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Dio
Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:Tried a search and couldn't quite find what I was looking for, so I'll discuss here.

Lately a couple of my students have reached the point where they're torn between trying to learn new techniques or to apply more style to the ones they already know in order to become better spinners.

The question came to mind, can someone learn style? Or is style something that comes out as you learn new tricks and apply your own personal movements and attitude to them? i.e. Is style something that is there waiting to come out in your art, or is it something you have to develop as you would a technique all its own?

This will sort of influence my approach to teaching, so I'd like to really discuss it first, but everyone's opinion counts!


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:Well, I think there's really 2 types of "styles" of spinning....original fluid style and contemporary stalling. But everyone brings their own personal dance style to it. I don't think it is something you can teach, it's something that you bring to it yourself.

When I first started learning, everyone I saw stringing did stalls, so I automatically started attempting to learn stalls. But as I got more into it, it didn't really flow for me, and I started to see more people doing fluid style and I liked it better. So I started focusing on that, and as I did, I found my own style of dancing influencing how I spun. And as I learned more tricks (and started making up some of my own) my "style" started to come out and develop more.

Every person I have ever seen spin has a unique look to it, and particularly when I knew the individual personally, I could see aspects of their personality and attitudes show through their spinning.


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:I second what pounce said, and only wish to add that people often choose to concetrate on variations of certain types of tricks for whatever reason (like the feel, became fascinated, no one lse does them much, etc...). In my case, it's wraps, back-bends, and dynamic chain length varations. I met a guy in Japan who had a huge bag of butterfly manuevers - he would do whole burns just based off doing the butterfly in a mind-boggling number of ways and it looked awesome.

Other possibilities involve bringing in previous skills, like dance (girls with ballet experience look really nice), martial arts (adds a look of power or aggresion that can be very interesting, especially for a guy), or gymnastics (but don't pull a Bender and sprout a third knee! - best wishes to Bender ).

As pounce said, each person developes their own style and you can see elements of them in it. Sometimes you see a different side of them in their spinning that you didn't know before, which I find interesting.

On top of this, there tends to be regional styles. People in Houston tend to look different from people in Austin when they are spinning, and Texans look different from spinners from the northwest, etc. The first time I realized this was visiting a spin jam in San Francisco after having learned in Texas for 1/2 a year. Things I considered basic moves or combinations were new to them, and I picked up a lot of "new" stuff they considered old hat too. To an extent that has changed due to the circle of light videos and the video section on HoP, but it is still definitely true to a large extent that people in different places spin very differently - moving to South Africa and my recent trip to Japan reaffirmed this for me.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Eera
old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay
Member Since: 29th May 2003
Total posts: 1107
Posted:You can be technically brilliant but not really fluid in transition and therefore not great to watch, or you can know a few moves and be able to put them together so fantastically that people better than you will always stop and watch. Style comes from the confidence that you can put into your moves, and the enjoyment you transmit to your audience from doing so.

There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:i think style is a case of a little from column A and a little from column B, it is something that can be learnt to a point. for me twirling is a form of self expression, to start with you learn the basics but then develop ur own way of moving. i think style is something that is definately influenced by the spinners around you, when i started my goal was to be as fast as possible and the styles of the ppl i have taught have developed along a similar path.

once i found contact staff it opened my eyes to a whole new world and although im still very new to contact i have a contact style, that is much more fluid than my speed twirling. personally i think that you are better of teaching new techniques and letting them develop their style as they play around with moves. the reason i say that is that it is much easier to become stagnent with twirling if you have no new ideas coming in for movements (well i found i was neway)

quote: You can be technically brilliant but not really fluid in transition and therefore not great to watch, or you can know a few moves and be able to put them together so fantastically that people better than you will always stop and watch. Style comes from the confidence that you can put into your moves, and the enjoyment you transmit to your audience from doing so i would have to disagree with that in that watching someone who is technically brilliant sparks new ideas and opens up whole new worlds of possibilities.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:to that last statement, I would have to say that there are two types of audiences - people who don't know anything about the art and fellow spinners. I do a different set of tricks, and I suppose a have a subtlely different style, depending on who the primary audience is.

