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Forums > Beginner Poi Moves > It isnt what you do its HOW you do it!

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Axis


member
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 171
Posted:Technical tricks may be fun to learn and challange yourself, but if you perform for an audience what is important is how you present your tricks.What are your top tips for performing!?!Entrances ? Stage presence ? Rehearsal ?Creating an act ? combining poi with dance or theatre ? Music ? Working an audience ? Use of speeds, body shape and space etc.?How do present your skills most effectively?(most swingers that i know look down at the floor about 2 meters in front of them which looks awful)Keep eye contact with the crowd!Axis.

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Superman
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas

Total posts: 829
Posted:great topic!! i want to see this!Super'------------------"Only the warrior that hears the call will know when to leave, Where to go" -unknown"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams"- Willy Wonka

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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protozoa
BRONZE Member since Feb 2001

member
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

Total posts: 148
Posted:Hand, arm, shoulder and hip movement makes all the difference.Many people don't like to have poi firmly attached to their fingers or hands but I strongly prefer it, it allows me to move my hands more expressively without worrying about losing my wicks/streamers.Some moves you can do makes a world of difference depending on how you move; I like to get a 3-beat corkscrew going, and when they go over my head lean back and do a 180-degree turn with my body, so they do that circle not only above my head but above my face. I'm told this looks really good.
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The thread-the-needle, when you're using fire, looks really spectacular if you can get your bodily curves to work with it; move your hips to each side in with the rhythm of your beats (this works better for the women here) and ooh baby..sexy firey nice.
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Doing the "around the world"..where you get the weave going in a 270-degree rotation around your body -- don't just go to the right and left but go up and down as well; across the front to the right lean down, across the front back to the left lean up..makes you look like you have a wheel of fire going around you. You can also change the speed of your swing and extend your arms to make different size and speed arcs..faboo!!!
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I can't wait to read other peoples' suggestions...please share!


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Superman
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas

Total posts: 829
Posted:this sort of goes along with a post i put up about a month ago...I was asking the difference between performance sets, and competition sets.I know when i spin in front of people that have never really seen anything like it before, all i have to do is basic weaves and butterflies and such..Only my friends that know how to spin also will recognize the fact that i combo'd a reverse 5 beat weave into a tightwristed corkscrew, then leaned it into a windmill, then into a standard weave for about 2 beats before bumping it onto a forward butterfly...They identify the moves indivually, and the fact that i will transfer into another and recongnize the difficulty in that, while the people that dont have a clue, just recognize the cool ass circles and paths forming around me.So...does your performance for an audiance change compared for when you are spinning in front of judges that are looking for certain combinations and setting a difficulty factor??I also noticed that persons that do not have a clue, like it when you spin very fast, I guess they assume that takes more talent. I enjoy watching someone that keeps a very fluid movement going, even without alot of speedy spinning. Ill include some fast split-time butterflies just becuase it gets a rise out of some people, but then slow it down to a decent speed.Comments form anyone that spins for a living or performs/competes on a regular basis?Super'------------------"Only the warrior that hears the call will know when to leave, Where to go" -unknown"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams"- Willy Wonka

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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Superman
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas

Total posts: 829
Posted:oh yeah....and as far as eye contact...I use to look at the ground in front of me...but now that my confidence is up and i dont have to concentrate as much, i look at the people that are watching, or when i am really into the set, my head is swaying and turning ina ll directions with the paths of the poi, making it seem more like i am in a trance, or that i am dancing.One of my favorite things to do is when i am doing a butterfly, and i switch it to one hand...i will usually put one hand behind my back, and tap one foot while i bob my head from side to side with the music..it gets some chucklews and laughs almost everytime...or ill do it and look at my wrist like i am checking the time, or ill pretend to nod off for a few seconds..i like to get people laughing as well as oooing and aaahhhing.Super'P.s. great thread...i wish more people would add to it!!------------------"Only the warrior that hears the call will know when to leave, Where to go" -unknown"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams"- Willy Wonka

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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Mr Sock
GOLD Member since Apr 2001

member
Location: Dover, DE

Total posts: 94
Posted:I hear you with that butterfly move Super, i do pretty much the same thing and it always gets a reaction. I find that putting a hand behind the back in any one handed move you do not only forces you to concentrate on the hand doing the work, but also impresses the audience more. Oh, and i know it was in an earlier thread, but adding footwork is nice too.
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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted - Martin Luther King Jr.

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Axis


member
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 171
Posted:Great stuff!keep it coming!My Top 10 tips are:1 You get paid better and respected more if you spend time and money on a kick-ass costume.2 Open your set and finish on a killer move3 Keep your act short, even down to 1 - 2 minutes - less is more.4 Use the all the space you have to perform in , run accross the stage, to the front ,to the back , jump up and do stuff kneeling or lying down.5 mentally rehearse what you are going to do.Imagine seeing yourself from outside, performing with incredible energy and precision, notice how good you look and the reaction of the crowd around you. As you step into that future self notice how amazing it feels to be in that experience...NOW!Do this every day and your skills and confidence will increase manyfold.6 warm up energetically before performing your set with EUPHORIC ENERGY! 7 Use different speeds, as slow as you can, as fast as you can , 'pulse' the speed, Stop! Pause, acceralate slowly towards maximum velocity!etc.8 Audiences love body tricks such as behind the back or wraps.9 Get other people (i suggest non poi swingers) to look at your act and ask them If there was one thing i could change or do better what would it be? and What do i do well? 10 Enjoy yo'self!!Axis.

