Categorized | Art & Life

Student Spotlight: Lauren Rist

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Hula Hooping during free period



“I want to fix cleft palates for impoverished countries,” Meramec student Lauren Rist said.

Rist is currently studying to achieve her general transfers degree from Meramec and has applied to WASHU to pursue her bachelor’s degree in pre-med. She hopes to transfer to either Oxford or Cambridge University to study facial reconstructive surgery.

Rist’s family moved to the United States from Vietnam and she is the first generation to be raised here.

“ M y family is all immigrant – I’m the first generation that was actually born here. They were really, really poor and we’ve done really well for ourselves so it’s my generations turn to give back,” Rist said.

Other than her studies, Rist likes to hoola hoop in her free time. She started about two years ago, she said.

“I was going through a really rough breakup and my best friend is actually a hoola hooper – she’s really into it – she didn’t have any friends that also hoola hooped and she had been trying to get one of us to pick it up and I needed something to distract me so I just started doing this because it helped me work through a lot of my frustrations,” Rist said.

She said that when you are hoola hooping – it is like meditation.

“You really don’t have time to think about anything else. If you do you’re probably going to hit yourself in the face so you have to stay very focused and in that way it’s kind of meditative,” Rist said. “It is also an awesome workout, you don’t realize all the calories you’re actually burning.”

Some advice for anyone who wants to start hoola hooping is to get the right hoop, Rist said.

“When you start out, you want to get the right size. The best size is to measure from the ground to your belly button and add about two inches and make sure it’s not too light to start off with,” Rist said. “The lighter ones are able to spin a lot faster so when you hit yourself it really hurts.”

Rist lived in Hawaii for one year which is now pushing her to get a group of hoola hoopers together.

“In Hawaii there’s this huge community of hoola hoopers. We all get together and hangout and show eachother tricks – it’s very much of a kinesthetic experience. You can’t just watch it, you have to work together and I would love to get something going like that here in St. Louis,” Rist said.

If anyone is interested in hoola hooping as a group, contact Lauren Rist at


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