Of course both enjoy a good dance as well.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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frostypaw
Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Member Since: 28th Jul 2003
Total posts: 643
Posted:I don't think it can be taught...

I'd say there's a level you need to reach before you can just twirl and not worry about exactly which move you're doing, whether you can turn etc and at that point the paths diverge

lessons can teach you new tricks, but once you can just twirl and feel it rather than turning out moves by rote you're able to be more freeform and start making up your own thing quite seperately

quote:Lately a couple of my students have reached the point where they're torn between trying to learn new techniques or to apply more style to the ones they already know in order to become better spinners.both! maybe a lesson now and then where you tell them to do nothing but try and make bits up? just try and spin and keep it flowing until their arms fall off hehe

it's that learning to play around and mix the moves together which will let them express their style, from what i can tell


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Same as Dostoevskiy
Same as Dostoevskiy

member
Location: vodka-country... and it's VERY...
Member Since: 22nd Aug 2003
Total posts: 54
Posted:You know, when i started spinning i didn't know any other spinners, and didn't know any tricks (i just saw somebody spin, when i was in spain for a trip) so i almost had to "invent" the tricks myself, and because of that different variations of one single trick gave me several moves. so as i beleive if you need you own unique style, you jjust have to keep "inventing" it yourself... ofcourse you can copy someones style, and it could be very interesting to make sets with different style combinations.

when it gets colder that -25, you don't really care

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:I'll agree that you can't learn style, because it's something innate to the person's being.

What you can do is focus on style and pay more attention to what your body and soul is trying to express, and through practice and exploration you can enhance your style.

Focusing on learning new moves is a double edged sword. New moves opens up further possibilities for your style. There's moves that you'll learn which match your style so well that you'll make them your own, and there's move you'll never learn because they don't fit your style. On the other hand getting too technical and always pushing for new technical moves seems to limit people's styles.

Personally I try to find the balance, I pick up ideas from people around me, but I'm trying not to be an intensely technical spinner but instead to combine technical with motion because the most fun I've ever had spinning has been dancing around beaches. Balance - it's the key to a successful and happy life


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Glåss
Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 8th Nov 2001
Total posts: 2523
Posted:that first line is bollocks Dom.

your style isn't something thats been sitting iside you since you were born waiting to come out, its constantly changing influenced by everthing you see and do (if you let it)

Its something which you can train yourself, its some thing which you can train others, and its something which you can be trained in.

just cos it comes from within doesn't mean you can't have a guide on this spiritual journey.

moves are like water!! (now thats a good thread hi arashi),
style and technique


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bluecat
bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:mmmmm. donuts.


(with style)




Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:Thanks Glass!
Maybe it didn't come out right, I was trying not to use too many words on a Monday morning when I've been up since 6am and been day dreaming of break beats and dancing Go Project Korea!

Your personality and physical self will always affect your style, be it how you talk to other people or dance.

I think


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soldari
soldari

busy-tofu!
Location: montreal: bagel capital
Member Since: 16th Jul 2003
Total posts: 133
Posted:Style eh?

I tend to agree with Glss, style is not innate. Whether it can be taught or not is another question all together.

The person to whom I am teaching poi right now use to play with nunchucks; you can guess he has a very neat, very martial style, completely different from mine.

So how does one acquire style probably just practice. Everyone has their own way of putting moves together. I found it easiest to feel my style while spinning to music I like. Somehow it seems music helps things flow.

Just like imagination can't really be taught, but can be inspired, I think the same is true for style. If you can expose your students to different styles, they might have more facility to develop a style they like. I burned a CD for my friends with all the cool videos I found on HoP and gave them away to those I'm teaching. My COL dvds are also circulating freely amongst the crowd so that they can see what's out there and learn from it

So in short: personal experience, practice and inspiration. But maybe mostly, let the poi guide them through this wonderful journey of movement...


there is no better way to say I love you than with the gift of a spatula!

