Forums > Help! > Teaching Moves (or...The Longest Post Ever)

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arashi 2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx

hoooboy. yes this post is long but hopefully rich and interesting and thought provoking. if you don't care about teaching people then don't toture yourself and skip it. it's taken forever to get it down in words but, if just one person reads it all (lol)and says something helpful or that they were touched, it'll have been worth it. it's gonna take some setup, so nobody misunderstands anybody here... i'm not flaming on anybody, but i feel like this all needs to get talked about, at least for my own sanity. it's been running in my head for some weeks now, ever since coleman asked that last question in the jedi thread, and i am gnawing myself with the responsibilty of knowing the answer to his question. (now don't you dare think this thread is about the jedi thread in any way, or anyone involved in the jedi thread, or even about hop at all) it has been talked about before, but i don't really think like this. it's about egos and moves, and my dilemmas of teaching, and how it is best to learn new moves. that having been said...
first a story.
there's a cartoon called dragonball, and it is so awesome. it is about kung fu, "diligent practice," what we all do , and the philosophies therein. there was an episode recently aired that really struck a cord in me. bear with me here, this will go further

this kid is on a quest, he has to get stronger because this bad guy is coming to try to kill him, although he is pure in heart. he hears about this magic water that makes you strong. it is up in the clouds, at the top of a miles high column of stone. so he climbs it for days and days, and when he gets to the top he finds a guardian, a cat, who holds the water. the cat says "if you can manage to grab this water out of my hands, you can drink it and become a great strong warrior."
well he tries and tries, for a long time, but the cat is simply much too fast. he seems to know what the kid will do before he even does it. after a long while, weeks or months or years, who could say, the kid figures out how to get the bottle, and anticipate the CAT'S moves, i'll keep this short by just saying that much.
anyway as he figures it out, and grabs at the bottle, he drops it in the skirmish to get it out of the cats hands, and it falls over the side of the platform to the ground miles below. well, he is obviously pretty distraught. but the cat, to the kid's surprise, congratulates him anyway. he retorts, well, how will i get strong without the water? i'm doomed!
but the cat says....the water was only regular water. you climbed the pillar, and got strength. your tenacity and training, and hard work, and learning how to anticipate my moves, is what have made you a greater warrior. the water was only a ruse, a goal.

i say this, because to me, moves are like the water... they aren't really all that. if they are just tricks, without a solid basics training, then they are just tricks, and they are fun to do, but the movement inside of them is what matters. if you jump too far ahead in your moves, (which is sooo easy to do nowadays because there are more and more spinners, and they are starting to be able to teach) you will miss out on correcting the subtle mistakes of the more basic patterns like weaves, heck miss out on BASIC PATTERNS EVEN , and your personal expression will suffer. i personally learned moves by doing the few that i knew existed, for years, alongside sage and the rest in my family- until we did them for so long that they were like second nature, a reflex. and since then, i've never really been stumped on moves, in fact i know more than i can really even remember, because if they are reflex the moves will show you what the next move to know is, because all moves are related and teach you themselves... it's a beautiful, joyous, fulfilling unfolding process, discovering a move, leaving you hungry for more, like being in love, don't you think?
i think that it is where a lot of my own inspiration with chains comes from, from the joy of discovery. teachers can be a crutch, and when they are gone, you will still limp. a good teacher teaches one to not need a teacher. you can dance just as beautifully doing a three beat spider(weave) as with a 9 beat conical isolation fractal spider (yup ). but to the beginners, heck even intermediates, actually this is to everybody, myself included, i say work on the basics. if you are stumped, work on the basics. don't know how to do a move? it's simply because you haven't worked on the more basic moves that led up to it. that is all. building a pyramid with a skinny base makes a small pyramid. i say pyramid because that's what's up, poi are fractal in nature, and follow sacred geometry, like everything else in our universe.

but, see, that's still all just about teaching yourself moves. let's go further. this is where it gets touchy.

