DutSILVER Member
380 posts
Location: Nashville, TN, USA

[Edit: just found a great discussion of this that wasn't on my search:
i trimmed this post down a bit. =) ]
now i'm finding myself mostly just trying to do new twists and try things in different directions without hitting myself (go tennis balls!)...

i've sarched for various "advanced move" threads and come up a metric assload of hits, but nothing that seemed to indicate an overall strategy. does anyone have any tips about really getting some deeper mastery of these things?

do you just spin regularly with new people and learn and teach? i've found a bunch of people in my area, even some of my friends(!), who spin and are interested in this stuff in general. =)

do you sink yourself into practicing like you were in Olympic training mode? what kind of schedule do you try to stick to?

what's worked for you?

(note: i'm beggining to suspect that trolling the search button on these boards for "new moves" will make my brain explode from trying to decipher the descriptions...)

also, one of my favorite things to see is how different people's styles are. Sage, Dangerboy, Nomad, this guy greg =), ..., all the "advanced" artists i've seen spin tend to have very distinct styles. what goes into influencing that for you guys?
how did it begin to develop?

thanks for indulging my ramblings... =)

[ 27 June 2002, 05:27: Message edited by: Dut ]

24 posts
Location: Portland, OR USA

Dut ~ In lovely sunny Portland I was indoors teaching myself for a few months before I ever met any one else to spin with.

I went to the HoPs "meet others" section, pulled off all names from my area and invited them to come play with me in the park. At the time there were around 25 OR people on HoP - around 10 came out. We all decided to get a list going, and now the list has grown to over 80 members.

I've since gone back to HoP listings to invite people to play and let them know that Portland has over 100 fire performers and 7 professional troupes, in addition fire safety regulations and permits are available at no cost when one wants to spin fire at a venue.

I'm in a tribe with 7 others and we've been performing gigs together since February. We meet every thursday for practice, it's were we learn the most from one another; and I still have my Sunday Poi in the Park (practice pois & toys only). We tend to have the same core group but a new person always seems to come and we've gotten gigs from it also.

Also, Poi in the Park is pretty well known in the Fire Conclave community and we've had people from other states stop by while they're in town. It's been great fun meeting so many new people.

Peruse HoP "meet others" list - it really changed my life (oh my, I sound like a commercial) hehehe.

From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations,man has had to manufacture things;his well-being depends on his success at production.The lowest human tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. Ayn Rand

406 posts
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

Pretty much what I would recommend, as well as some of the more seasoned swingers out there, is to first gain a mastery of the moves you do know, and all the transitions in and out of them. It doesn't really matter if all you know is the weave forward and reverse and the windmill, just so long as you can fluidly and precisely get from one into any of the others at any position, and in any direction. Basically, an unconcious mastery of your skills. Be able to spin without thinking at all, and know exactly where they poi can go at any time.

Once you are comfortable with the moves you can do, then you will slowly start to realize different things. You are definitely on the right path with experimentation. Try to figure out what works, and realize that most of the stuff you think that doesn't or won't work actually will if you practice it a lot or modify it slightly. I have found that trying to teach people how to do something has consistently taught me the most about poi. Whether by example, or by typing it out on these boards. Also, if you have someone who is near the same level as you, teaching them something sometimes sparks creativity in their heads and they think of something you haven't considered.

So far as what influences people's styles...well, you either lead or you follow. Usually if you spend a lot of time starting out spinning by yourself, you develop a style of your own because you aren't copying anyone else. You are making your own connections and figuring out how to do it "your" way. Where I live, I was one of the first people to start spinning glowsticks out at parties. I put in the time and figured out everything for myself for the first 2 years. Most (not all, Supa!) of the spinners in this area have been taught by me, so almost everyone here has a style similar to mine. You can tell when someone comes to a party here from out of town, because they have a different sequence of moves. And if you have a great working knowledge of what your moves look like, you can sometimes gain new ideas from watching others.

I don't really practice as much as I used to, but it hasn't really slowed me down from learning new things. Basically, the only times I practice lately have been Friday and Saturday nights. I go out and dance for a little while, and once my mind is into it, I will go off to a corner or stand in front of the mirror and try to work on whatever I have been thinking about. So I guess about 6-8 hours at a time, once or twice a week. And once I learn something new, I will practice going into and out of it with every other move I have. Sometimes that leads to new things as well. Well, hope that provided you with a little bit of insight. Happy Spinning!

[ 27 June 2002, 18:40: Message edited by: glowshow ]

FREE TIBET!!! (with the purchase of a 44 oz. drink)What do you want to be when you grow up?I want to be a kid again!I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.~~~J~~~

Shouden-CrDSILVER Member
Veteran Member
495 posts
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

My recommendation would be..

Once you have learned a decent collection of moves that you know, work on "transitions" between all of the moves. This will help you be able to move between any and all of your moves.

Next you need to decide how you want your "style" to be different from other people. Whether it's with really really complicated routines/moves, or whether it's footwork, or if it's how you move your body while your spinning. And start working toward that. If you don't want to be a spinner that stands still, I'd suggest walking around and spinning, and occassionally turn around to switch the direction and such. Alot of my style is turning & transitioning between moves...


Kinudin (Soul Fyre)veteran
1,325 posts
Location: San Diego, California, USA

In my opinion, you really start to learn and define your style when you start doing turns. My turns are reeely exagurated (i spelled that wrong. yeah I know).

As CrD said, once you learn a bunch of moves, you start to learn transitions between them. That, as well is style.


73 posts
Location: Bentley Alberta Canada

my style is called (drumroll please....) "get the hell out of the way of the incoming pain!!!!"

~A Soft Rubber Bodybuilding Smurf~

309 posts
Location: Tampa, Fl

i remember when i finally began to have a unique style of my own. a group of we poi novices were out at the beach still working on learning all of the moves on this site.

and it happened when: i JUMPED!

i did a forward jump and some sort of turn or something, and i just cant explain it, but it felt right, it felt fluid, and i kept on going with it. it was ingrained in my brainstem and because it felt somewhat fluid and potential to be even more so, i continued through the months. it took a loooooong time to develop into something i could look at on a video and not shake my head and cover my eyes because it looked so sloppy.

as far as transitions, im out on that one. i dont really do a whole lot of 'moves' anymore i dont think. im sure i do, but they just come and i dont think of them. this is a bit of a limitation for myself though. im sure if i worked fire dancing more like a science i could really catapult my style in a new direction. maybe in some future year.

but also when i was just beginning, on my breaks at work i would go outside and embrace my beautiful (pain in the ass comet tails) poi and just go off. i would hit myself so much - not really trying to do moves, just swinging them in all directions letting my arms go. i would come home from the beach looking blackened, i hit myself with fire so much. which helped me on an unconcious level to be more precise (thank the gods, the world soap supply is salvaged).

everyone has to figure out what is right for them. i recommend finding some music that when you listen to it, you feel your heart racing with some excitement, or parts of the song make the hair on your body stand up, or when you listen to it, you see with a different perception, whether it be brazilian tribal drumming, loreena mckennitt, metallica, robert miles.... and then tune your thinking brain out and let your body do what it wants, regardless of if you hit yourself or not


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