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Kapura Mataaro
Kapura Mataaro

HoP resident longboarder.
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2004
Total posts: 195
Posted:like some of the other people were saying, it depends on the person, their enviroment, the situation, injuries, previous hobbies etc...eg: martial artists (like me) have either a REALLY smooth strong style or a really static style, its the way we are...Dancers...are all grace and i love watching girls who have/do dance and do fire..unreal...gymnasts just make me wonder if i'm in the matrix or some shyte..cos they are way too circus to be real...but still cool... the best example i can think of would be my own...i started off doing martial arts, getting into it and eventually getting hurt, having to stop and seeing people i knew get into fire staff and poi and thought why not, now i'm addicted...but i only knew 3 people that did fire so i was on my own...style is very fluid, its ever changing and has so many variables that no one actually SHOULD be able to say, "this person sucks, cos they look crap..." we are all different and more to the point, the live the lifestyle are into the scene and are enjoying it.... thats what counts...

"surely a longboarding fire spinner should have no trouble getting some action!"- NYC....

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general spin
member
Location: England
Member Since: 18th Jan 2004
Total posts: 52
Posted:potentially massive question this but for me : style usually comes out through whichever music im spinning to at the time, prodigy and marilyn tends towards aggressive martial arts, clean, tight and fast spinning whereas coldplay brings out the slow, wispy, easy move drifter in me.

Trying this vice versa is interesting especially going slow to prodigy and making it relevent, keeps me on me toes anyway weavesmiley


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Tao Star
Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 30th May 2003
Total posts: 1662
Posted:It's kind of like dancing.

You can teach someone the moves, and the movements they're making with their limbs will make the rest of their body move in a certain way depending on their proportions, what they're concentrating on etc.

You can teach someone better styles or show them the way you do it, but at the end of the day it's a thing they either have, or have to work out for themself in front of a mirror. Personally i do both.


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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Sister Eleven
Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2009
Total posts: 1277
Posted:I think there are a couple of different things that could be meant when one asks about style. One of these is an indefinable something that makes one's poi spinning a unique and beautiful snowflake or whatever. This clearly can't be taught.

But you can teach people how to do more versatile things with what they already know, teach a few tricks of showmanship, transitions (within their experience level) that are interesting and fun. It's not like everything but the core tricks has to be left to inspiration. It's like art education: you can't teach someone genius, but you can teach them more and subtler ways to play.


p|.q|r:|::s|.s|s:|:.s|q.|:p|s.|.p|s

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JayKitty
JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey
Member Since: 7th Nov 2004
Total posts: 534
Posted:Justed missed that 6 year hop, lol. Its all been said before. As we evolve as spinners we have our own quirks and styles. Its like a fingerprint. We are inspired by other spinners and we should be adding our own seasonings to our stlye. It becomes like a fingerprint. Its really neat in a dark video where you can't see the spinner but know who it is anyway, just from the style.

Don't mind me, just passing through.

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Sister Eleven
Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2009
Total posts: 1277
Posted:I am dislodged in time, you see. I actually made that reply tomorrow.

p|.q|r:|::s|.s|s:|:.s|q.|:p|s.|.p|s

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:laugh3 back in the old days I could determine lineages of teachers reflecting in their students appearance... that shattered now wink

Originally Posted By: S_Eyou can't teach someone genius, but you can teach them more and subtler ways to play.

Sister - that's been a deep and meaningful post right there hug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Fyrirrek
stranger

Member Since: 22nd Dec 2010
Total posts: 4
Posted:Learn everything you can. Then make something beautiful out of it. We are saying the same thing? Our signature may be recognized as a style. But style is there if you focus on it.

In a performance context. Or dance context. Style can be very necessary to the story/performance. ie.

Expressing gestural ideas to convey a story. Like spinning to Ballet would be different from spinning to Hardcore etc.

Whatever it is. Make it look magical:)


Yes they are mittens!

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