another dragonball inspired thought .
there is a line. a line between confidence, and arrogance. confidence is a good thing, it is natural when we are in our power, those times when we are most ourselves and the chatter in the head isn't controlling our very spirit. humility is it's bedfellow. but if we start identifying with the external too much, and lose some of the humility, we cross the line into arrogance.
now, don't get me wrong. it's one thing to be lighting up, and be having fun, like, "hot damn everybody! GET YOUR GAME ON and let's rock this friggin party!" or to figure out a cool move, throw up your arms, run in circles, and be like "goddamn!! I AM THIE SHIZIT YOOOO!"
but you cross that line when you rate yourself against others. everyone, myself included, has done it to some degree. it gets harder to avoid as you get further along your skill level, and usually this seems to center on what hard moves you can do. why is that? it seems like yet another trap of karma and the physical plane.

objectively understanding all this ego and fire society stuff is hard for me, because, god, how do i say this, i usually know more about chains than most people i run across, even tho i'm not the best by any means, so i am in a teaching position usually, and try to be a really humble person, so i can only observe people's actions from a certain perspective.(on top of that, i'm really shy and most people take that to mean i'm snobbish, until they talk to me and realize i'm nice. but maybe that changes how people act toward me) but basically i see people getting ego'd out a lot here in america, and then turn their colors pretty quickly. i am so much more excited, inspired, touched and wanting to learn and teach with someone that has fewer good, clean controlled movements, and wants to share and help people, than by someone who can do a five beat weave but can't control their planes and thinks they are better than everybody. usually those are the folks that go around acting like they know everything, but the problem is once they find out i know more, they treat me a certain way, cause in their minds i'm "better" and they either look up to me or get competitive. therefore the only time i see mr. ego's true colors is when i first meet them, and lotsa times see a lot of ego. but even if they are egos after they see me dance they want to be my buddy so they can learn moves.
so if i was not as good, they would still treat me the way they did when we first met, i suppose. is that how it is? talking about this stuff to people around the states, and in other threads here at hop, with pele and other pro folks, and beginners alike, gives me that impression; that there are more often than not out of control egos all over the place. now, that's okay, really, everybody has an ego, and we all have issues in different areas, and i don't judge harshly because i'm a complete NUT barely on the verge of sanity... but some people have competitive, violent ego PROBLEMS, and have a lot of work to do, you've met them, you know who i mean. and just like with rampant consumerism, the disease of babylon. they don't know that they do, or they wouldn't do it anymore. they just do, and it'll take time to get over it. so is it ethical to just broadly teach people things that they would learn anyway, given patience and discipline, but at the same time can use to fuel their egos thus making true spiritual growth even harder? like would you teach the world how to make a bomb with a tooth pick, if you could? or does the good of teaching far outweigh the spiritual suffering caused by the misuse of power? for instance, why don't monks just teach everybody in the world how to meditate and do levitation, fixing our energy crisis? just an example, tho grossly oversimplified, but there are reasons that hidden teachings are hidden.

the only thing that makes a person better or worse is their lack of or attention to safety. that's where some people just plain suck.

this thread hopefully will be about the ways we learn, and whether some can be more spiritually fulfilling than others. i wanna hear how someone that learned hard stuff right away, and can't discover moves, feels about this. does the hump get crossed anyway? or is it detrimental? am i wrong to think there is a better way to learn, or does it even out in the end? here's some reasons why i want to know...

i'm having some really cool discussions with people off board that choose not to post here. i know also that some of the most advanced, badass, super ninja action mofos in the world, really cool, spiritual people that probably would have great things to say, (things i wish they could say here, for the teaching benefits) don't post here either. somewhere along the way in their lives words and such have made communication with people sucky.... now i know that it is really hard to talk and get subtleties across with only typed words. especially if people are always joking and using reverse psychology as humor, like i do . but it can be pretty frustrating to deal with all the people stuff, and most people just avoid doing it and keep to their own practice.

on that note let me say really quickly that i hope nobody here is mad at me. i sort of am getting the feeling that i may have rubbed everybody the wrong way, but i'm not sure how. probably by putting my foot in my mouth, as usual, and joking and not being quite understood. so this thread is also about trying to bridge any personal gaps i may have inadvertently created, by telling you exactly where i'm coming from. or maybe i'm being a hypersensitive scorpio (gee imagine that).

