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spiffspiff


member
Location: Boston, MA, USA

Total posts: 52
Posted:I'm just curious. How long does it take most people to learn Poi? How long before you could do 5 beat weave? How long before you could do behind the back stuff? How long before you started creating your own moves?

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dangerboy


dangerboy

original member
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Total posts: 205
Posted:Let's see. I first picked up poi in end of last July (5 and a half months ago). Initially there were a couple of weeks spent just spinning circles and cross-overs and hitting myself over and over and over and, well, you get the point. I got foreward 5 beat stuff about a month ago, and am getting the reverse now. That was about the same time as I got the behind the back stuff, though I can still only do in in one direction. I know I still have a long way to go, but it's getting more fluid and requires less thought all the time. As for making stuff up, that just sort of pops up from time to time, and has since the beginning.------------------Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath, fire my spirit

Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath, fire my spirit

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:I just started teaching myself about 10 days ago. I'd played around with poi casually a little bit before, but never made any disciplined effort at learning. And I've seen *a lot* of firedancing performances before, which I think has helped a little.It took me about 3 days to get the forward/back weaves, and another day to get the circular weave (I thought I had figured out the 5-beat weave, but I was wrong). I've picked up a pretty good repertoire of moves already, and have even figured out a few variations. At this point I am more concerned with learning good transitions between moves. That, and nailing a behind-the-back crossover: this is really hard for me, I'm always hitting myself, and I have to twist my hips so much that they ache after a practice session.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Jeff Duncan


member
Location: sidney, bc, canada

Total posts: 140
Posted:mmmmfor me it took me 6 weeks to learn up to the 5 beat weave2.5 months to get the reverse 5 beat weave along with tons of other stuffbut i practice 4 hours every day so thats why it was so quick.
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nomad
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

nomad

retired
Location: Paris, France

Total posts: 356
Posted:You can learn poi pretty quickly. I started spinning at Burning Man 2000 (end of august) and practised for about an hour every day until it got too cold and dark too early. I got the weave and all the butterfly stuff fast. It's weird, some moves i was just stuck on, like "thread the needle". So it's been about 5 months now and i am slowly starting to do some moves behind my back. I find it pretty hard.Anyway, good luck!

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Simos


enthusiast
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 382
Posted:i agree with Jeff; it all boils down to how much you practise and how quickly you discover the web-site
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i was practising quite hard in the beginning - got the 5-beat weave in the first month; as for other moves i still have difficulties with them - i guess it depends on the style of practice too - i am no longer practising new moves so much, i am more into using the old ones and becoming really fluent with them, trying things out with music etc IMHO when it comes to performing, putting it all together is perhaps even more important than being able to do the moves on their one...happy swinging,Simos


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Finn


member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 341
Posted:Simos you're so right. Linking moves together so that they flow is the key. I taught myself poi (with lot's of help from home of poi) and have found that while I can do all of the moves individually (I'm just replicating what I've seen on the web site) actually putting them together into something that resembles a flowing dance has been much harder. It's not that I haven't tried, it's more that I've been practicing in isolation and haven't had the benefit of receiving feedback, inspiration and stimulation from other fire dancers.Adam's right. The more fire dancing you've seen, the easier it is to pick up.I recently saw the art of poi video for the first time. While it was fantastic, I thought it would have been even better if there had been more footage of people actually doing poi. Not instructional stuff, but either a choreographed routine or a freestyle performance. It would provide people new to poi a better sense of what is possible.
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Purple Dragon


Purple Dragon

member
Location: Wellington

Total posts: 23
Posted:I agree though I am seeing the disadvantages of this getting out how much practice you put in, I'm quite slack and just practice when I fell like it and as long as I want to. As a result I've been doing fire poi for about 10 months I think and I can do most things including the five beat weave forwards (quite well) and backwards(looking like an idiot with no co-ordination) and am just getting the hang of some behind the back moves.

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spiffspiff


member
Location: Boston, MA, USA

Total posts: 52
Posted:Thanx for all your replies. I can do quite a few moves after starting 2 weeks ago, but I can't really flow from one move to the next. The only thing I've done that really looks impressive to people is linking the weave and corkscrew. I think the most important moves are the transitional moves from one trick to the next, few of which i know. I,ve got a good transition move from normal weave to behind the back , but I can't weave behind the back for more than a couple beats. Anybody know of any good transition moves that look cool?

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vyvyan


vyvyan

journeyman
Location: tell me when you find me

Total posts: 92
Posted:hmmm, methinks y'all analyse it too much. i could not begin to tell you how i join poi moves into a fluid dance form cos i actually dont really know. It's my muscle memory that does i t all, you know how your body remembers how to move while your mind just goes"duuuuuuuhhh" and enjoys the ride? well thats me and my poi. I use my brain for staff and fire brreathing, heh heh.

...Firebreathing? Magic is only part of it my friend, diet does the rest!

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Posted:Kerri,That's such an interesting point. It's been so hard for me to understand mentally exactly what it is I'm doing physically. I'm not sure why I'm particularly interested in being able to explain that. Maybe I just have a big mouth.
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I think it's more like when I was doing visual art, I would do these piece I would go deep into and knew all of what they were about. But later when I was done and people asked me what they were about, I had a really hard time explaining. It's been the same struggle with spinning, learning to remember. For me, it's a matter of connecting those levels of consciousness. I feel like I know myself better when I can explain what I do. Diana


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Posted:mmm ....I also like to freestyle with a blank or at least highly objective mindset...BUT.When attempting to learn new moves and extend your capacity I have to stress that Poiing like that (habitual) may actually be detrimental to your learning ability.Getting into the Habit as described nicely by Kerri will allow you to flow through the moves you know already, and make those moves even more fluid....you will look amazing at those moves you know. This is all well and good if you know all the moves that you are interested in, and are only interested in freestyling.-HOWEVER-Habitual poiing can make it really hard to get those variations on moves...Often you will be left thinking (WTF am I doing wrong? How come the Poi always comes round my back when I want it to come in front!? Why wont it come in front?!?!?) - well thats your muscle memory / autopilot / subconscious kickin in.Case in point - My girlfriend can Poi really well - very high on grace and fluidity (as long as only friends are watching - she gets funny with audiences) - but she is finding it hard to learn some of the more complex new moves. Why? cuz she isnt used to thinking about poiing! cuz shes always been a habitual swinger (mm that doesnt sound right ;).If you get into the habit of being able to think about what you (and the poi) are doing as you go through moves, and then polish moves by 'Going habitual' on em....then you will be better off.... Dont underestimate the power of analysis. and see Habitual twirling for what it is.In Martial Arts, The process we use is this;Get the Technique down.Get the Control down.Get the Power down.once you have all of this stuff working well...you will have a very effective move highly under control with great technique.As I reckon, this is what you want with your Poi techniques too.[Josh]PS remmeber to check your moves once they feel polished...sometimes you can develop bad habits...and its better to pick em up yourself, rather than have it pointed out to you.

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