 26 CD)

Beginning dance formation:

Student can be placed randomly around the room as long as each child has adequate space to safely perform the routine and use the hula hoop.

Description of Idea

This dance activity focuses on challenging students to move at a low, middle and high level. The students will use the Hamstring muscles, Deltoids and Abdominals. It will help them build “core strength” when they do the traditional hula hoop movement. They will stay in their personal space for some of the dance and will move into general space when they are told to “swing a partner”.

Combination #1 – 32 counts – Personal space, low, middle and high levels. Students begin standing in the hula hoop with the hula hoop on the floor.

Reach Low 4 counts stretching the Hamstrings. Pick up the front of the hula hoop.

Middle 4 counts – Raise the hula hoop to the abdominals.

High 4 counts – Raise the hula hoop above the head using the deltoid muscles.

Middle 4 counts – Lower the hula hoop to the abdominals.

Low 4 counts – Lower the hula hoop to the ground and stretch the hamstrings.

Middle 4 counts – Raise the hula hoop to the abdominals.

High 4 counts – Raise the hula hoop above the head using the deltoids.

Middle 4 counts – Lower the hula hoop to the abdominals.

Combination #2 – 32 counts – Stay in “personal space” and do the traditional movement with the hula hoop around the waist. Emphasize that this movement builds “core strength”.
Combination #3 – 32 counts – Stay in “personal space.” With the hula hoop in the dominant hand move the hoop in a figure 8 motion with the hoop moving from one side of the body to the other. A complete figure 8 is 4 counts. You will do 8 figure 8 motions.

Combination #4 – 32 counts – Quietly placing the hula hoop on the ground and moving into general space, find a partner and elbow swing for 8 counts. Swing 2 more partners, each for 8 counts, and go back to own hula hoop on the last set of 8.

Repeat combination 1, 2, and 3.

Add the following movements: 32 counts

Placing the hula hoop on the hand in front of the body attempt to rotate the hula hoop around the hand. Students can also do this movement with the hula hoop above the head. Challenge students to use non-dominant hand.

Repeat combination 4 – swinging different partners.

Repeat combination 1 and 2 to the end of the song.

Assessment Ideas:

Ask children to identify various levels as well as name the muscles that they used while doing the routine. Consider using an exit slip where the children can identify animals that move at a low, middle or high level. For instance, using the pictures below ask students to circle the picture of the animal that travels at a low level:

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

It is not really necessary to keep the hula hoop exactly with the rhythm of the song. It is fine to slow any of the movements down. Children in wheel chairs can work on the different levels and do the hula hoop movements using only the upper body.


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Hula Hoop Routine and Dance

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Michelle Revels

This is a great idea and I feel like it would be a good lesson for younger grade levels!

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