anybody knows i have shared a lot of knowledge about stuff, especially here at hop, and also that i show anybody that i meet what they want to know. but i have really held back in the teaching moves aspect here at hop, and just try to help people along at the stages they are at, and i seems like others do the same. i'm not saying that to show off. honesty, i just feel a little guilty.

now remember, like i said, the basics are what's important. here is an example, one which explains why i have so much to chew on over this learning issue: to explain how to correctly do stuff like butterfly hyperloop buzzsaws, for example, with the style and terminology out there in the general public is darn near impossible, and to explain how to do them, and other second harmonic moves correctly , requires a lot of basics training in a totally different style that would be way too hard to do in just words. but i sure feel bad when somebody like coleman, who i wanna help, and who i'm sure would love to know, asks how to do it and i don't have a month to answer or, if i even should. i mean i could answer but not the right way. so then i consider the possibility of doing a whole big crazy involved video instruction thing, or a book with pictures and such.
but therein lies the rub, and the point of all this friggin typing* rubs fingers*-
is it ethically, spiritually, right to do all that? especially if i were going to involve money and that whole world in the process? i don't have a problem getting money for my hard work, especially since i don't really buy expensive things, so it's not really about that, but it does "raise the stakes". the healing and growth of all of our spirits are what matters to me, and are the effects i want my actions to have, so with that i need help deciding. really the moves aren't important. the meditation, the discipline of practice, the sharing life with your fellow humans, that's where it's at.
like in karate kid, mr. miagi shows him how to do kung fu by painting a fence. course little ralph macchio just wants to know how to kick butt... but if you spend your time with the basics, the kung fu unfolds like a newspaper, and you can go out and KICK SOME COBRA KAI A$$. lol
but here's the point of this thread... is it right, as a teacher, to teach moves? cause even
here at hop the elders seem to teach some basics, and then usually give hints, nudges, directions, or answers. and i think that's the best way.
you guys, there are people out there that are sooooo friggin amazing, and they don't do this teaching moves stuff, because of these selfsame reasons, so this issue goes beyond me, i think... a lot of people, even here i've read it, say to us, sage, or me, or other _intermediate_ people that i know, that we are advanced . hah! especially since somebody, a friend, taped sage goofing off and sent it into a contest (tee hee), out of benevolent reasons (man we're all poor, and sage sure has shared and used the heck out of that equipment). but we are not all that advanced really. we have a certain style, which does lots of crazy moves, and others have another style, but we are not even the most advanced in the world. IF YOU ONLY KNEW what was out there. this is a great big world. the problem is, there is a lack of teaching out there, because once you start teaching moves, and not technique, or dancing theory, and all the other stuff that goes hand in hand with this art form, people start thinking that they are what matters. and out of naivete they even think that they are some strange concept known as "best" and so most really good people don't teach that kind of stuff... the real stuff, if you are not teaching yourself, needs a flesh and blood teacher, who is wise, or you are just learning the ego karma and not the stillness. and that's a trap.

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

DjEclektc 1 post

Hey Im new to the area just got here from Sandiego-and AustinTx...neway Im lookin for people to spin with when I last spun I was workin on joint moves with others working our weaves inside eachother,so Id say Im pretty experienced.I use to hang with some peeps from Austin.All masters of the flame in my eyes,you learn more with others neway.First I saw of them was on a halloween fire show featuring Sage.I had such a blast and was actually sober,lol...neway...Im lookin to start a troop so if neones intrested hit me up
JoshN. weavesmiley

arashi 2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx

check pm's

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

colemanSILVER Member
big and good and broken
7,330 posts
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kingdom

there's a great essay on jay gilligan's site discussing the phenomena of 'instant jugglers' and the relation between the changing of the culture and the rise of the internet.

there are lots of bits that apply to this discussion i think.

i would quote the essay here but i guess its copyrighted and i don't know how mr g would feel about me stealing it and posting it randomly around the internet...

anyway, its in his blog on his website here and was posted on 12 march so you should be able to find it pretty easily.

well worth a read if you've read all of this thread smile

cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

pricklyleafSILVER Member
with added berries
1,365 posts
Location: Manchester, England (UK)

Thank;you so much!


i couldn't have read this at a better time. Just spinning today i realised that i was getting too 'learning moves' obsessed, i never seem to be able to stop myself! I also realised a lot of my planes were off and this post has given me the extra incentive to actually stop and just dance.

