Once the preserve of bubble-gum blowing kids, the humble hula hoop is enjoying a second wind.

Like the girls who first picked one up in the Fifties, the hoop has cast aside its ringlets and milkshake image and is all grown up.

In the States, stressed-out wonder women are gyrating their worries and wobbles away in hoop classes, while on this side of the Atlantic, it's being used to combat obesity in schools.

The humble hoop has even been catapulted to performance-art status thanks to the likes of the Cirque Du Soleil troupe and the Burlesque revival.

It's true the hoop has enjoyed more comebacks than Frank Sinatra but this time it's heading for Brighton so enjoy it while it lasts.

Those looking for a new party trick could do worse than learn how to spin hoops in places you never thought possible at the Gardner Arts Centre's Hula Hoop workshop next month.

Led by Annette Gliwa, whose own party trick is spinning six hoops from various parts of her body, the three-day session will arm you with both the basics and some tricks.

In true Blue Peter-style, Annette will teach you how to make your own bespoke hoop seemingly there is a clear height-to-hoop ratio, which is why many people fall at the first hurdle.

Impressive tricks aside, hooping is also a good aerobic exercise which works every muscle group.

"It's a very good way to keep fit," says Annette. "It's really good for the figure and you don't even realise it. It's not like saying to yourself, Now I'm going to the gym to workout'. It's more like fun and the fitness part is just a nice side-effect."

While Annette and her gyrating hips have performed all over the world, she recently made her TV debut on Match Of The Day.

"I was entertaining the fans at Manchester City before the game and I got one of the security guards to have a go. Next thing, I was on the highlights of Match Of The Day!"

While it's unlikely you'll get to show your hula talents on TV, you will get the chance to demonstrate your new skills at the art centre's sequined showcase Feathers And Frolics on May 6.

Hula hoop workshop, Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton. May 3-5, 10am- 1pm. £60. Call 01273 685861 or visit www.gardnerarts.co.uk