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In Pittsburgh, the Steel City Hoop Union spends sunny Tuesdays hooping for an hour in a grassy area outside while music beats in the background; if it rains or snows, the group hoops surrounded by tall stained glass windows in the old church’s great hall.

Erika Johnson, 42, who founded the group with Moser, “hooped” her way through a half marathon in Nashville in 2009. The 13.1 miles took her 4 hours and 3 minutes, all while walking and hooping.

When she moved to Pittsburgh last year from Tennessee, she was disappointed there weren’t any hooping classes offered here. Then she ran into Moser, 26, selling hoops at an arts festival.

“It’s silly and it’s sexy and you don’t have to take yourself very seriously, and it evokes all these childhood memories,” said Johnson, as she talked and twirled a large hoop with her hand, around and around and around again.

Moser and Johnson said in addition to being great exercise, hooping at its core is a great social activity. They have regulars who show up each week, but also people that are new to hooping and just want to try it out.

“It’s just been more than anything a beautiful way to really get to know some people,” Moser said. “You let your guard down because you’re doing something silly within five minutes and your laughing with somebody that you’ve never spoken to before.”