HULA HOOPS AND DISCO MAKE FITNESS FUN FOR ISLAND RESIDENTS
It’s not hard to spot Jody Evans on Hilton Head Island’s beaches. She’s the one busting a move along the sand, usually leading a crew of beachgoers who also are doing their best impressions of John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever.”
Welcome to the Silent Disco DanceWalk, a three-mile, hour-long beach walk. Stepping off three times a week from Islanders Beach Park, the walks are a low-impact cardio workout set to music — though thanks to headphones, only the participants can hear it.
“Sometimes we break into the twist, we just can’t help it,” Evans said, laughing. “It’s amazing; we just have such a good time.”
She also leads a Hula Hoop fitness class at the beach three times a week. The sessions are a fun way to get in a little exercise while having a good time.
The benefits of a cardio workout are common knowledge: It can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, help with weight loss, improve sleep, boost mood while lowering anxiety, and provide more energy.
“I wanted to find an exercise I liked and Hula Hooping gives you a full workout, from the arms down to your toes,” Evans said. “And Silent Disco is a great way to get aerobic exercise, stay fit and make new friends.”
Plus, it’s fun.
“People leave feeling great. You can’t help having a good time,” she said. “I want people to dance with me and have fun.”
And they are, if participants’ smiles are any indication. Evans provides the headsets and carries a transmitter that plays disco music on one of two channels. As the group boogies its way down the beach, other walkers stop to watch — and Evans encourages them to join in the fun.
The inspiration for the beach walks came when she spotted a bright, sparkly Hula Hoop at a farmers market in Boulder, where she was living with husband Clay Bonnyman Evans, a contributing writer for Hilton Head Monthly, and their son. The farmers market is also where she discovered the Silent Disco DanceWalk movement, and from the first upbeat tune, she was hooked.
“When I saw and tried them, it was clear to me that I wanted to feel this good all the time and share it with others,” Evans said. “It’s so much fun; you should share what you like.”
Evans makes and sells custom hoops, adding weights, sparkles, bright colors and adornments for fun flair.
The Hula Hoop fitness class is at 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Islanders Beach, with the Silent Disco DanceWalk at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Times may vary depending on the tide; follower her Hilton Head Hoops & Silent Disco Facebook page for updates. The classes are free, but she accepts tips through her fully-licensed business. She also leads classes at The Seabrook and Hilton Head Health.
“People see us on the beach and come back,” Evans said. “I love it. Come join us and dance with your new friends.”