In the past I have even taken dance classes but i never seem to have actually managed to incorporate dance with poi. I'm going to try to start from now on.

In the end it is those who show expression, dance and share and are in touch with the soul of the poi (thatr sounds soooooo hippy!) that show the full expression of the art, the fact you can do technical fancy moves becomes unimportant.

In this way begginners should be able to express themselves even knowing the fewest of moves, thus poi can include anyone who is willing to try. There is so much to say in reply to this post but a lot has already be said so I'll just say thanks again!

Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

arashi 2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx

yay plane control bounce2 hehe
cole; can't wait til i have time to read that link (and reply to you)

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

colemanSILVER Member
big and good and broken
7,330 posts
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kingdom

no rush dude hug2

in the meantime, it seems superman may be 'the cat'...

Non-Https Image Link

that actually did make me think more seriously about the original analogy (the cat and the water) and i came to ponder whether the guardian cat's way of teaching is only really appropriate in a one-on-one environment?

after all, if there were six students that all jumped the cat at the start, they'd have the water straight away and would never become any stronger...

any thoughts?

cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

Analemma 384 posts
Location: West LA

Written by:

after all, if there were six students that all jumped the cat at the start, they'd have the water straight away and would never become any stronger...

I dont think so

a.) Imo the cat would avoid 6 students at the same time that way never facing a problem like that
b.) The cat could easily cope with 6 at the same time - imo 12 could be a problem wink



PS: Mr. Coleman - nice question, I always appreciate your posts beerchug

To learn - read. To know - write. To master - teach . . .

arashi 2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx

well... hmmm...
the story of my friend at a spiritual gathering in India comes to mind, thousands and thousands of people, a sea of people, all listening to this one guru speak, a lone man behind a building sized speaker stack, speaking out into the silence, of love or somesuch. A sea of people, and in my friend's mind there is a voice, the voice of the guru, and the voice is addressing him personally. is it possible to teach more than one person, or is it only that there is more than one person learning at the same time? the question i guess is... how psychic is the teacher? tongue or, is power point, or overhead projectors involved? (same thing)

again, why can't we all shoot balls of fire and levitate like the shaolin monks? it'd solve our energy crisis, there must be a darn good reason. somewhere along the road some monks learned a lesson with secular egos and power or something. i mean, everybody's dealt with egos and disrespectful newbies, like with spinners, and they really, in the end, just seem sad and harmless and a little quaint. what's the harm of them, why would monks choose to withold power from the masses? cause it can't be the quaint little newbie ego phenomenon. there must be some higher on the ladder explanation. it's a question of human nature i suppose.

you know, your question is the nail on the head of this thread, so keep it in an acid free bag in mint condition, and wait for the reprint if you want to read it.

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

ma'tinaBRONZE Member
611 posts
Location: somewhere..., Germany

Written by: arashi

... it's a beautiful, joyous, fulfilling unfolding process, discovering a move, leaving you hungry for more, like being in love, don't you think?
i think that it is where a lot of my own inspiration with chains comes from, from the joy of discovery.

respect arashi!!!

first of all for your probably definitely longest post ever and your description as you can see above, nice one!!! hug

by the way: long live dragonball

tina ubbangel

- Ho Sa -
kisses & peace & love to beautiful madges
*rever le temps le prendre*

rowanlee 99 posts
Location: west coast

* jumping up and down with excitement!*
what an amazing thread! Thanks to Coleman for redirecting our attention here, now...
love and light,

wherever you go, there you are

colemanSILVER Member
big and good and broken
7,330 posts
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kingdom

smile hug2

cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

filthy 23BRONZE Member
136 posts
Location: USA

iloveit too, soo good to come back to these places... when i saw the title of joshthejuggler's thread "why the hell are all these untalented fire dancers trying to teach ppl" I couldn't even read it right away until I was in a strong state of mind because it made me feel bad, old insecurities, blah.

It IS an unfolding process...

another thread regarding teaching that I lovelovelove!!!

