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BRONZE Member since Jun 2001


Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Hi all. It's been a little quiet on the staff front for a while, but as there seems to be some more active staffers online I thought I would continue this long-running-saaaaga-of-a-staffer-whose-gone-to-the-dogs....

"""Here we go again in an exhaustive attempt to get some more common terms for staff moves to enable webbased sharinf of tricks.
There are three sections.

Staff Movements = What the staff does in the air regardless of how it is achieved).

Manipulation Movements = What your body and fingers etc do to make the staff behave a certain way.

Body Movements = Just what the body is doing, without referring to the staff at all.

These are split so that people who are doing certain moves in a different way with the same result get to share their ways instead of thinking they are the same. Which has been a major problem in the past.

----------Staff Movements----------------

* HELICOPTER = A horizontal spin in the same space, usually above the head.

* ROTOR = Any vertical spin that stays in one space. Same as HELICOPTER, but perpindicular to the ground.

* 1/2SPIN = Where the staff has only spun 180, this is regardless of any other motions or actions.

= As above, 1 spin is a complete rotation and the rest as they apply.

* FIGURE 8 = To do a 1/2SPIN on you left and right side with the path crossing directly in fron of you. A trail from the centre of the staff would make a sideways figure 8 wrapped around you.

* DOUBLE FIGURE 8 = An extension of the FIGURE 8, with two extra spins on each side.

* SIDEWAYS FIGURE 8 = A FIGURE 8 where the 1/2SPINS are in front and behind you, instead of on either side.

* POP = Simple flat throw into the air, horizontal without spinning unless otherwise stated.

* OVERHEAD POP = Flat throw from the front and caught behind or from behind and caught in front.

* CLOCKWISE = The spin of the staff in relation to the chest of the staffer

* ANTICLOCKWISE = Reverse of clockwise, or same direction but behind your back rather than in front.

----------Manipulation Movements----------

*PINWHEEL = When the staff spins in a large vertical circle made up of smaller circles. Most common pattern for a continous BTB move.

* FINGERSPIN = To roll the staff through your fingers one-by one, keeping the staff stationary and spinning in a ROTOR or HELICOPTER.

*** please note, FINGERSPINS do not need to travel along all five fingers, but the end action where the staff wraps under or over the hand to begin the motion again is seen as the end, not the beginning***

* PINKYSPIN = FINGERSPIN that begins with the pinky, and then to the ring finger, index finger and so on.

* THUMBSPIN = Same as PINKYSPIN, but starting form the thumb and then traveling along the pointing finger, index finger and so on.

* FORWARDS = To lead a movement or spin with the thumb on the leading part of the staff. As in slicing a sword down diagonally in front of you.

* BACKWARDS = Same as FORWARDS, but with the pinky on the leading part of the staff.

* FORWARDS FIGURE 8 = To lead with the thumb-half of the staff when doing a figure eight.

* Wrap = To roll the staff lengthwise around a body part.


* CATCH = To grasp the staff in one or both hands that were not holding it earlier ( )

* PINCH = To grip the staff between non-hand body parts, such as the shoulder and neck or the forearm and bicep. The staff continues to move or spin to be a pinch, otherwise it is a STALL.

* NECKPINCH = To grip the staff between the neck and back or neck and chest while keeping it moving.

* HANDWRAP = To release the staff while spinning it so that it rolls over or under your hand and then cathing it again. Often used during FINGERSPINS to keep the staff centred.

* STALL = Any move that stops the spin completely for at least one milliheartbeat.

* FOOTSTALL = Horizontal catch or movement with the staff stationary and horizontal on your foot for at least one milliheartbeat.

* BALANCE = Balancing the staff on one end (preferably without fire) on a bodypart for at least one milliheartbeat.

* TOOTHGRAB = Any STALL or move where the staff is held by the mouth/teeth/TONGUE!!! etc. People like myself who experiment with moves like this should prepare themselves for ridicule...

* TUCK = Like an underarm roll. To swing the staff under your armpit, either to catch it there or as part of another move.

* PALMSPIN = To spin the staff in a flat palm, without using the fingers.

* "insert body part here"SPIN = To spin the staff on your "IBPH" without using hands or arms.

-----------Body Movements------------------

* 180 = Half-rotation of entire body (usually using feet)

* PIROUETTE = Full-rotation of body

* 45,90,270 = Well, you get the idea, aye?

* LEFT-TWIST = swiveling at the waist 90 degrees to your left

* RIGHT-TWIST = swiveling at the waist 90 degrees to your right

* LEFT-TWIST[45][20][180!] etc = Swiveling the appropriate number of degrees, also includes RIGHT-TWISTS.

***Any move calling for 180 or more should put an "!" after it, coz its very hard to do!***


*BURNOFF = To spin off excess fuel by spinning the staff horizontally on its own axis, sometimes producing two fireballs.


Right, come on guys there must be lots more basic ones I've missed...

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Location: Sheffield

Total posts: 522
Posted:I hope so or i'm giving up on this dead horse now


GOLD Member since Nov 2001


still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:heh heh it's chaos in this thread, and i really like how everyone is patient and respects each other enough to concede that everyone is correct, which is pretty true considering how individual our approaches are to staffage.
you guys rock!

ps i think i know what you mean now, mr tempest! erm according to my own arcane and wholly silly notation it could be a:
vertical combination-
figure of eight (right hand side) to
btb hand transfer to
figure of eight (left hand side) to
front hand transder to
spinning chun li kick....
thanks for all yer help dudes, yer all heroes and keep em coming.

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always


SILVER Member since Apr 2006


Location: Huntington, New York, USA

Total posts: 39
Posted:Shotgun- an extra 180 behind the back while doing a sideways figure 8

reverse shotgun- doing the extra 180 in front (letting it hook on your thumb) while doing a sideways figure 8

around the world- doing front and back passes continously while doing a sideways figure 8

MY understanding of helecopter- high and low continously verticle passes behind the back.


SILVER Member since Apr 2006


Location: Huntington, New York, USA

Total posts: 39
Posted:not helecopter, windmill. its too late to think




Total posts: 614
Posted:did you or anyone else metion head spin
a 180 or more horizontal on the head with no hands spin?
what would a an underleg jumping throw back to the same hand be called,i call it bruce lee because of the stupid noise i make trying to do it

a double behind the back continuous pattern with each staff being thrown to the same hand each throw
sorry im rubbish at explaining tricks.




Total posts: 614
Posted:i have a five minute promo dvd that i made while in sydney last year,i would like to put it up but dont know of a good site to host it.any ideas?its five minutes long and dvd quality do i need to shrink it?




Total posts: 3
Posted:Charles, while i always maintain that flattery will get me flattened, thanks a lot for the guide to the names of moves, it's made everything much clearer. the muppet show reference seemed a bit out of place, but who says Kermit isn't a firespinner?


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