Photos from Julie Zats
Some of you may or may not remember the “I’m done jumping through hoops for him” meme. I remember when it went viral two years ago. It was everywhere. I would constantly see it on my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feed from large accounts that kept posting it, even accounts that didn’t have a hoop or music focus. I also remember how shocked I was to discover I actually knew the girl in it!
The person most shocked from all the newfound attention was the hooper herself, Julie Zats. To her surprise, the video had spread like wildfire. After a few days in circulation, the meme was seen by millions of people across various social media platforms. That same year, she was also invited to perform on Windy City Live and had been featured on Cosmopolitan! It’s currently a little over the two-year mark of her going viral, and I reached out to see how she is doing and to tell us more about the unique opportunities she experienced.
Festival Squad: When did you begin hooping, and what got you into it?
Julie: I started hooping in 2013, after I saw a girl do it at North Coast Music Festival in Chicago! I went and got myself a Walmart hoop after the fest and very quickly became obsessed!
FS: What has your hooping journey been like through the years?
Julie: My flow is always changing. I grew up dancing hip-hop my whole life so I have a habit of hooping with musicality, and I definitely have a different flow depending on the music I’m hooping to. Throughout the years, I’ve learned to love hooping to all kinds of music, from EDM to alternative, and my favorite genre to hoop to lately is rap!
“I just love the way I feel when hooping. I completely immerse myself in the music and basically just lose myself in it. When I start hooping, I literally cannot stop! It just feels so good and cathartic!” -Julie Zats
FS: How did you react when you discovered the meme of you went viral?
Julie: I honestly couldn’t believe it, and I laughed hysterically when I saw it for the first time. I woke up one morning and saw hundreds of thousands of retweets of my video on Twitter. Then I hopped onto Instagram and meme pages were already posting it all over on that platform. I was shocked. Then, I hopped onto Facebook and behold, my video was shared on some of the biggest meme pages on there! It was nuts, but incredibly awesome.
FS: Do you know who initially reposted it?
Julie: It was one of those “white girl posts” relatable content accounts that initially retweeted my video with the “jumping through hoops” caption on it, and that’s what made it go viral. I think the username was @commonwhitegirl, but they ended up blocking me a few months later!
FS: Do you think that going viral provided you more opportunities as a flow artist?
Julie: 100 percent! ABC 7 Chicago found my meme and then reached out to bring me on their show, Windy City Live, not even a week later after I went viral. I got tons of publicity on the video, and DailyMail UK even wrote an article about me which was cool, too. I was getting exposure not only in the U.S., but all over the world. I’ve had the chance to talk and collaborate with some really amazing people just from going viral, which blows my mind every single day!
FS: How did you get approached by Cosmopolitan and Windy City Chicago, and what were those experiences like?
Julie: So with Cosmopolitan, I actually never found out how they found me exactly. They told me they were following me on Instagram, but who knows. I did go viral in another video posted of me on a big EDM Facebook page (YourEDM) about a week before Cosmopolitan reached out to me so I anticipate that’s where they first saw me. The health and fitness editor at Cosmo at the time had messaged me through my Etsy shop to get in contact with me. I immediately thought it was spam and took a few days to respond!
Julie: Windy City Live’s producer got ahold of me on Facebook, which was super convenient! Both experiences were unlike anything else I’ve ever done before. I’ve performed on stage my whole life with dancing, but these were my two biggest gigs by far in my hoop journey. I hooped for about 4.5 hours straight at Cosmo with only a few breaks because I was so into it and couldn’t stop hooping! Windy City Live was the most nerve-wracking experience of my life, but the best experience ever. I can now say I hooped on live TV and that I let Alison Victoria from Windy City Rehab play with my hula hoop. Like, what?!
FS: What is your favorite music festival and why?
Julie: Ultra! I love traveling, and Miami is my favorite city in the world. I also met my boyfriend of 4 years there, so that’s always a plus!
FS: Who is your favorite artist and your favorite song to hoop to?
Julie: Anything by Zeds Dead or Rae Sremmurd! Those four boys are my favorite to hoop to, and I get completely into my flow state when listening to both of those artists. My favorite song by Zeds Dead to hoop to is “Lost You,” and my favorite song by Rae Sremmurd to hoop to is “No Type”!
FS: Are you planning to go to any festivals this year?
Julie: I plan to hit up one or two days of Lollapalooza, North Coast, and hopefully EDC Las Vegas!