[Old link]

I AM working.

_khan_SILVER Member
768 posts
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

yeah Coleman, thanks for (re)directing our attention to this thread. it really happened at an opportune time for me personally, rather synchronistic in fact. there were a couple of ideas that have come up that particularly resonated with me, one was the lust for new moves and the other was ego, as in measuring oneself against others and gauging who's "better."

now, being the newbie that i am, every move is a new move really. but i watch people spin at the gatherings i go to, i watch the videos people post on HoP and elsewhere and i see cool stuff and think -- i wanna do that!! and i get ahead of with the btb weave. yeah i can do it (but only reverse) but i never do it during a spin. and i think that the reason why is i don't fully understand it yet, even though i can technically do it. i don't understand what it's for, i don't understand it's properties, i don't understand how it's different from a regular weave (excepting the behind the back quality) and therefore, it hasn't made its way into my dance. but i didn't get that that was why until i read this thread. ever since getting the pattern i've been like "why don't i use it more? i should really use it more, etc., etc., blah blah." but i understand now that i got the technique before i was really ready for it.

the other theme that really resonated with me is that of ego. i've only recently come to understand what a problem ego is, what a problem my ego is and how it's really held me back in some ways. i'm learning to get over it and it's a struggle. one of the things that i learned from poi that got me to see beyond spinning fire was the feeling of egolessness that i get when i'm in the zone, when i'm not really thinking about anything -- not even what "move" to do next -- when the poi are just moving along their patterns and i'm following them. such a feeling of peace. but then i go to meets and i practice with my fire crew and i feel my competiveness surging up when i see someone do a new move that i also just got or haven't learned yet or that i'm struggling with. or that i just showed them the week before. (this doesn't happen with the "basics" e.g., the weave or butterfly, but only with more "advanced" patterns). or when i notice that so-and-so has added x number of new moves and i haven't learned any. and i judge myself harshly and feel like crap -- see ego isn't always about puffing oneself up or making oneself feel better, it goes the other way too. or i get jealous, like when i go out with a friend and some hot tattooed boy we both have our eyes on picks my friend instead of me. u-g-l-y that's ugly!

okay i kinda lost my point here...but I've resolved two things, one is to not focus so much on learning any new moves right now. i'm dedicating myself to understanding and perfecting what i already know before i go on. the other is to not engage in pissing contests or judge myself harshly when i see someone doing stuff i can't do (or doing a poor job of doing stuff that i can -- but there i go with judgment/ego again!!)

ironically, it was my desire to learn new patterns that helped me get here -- i saw a video once and it hit me! i didn't fully understand all the levels it hit me on at the time. nevertheless, i made a trip to vancouver to learn from the fellow who made the video, and i was like "i wanna learn flowers teach me flowers" and in my mission to learn flowers, i understood how important getting the basics down pat really is, moreso than with any other "move". i mean, they're all about timing and plane control. sure most patterns are about timing and plane control, but you can fake it with a weave...if the poi cross and follow and don't tangle the uninitiated are like "wow, cool." if your planes aren't straight and your timing's not perfect with flowers, they don't look like anything, you're just swinging your arms around. so yeah, straight planes, spot-on timing. that's where it's at for me...the btb stuff i don't have yet, the hyperloops...all of that can wait. for now wink

taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

rowanlee 99 posts
Location: west coast

Clear and rich insight, Blueboy.

It was a pleasure to spin with you.
hug til we meet again,

Be One wink

love ,

wherever you go, there you are

likwidSILVER Member
53 posts
Location: dallas, texas, USA

i look at it like this..
learning a new move is like a writer learning more words or a painter getting [and/or making] more colors. can they express themselves with what they have? yes. can they better express themselves with a wider range of [insert tool/medium/whatever used here]? i'd say so. maybe its that bit of 'consumerism' in me.. but i dont want to be satisfied with where i'm at. not to the point where im going mad over what im gonna learn next, but to where im constantly moving forward, progressing and growing in my knowledge of whatever it is that i'm doing, whether thats poi, writing, painting, or anything else. LIVING, even. just when you think you've reached the end, there's always something more. learning doesnt stop when you get out of high school or uni.

so with that being said... keep spinnin weavesmiley

arashi 2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx

back to the hungry ghost...
never stop needing more. just- need more depth for yourself, more understanding, more compassion, more technique, more expression. it's OK to be hungry, to work, to live, but how do you eat?

your mind will show you where it's at with spinning, all you have to do is pay attention.




