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Jumping Through Hoops
Twin sisters twirl their way to AMC Roadshow finale
Fresh out of teaching her yoga class at Ping Recreation Center, Natasha Seiter contemplates the weighted hula hoop she just took from the rack at the side of the room.
She then begins hula-hooping, smoothly transitioning from the traditional style one sees at an elementary school playground to positioning her legs vertically and spinning the hoop around one foot.
“This is where yoga and hula-hooping meet,” she said.
It’s these kinds of tricks that landed Natasha, a junior studying human biology and psychology, and her twin sister Zoe Seiter, a junior studying Spanish
education, on AMC Roadshow’s finale, which took place Friday at ARTS/West.
“It was so rewarding to get picked for the AMC Roadshow,” Zoe said. “Everybody was cheering, and all of our friends were there. Our boyfriends brought flowers, and our grandma was there. … It was so fun to perform in front of that crowd.”
This was not the first time that hula hoop dancing had pushed the duo into the spotlight. When the twins, who moved to Athens from Austin, Texas at the age of 16, hula-hooped at the Twins Festival in Twinsburg, National Geographic snapped pictures of the pair. They also performed in Cincinnati, placing second in University of Cincinnati’s Got Talent.
When Natasha volunteered at the Nelsonville Music Festival two years ago, the twins spontaneously performed after Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne called them up onstage during the band’s set after seeing Natasha hula hoop. He also uploaded videos to his Twitter account that received thousands of views.
“When we were out there in the crowd, he was like, ‘I met these freaky hula-hooping twins today, and I want to get them up onstage,’ … and he stopped the music, and we hula-hooped for a bit,” Natasha said. “People still around town recognize me from that.”
The twins competed against a ventriloquist, a singing family of five and an opera singer after making it through the open AMC Roadshow auditions last Tuesday. They then worked with a choreographer and an actor to prepare for the show, while cameras followed them to take a look at their daily lives.
They are not allowed to say where they placed until the episode airs on AMC in the spring.
In the meantime, Natasha will continue teaching a hula hoop dance workshop at Ping along with her yoga classes. She proposed the workshop last year to Fitness Director Marissa Dienstag.
“She came to me last year because it’s something that’s she been doing for quite some time,” Dienstag said. “She’s really high energy; she’s constantly smiling and constantly making people smile in the class.”
Natasha said hula hoop dancing is a great method for creative expression.
“I love to dance, but I’ve never been a really good dancer,” Natasha said. “But now I hula hoop; people are so mesmerized by the way I move it that they don’t really notice I’m not that great at dancing.”
Natasha said hula-hooping is a full body workout, especially for the abdominal muscles.
“Hula hoop dancing is just so much fun,” Natasha said. “It’s an awesome way to work out without really knowing you’re working out, and it requires skill that makes for some endless fun, especially in the summertime when it’s warm. I love to go outside and do it in the sun on the grass.”