COLUMBIA — To celebrate Wednesday's circular date, Dec. 12, 2012, Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School students spun their own circles.
Rhys Baker, 8, stood in front of his mom, Lana Coggeshall, using a black hula-hoop with stripes of red, green, blue, yellow and orange as a jump rope.
"Do you want to go ask Lois to show you some tricks?" Coggeshall asked her son.
"I want to make up my own," Rhys responded, beginning to spin the hoop around his neck.
Rhys, along with about 15 other students in Lee's gymnasium on Locust Street, had just finished watching Lois Bennett and other members of The Hulagans, a mid-Missouri hula-hoop group that hosts events for kids in the area, show them the different ways to use a hula-hoop.
The Hulagans were there to help celebrate the circular date and spun their hoops around their hips, elbows, knees, feet and necks. Bennett threw her hoop into the air with one wrist and caught it with the other.
After the demonstration, students decorated their own hula-hoops made of PVC pipe, provided by the group, with several different colors of electrical tape as part of Lee's Adventure Club.
With their new toys, kindergarten-through-third-grade students hula hooped the time away as members of The Hulagans looked on and offered pointers.
Coggeshall saw the group downtown one day and thought bringing them to Lee would be a great way to get kids more active. Plus, the hoops are inexpensive recess equipment, she said.
Bennett said she was a bit fearful the kids would get rowdy while playing Wednesday, but she was pleasantly surprised when the decorating kept the young students engaged.
Coggeshall watched as Rhys and her daughter, Elliot, 6, hooped around the gym, smiling. Elliot was wearing a red shirt with a green Christmas tree on the front. Her hoop? Red and green.
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