We love having such a diverse range of creative professionals under our roof, but we never thought we’d be the HQ for a hula hooping brand! Meet Carla Rose: Director at HulaFit, instructor, performer and much more. We caught up with Carla to find out more about her journey to date – including the story behind her not one but TWO Guinness World Records!
Hi Carla! First off, what is HulaFit exactly?
HulaFit is an alternative fitness brand offering hula hooping fitness classes in London. We also run our own instructor training programme. I’m the company’s director – I took over in May 2019 from my friend Anna who set it up back in 2014 with her husband. Anna’s been a friend of mine for years and was the one who taught me how to hula hoop over 10 years ago! Taking the helm was the right step for me; I feel like the rest of my career, training and experience has been leading up to this.
We just launched our Instructor training dates for next year & will be expanding to other UK locations in 2020, so watch this space…
Were you teaching hula hooping before you took on HulaFit?
Yes, I was self employed & running my own solo hula hooping company. I was teaching, facilitating workshops and performing at all sorts of events.
My journey began when I moved to London to train as a milliner, (technical term for hat maker – just one of my many side hustles!) and I started going to Anna’s hula hooping classes as a new hobby and to try and meet new people.
I was learning loads at the weekly classes and absolutely loved it. I eventually got to the stage where I really wanted to perform so I joined a hula hoop troupe called Marawa’s Majorettes. We actually set two new Guinness World Records!
Wow! What are the records for?
The first was for the most amount of hoops spun on your waist in a group. We managed to spin 299 hoops altogether which was 30 each. BUT…one of them fell on the floor, and I’m sad to say it was mine!
We decided to set a new record for most passes of a hula hoop by the feet in a minute a year later. This involved each person spinning a hoop on their foot and passing it; foot to foot, to the next person. As soon we passed it we had to get up, run to the end of the line and lie down again ready for another pass!
We achieved 26 passes in a minute.
Marawa’s Majorettes with their “most hoops spun” Guinness World Record!”
Who would you recommend hula hooping for?
It’s for anyone and everyone! It’s a really good exercise for toning, particularly your core and abs as we used weighted hoops in our fitness classes. Weighted hoops add more resistance so help you to burn more calories, lose weight & enjoy a proper workout.
At the moment our audience is mostly women, however we do get men too and I’d always encourage them to join. Participants are aged from 20 all the way up to around 60! I do have a dedicated following of slightly older women who come to as many of the classes as they possibly can. It’s a really good way of staying in shape at any age.
There are different adaptations and intensities and a whole world of exercises and routines, so there’s something for everyone.
A HulaFit class in London.
What prompted you to become a Creative Works member?
When you first start building a business you can’t necessarily afford to rent an office or coworking desk. So my home was my office until this year when my partner and I moved to Walthamstow. We’re doing a lot of DIY in our flat which means it’s constantly in disarray.
I needed a good headspace; somewhere I could really sit and focus on expanding the business and creating new resources for instructors. Also, because I’m new to the area, I thought it’d be a good place to meet people. I’ve met people from different businesses and since being here I’ve received advice that has been really useful and relevant.
It’s just such a nice atmosphere too.
Have you taken part in the free 1:1 business clinic yet?
Yes! Being a business owner who is creative and passionate but not necessarily business or financially minded, I found myself in need of some pragmatic advice. It’s great to be held accountable for things and to have somebody as a sounding board to be like: “Is this a good idea?” or “Is this really going to work?”
I went into the clinic with a load of questions and I have to say, Yvette really helped me clear my mind and set up a load of new processes in the first session.
How do you plan on recruiting new instructors?
Because the company has been around for five years already, we have a number of instructors who are already trained, but there’s room for so many more! Our instructor training is endorsed by EMD UK, the national governing body for group fitness, and through this we hope to attract a whole load of new fitness instructors to teach this exciting new programme. Since I’ve taken over I’ve been gradually raising the profile of the company on social media and introduce new audiences to HulaFit.
“The ethos behind our brand is not about tiny figures squeezing into tight lycra; it’s about accessible, fun fitness – fitness for every body, shape and size.”
I also have some strong connections in the hula hooping world. It’s actually quite a vast, international community that not many people know about! A lot of people have already contacted me about training which is wonderful. Another of my side hustles is my hula hooping events company; Hullabaloo London – we host Hula Hooping masterclasses from both UK and international teachers right here in London.
So what are the benefits of hula hooping?
There’s loads! The mains ones are…
- Burning calories
- Improving strength
- Improving posture
- Mood booster
- Motor skills and coordination
- Body positivity and awareness
The ethos behind our brand is not about tiny figures squeezing into tight lycra; it’s about accessible fitness – fitness for every body, shape and size.
A scientist comes to one of my classes and we’ve been chatting about the benefits recently.. She says hula hooping is really good for scoliosis because it strengthens the muscles and can help keep the spine in alignment.
Follow @hulafitworld on Instagram to keep up-to-date with classes and events.