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Posted:thanks for that Axis - nice tips..one thing I'd add, always rememebr that you dont know it all, and just about every spinner has something to teach you in some way or another...(even if it's what not to do).Josh

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De_Frag


member
Location: Woodinville, WA, USA

Total posts: 26
Posted:Yeah, good stuff everyone! Trying to make a demo video of myself was really helpful for me in finding my weaknesses.The things I usually focus on (since I need as much improvement on it!):-Fluidity. Make sure not only the poi, but my body moves well; that each technique flows into the other.-Foot work. Kind of relates to fluidity. Don't just "shuffle-step"; but make each step firm and balanced. It takes quite a bit of conscious effort for me to do this well.-Don't look down!! I can't believe how many times I catch myself doing it. Swing with confidence, man!-Do something new. To most people, poi is a new thing in itself. But doing the same routine all the time can get boring. I actually don't have a routine--so every time I twirl I try something new.-ryan

rw

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Mr Sock
GOLD Member since Apr 2001

member
Location: Dover, DE

Total posts: 94
Posted:Yeah, making a video of yourself is a great idea. It not only shows you what moves you need to work on, but lets you see yourself from the audience's point of view.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted - Martin Luther King Jr.

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spin


member


Total posts: 10
Posted:Personally I have to agree with Ryan. If I were to have a rountine it would get pretty boring. Also I have found that pulling moves out of your a$$ is sometimes the most fun you can have. I love stepping back and going, How did I manage that?

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FireSpirit
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

FireSpirit

Classic 90's Fire Dancer... Poi, Staff, Doubles, and Breathing
Location: South Lake Tahoe

Total posts: 743
Posted:I have that Problem of not being there
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My face is in a trance look and i don't look at the croud much. I need to! However a lot of folks say its so coll to see someone get that deep into it that there is no expression. I have been thinking of how i could do more things to my face, and came up with just Making faces while spinning. Stiking out the toung. Wide open mouth, face silluets. but I still have problems doing them in shows because I don't want laphter i am seriose about what I do. For the most part I started off stiff and two planed. didn't do much of streaching outwards or cruoching down, jumping up. I stood in one spot and spun as fast as i could around my body. Over the years I learned from dancers (mostly Women) to be graceful, to streach out and to use my space. I can enfisize a move by gracefully tossing out an arm, Taking a giant step, or dropping to my knees. I use a mix of dance with marshial arts. SPEED VARIATION IS KEY! You can't always go fast (even though the croud loves it) You need to slow things down. I picture myself on a Rollercoster. Slow going up,up,up... then fast as hell comming down! Stalls are terific, stalls under the legs, stalls at your sides, opposit stalls at waist. opposits stalls under you legs, walking stalls, walking stalls under legs. Wraps, as we all know are croud pleasers too. Leg wraps, Body wraps, Arm wraps. Wraps seem to do better when going a bit fast, Stalls on the other hand need to go slow! I aggree with protzoa with the poi attached fremly to my hand. I put my loop up between my ring and middle fingers (palm is up) and fold the loop over the two fingers. So The Faster You Spin The Tighter It Gets On Your Fingers. I can alos spin open handed, with out worryAxis I love your Ten Tips, and agree with all of them! A good way to see yourself is of coarse doing your moves infront of a mirror. I have some one out in the croud filming my shows as well. you can really see what works and what dosn't when they are on fire
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(a slow shutter speed is great for filming)But for the Most Part Let your True Self Come Out When You Are Spinning! It Is Your Time, Express Yourself! People will still think your cool as hell if your dancing, prancing, and jumping around. Strut your stuff! Ski Christian


FIRE IS ALIVE!
IT LIVES AND BREATHS!
IT CONSUMES, AND DISTROYS!
BUT WE CONTROL IT,
AND DANCE WITH FIRE!!

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Axis


member
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 171
Posted:Aloha!It has come to my attention that some poi people think that putting together an act or routine would limit them in some way.However, i do not agree that having a routine or set sequence of moves is boring, far from it! Putting together an act can only feed and nourish your skills. It in no way limits your abilities or style, in fact it is one of the fastest ways to learn.Its great to be able to feel confident in presenting your stuff because you have something reliable that you can use in any situation. Once you have the sequence sorted you can then begin adding all the other important aspects such as face expression, entrances, costume etc. It frees your mind to explore all these other aspects rather than concentrating on what move your going to do next (which usually means pulling an ugly face or more shoegazing!).Having made your show you can then approach agents to get you work performing. There arent many things that are better than getting paid for what you love doing!Its a kick-ass buzz!I think that improvising moves as you go along can be fun and sometimes useful, and increasing your abilites by creating a show can only increase your skills and learning.Don't you agree!?!Axis.

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