Most humans over the age of, oh, 10 years old struggle to do anything with a hula hoop — let alone make it werk. But that's not problem for Brookelynn Bley, 23, a Chicago-based student and aspiring dental hygienist who dreams of touring the world as a headlining hula hooper.
Brookelynn began hooping about four years ago after she saw a friend shimmy a hoop from her waist to her chest. "I'd never seen anyone hoop like that," she says. "I didn't think you could do cool tricks without a background in rhythmic gymnastics."
A former middle- and high-school cheerleader, Brookelynn was inspired to try hooping herself, ordering her own dance hoop less than a week later. After a couple months of frustration — the particular hoop she'd bought happened to be XXL, and tricks are easier with smaller hoops, she later learned — she downsized and began mastering moves.
When Instagram started allowing 15-second videos in June 2013, Brookelynn began posting her hooping videos to her first Instagram account. "My first videos were so terrible and awkward to look at now, but I was really proud of them at the time," she says. As it turned out, they were impressive enough to be regrammed by several larger accounts, who found Brookelynn through the hooping hashtags she'd used.
After a failed business venture, in December 2015, she launched a new Instagram account, @nosleeptilbrookelynn, which has since racked up more than 106,000 followers. Brookelynn credits her popularity to Facebook, where several of her hooping videos have gone viral.
This virality led to Brookelynn's first paid gig in March 2016 at a Pole-a-thon Competition in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was attended by 50 Cent and serves as Brookelynn's latest claim to fame. (She auditioned for America's Got Talent the following fall but wasn't called back.)
Besides her sole performance, Brookelynn has been paid for several posts — a good thing since she says she's broken thousands of dollars of her fiancé's stuff while practising with her hoops around their place.
And practice is something that Brookelynn does a lot: She hoops for at least an hour a day, or for up to three hours if she has time, kicking off things by filming a quick clip of a new hooping combination to post on Instagram, then trying out some new tricks. "Each practice is different," she says. "I'll try anything that comes to mind."
Brookelynn's hooping habits have been great for both her body and mental health. "It makes me sweat so much," she says, although she also hits the gym up to five times a week. "It just feels so good."
Although dental school is on the horizon — and is Brookelynn's first priority — she has no plans to stop hooping or put her competitive spirit to rest. "I want to be the one booked for the job and achieve stardom," she says. So keep looking for her name in lights! 🙌 ✨
Via: Cosmopolitan US