'Poi' is the Maori word for 'ball' on a cord. Poi is a form of juggling where the balls are swung around the body. The word 'Poi' is both plural and singular. (I have one Poi, he has two Poi).
From it's beginnings Poi had the purpose of enhancing dance and rhythm. It was soon realised that Poi swinging had several other benefits from wrist strength, flexability and improving co-ordination to name a few. Mastering simple Poi moves can quickly improve self-esteem and gain respect from others. Hence the reason it quickly becomes addictive. And like all performance arts you are only limited by your imagination.
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Spectacular swirling light shows for night or indoor spinning. Ideal as a replacement for Fire Poi when Fire is not allowed.
LED (light emitting diodes) provide a very robust and impact resitant light source. LED's also have a life of 50,000+ hours, are very efficient and available as 'ultra bright' making them ideal in the making of LED lighted Poi.
Onlookers are attracted as the floating trail of light chases behind the Poi while you dance.
LED Poi are available in a number of packages, colours and RGB types that can change and cycle through a rainbow of colours.
For extreme visual impact people usually use Fire. The sight of flames flying around someone as they dance is a real crowd pleaser.
The Fire Poi head encompases of a wick and an attachment for your chains. There are different materials that can be used as Wicks, however the most common is a KEVLAR (TM) blended wick. KEVLAR (TM) wicks can be reused many many times if you look after them. Fire Poi heads can be many styles, shapes and sizes like Cathedral , Monkey Fist and Snake to name a few.
Fire adds a lot of danger to the spinning if you are not prepared and follow all safety proceedures. You should make yourself familiar with the online fire training and safety guides.
There are many cultures around the world who have also developed a similar art form (eg. Bola). In most instances they evolved from swinging weapons.
The word 'Poi' is the name given to this art form by the Maori people of New Zealand. So when we talk about the history of Poi it will be the New Zealand history.
The Poi was used, many years ago, by the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand to increase their flexibility and strength in their hands and arms as well as improving coordination.
Wahine (female) dancers perform the Maori Poi, a dance performed with balls attached to flax strings, swung rhythmically.
The Poi dance was originally used by the Maori women for keeping their hands flexible for weaving and by the men for strength and coordination required during battle. Poi are also used as a training aid for other ancient weapons like the Mere or Patu (Short club).
Although Poi traditionally was made using natural fibres like Raupo, the more common traditional Maori Poi are made from soft fabrics.
Plastic bags, sponges and knitting wool are used in making of the Maori 'home made' Poi.
The main objective these days is to provide a user friendly experience with the Poi with a highly visable appearance. Shape can differ from round to egg shaped.
Poi handles take many forms from simple knots in the end of cords, looped handles with swivels, rings and even smaller balls which enable easier throwing and catching of the Poi in more advanced tricks.
A ball poi set for combining contact juggling style moves with your poi routines.
This design lets you create amazing airwraps, stalls, throws, floaters and pendulum routines for a stunning spinning experience - now contact style moves are easy to combine with poi spinning routines.
A large visual statment can be made by adding comet tails the Poi ball. The tails have the added effect of improving your plane control to prevent the tails tangling. It is handy to be able to remove the comet tails when learning some more difficult moves, and once the move is achieved then they can be added back on again.
Poi comet tails can be many lengths and shapes. They can even be streamers, or ribbons. Some are very bright fluorescent colors that glow under ultra violet (UV) light.
Instead of adding comet tails to the Poi ball you can enhance the visual impact of the cords with the Sock design.
Specific Poi socks have different stretch, shape and method for adding weights or may even be transparent enough to allow the use of LED Poi balls for added effect.
The Sock Poi at it's simplist form is just a pair of long knee high socks.
You can also add a comet tail that runs from the handle to the end of the Poi to create a Flag appearance. Poi Flags provide a huge visual statement.
They are different to normal 'flagging' Flags in that they have a swivel and handles so that continuous rotating moves can be achieved.
Poi Flags can be many sizes and shapes. They can even be decorated with streamers, or ribbons.
Most Poi moves can be done with Flags.
Similar to Sock Poi but with a more structured design and includes handles enabling more advanced moves to be achieved.
Cone Poi handles take many forms from looped handles with swivels, rings and even smaller balls which enable easier throwing and catching of the Cone Poi.
Poi also means;