~Brihadaranyaka (Upanishads IV. 4.5)

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

RicheeBRONZE Member
HOP librarian
1,841 posts
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Im trying to conquer the one-handed btb btf ttn hyperloop ;0) Glass

So nice thread smile,

love nad light,



bluecatgeek, level 1
5,300 posts
Location: everywhere

(some day richee will explain to us all why he writes 'love nad light', but it is not this day)


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

Bender_the_OffenderGOLD Member
still can't believe it's not butter
6,979 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia

my mind eats junk food,
why for then do i indulge,
in japanese poems!

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

matty390GOLD Member
71 posts
Location: wakefield yorks uk

i think this whole thread is amasing, it has helped me with my technique and my attitude towards poi.
from the beggining i felt that poi was a sorce of spiritual release for me, a way to relax and reflect on the day.
this thread has given it more meaning for me though, it has made me realise that i should never allow myself to fall into the competitive 'trap' that was talked about earlier, i have only been spinning a month and i think it would be easy for me to fall into a simlar state of mind that was also mentioned earlier in the thread
i have so far been teaching myself poi and have had little contact with other spinners and have been to no meetings so i am also afraid that when i finally do meet people i will be highly influenced and lose what style i have so far developedfrown
well enough of that!
i only wanted to congratulate you all on the best thread i have come across in my short time here and end up spilling my guts lolsign

KJ2356 37 posts
Location: Tasmania

must... keep... reading... *collapses while twirling a stick*

I cry when angels deserve to die.

15,414 posts
Location: United Kingdom

ubblol @ Bluecat.

VampyricAcidSILVER Member
1,286 posts
Location: My House, United Kingdom

since this fits i see no point in starting a new thread, sorry if im hijacking it.

how do i tell a kid to work harer without telling him to work harder? there is this kid who comes to our meets, and he is into poi, which is great, but, and i not trying to be mean, he just doesnt seem to get it, to him its about what the ends do, not what his hands are doing, i think its a confidence thing, and a lack of practice, but i dont know how to get him to practice on his own, cos he always wants to be learning, and if he cant do something he'll either go back to a simple weave (which is good cos he can do it really well) or try to advance, which isnt so good cos he is missing the basics.

we got him to buy a book and read it, and learn from that between meets, but i dont know if he is, and its really getting to me, cos we spend all this time trying to teach him new stuff and he doesnt seem to be putting the effort in himself, and you give him excercises to do, like the beginnigns of 3 beat weave, and he'll do them once or twice and wonder why he cant do 3 beat weaves, so please, any suggestions or ways i can improve his spinning would be greatly appreciated biggrin

Proudly Owned By The BMVC

Are You Sniffing My Mitten?

mtbeerGOLD Member
529 posts
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

You can't force teach someone... well, you can but that's evil. Every person I have ever taught has learned at a much different pace. Some pick it up very fast and are doing 5bts in a week, others are content with simple weaves and reels after months. The best thing you can do is try to foster inspiration by pointing out all their strong attributes and share their excitement with progress. The more students enjoy spinning, the faster they will progress with new moves or more polished basics.

Whenever things seem stagnant, show them an odd variation, transition or dance step to keep them thinking. The goal of poi isn't about a large repertoire of stock mechanical movement, it's about expanding your own personal style. The most beautiful spinning I have ever seen didn't involve anything more technical than a thread the needle.

"My skin is singed but it heals my heart and with glowing pride I'll wear my scars." -Davey Havok

BansheeCatBRONZE Member
1,247 posts
Location: lost, Canada

encouragement and patience, inspiration---

maybe along with a book, are there any videos that are available? Sometimes it translates and inspires better.

Are there kids his own age and fairly compatible skill level that he can buddy up with to practice?

Maybe have him work on something all together different than tricks/moves, like just regular spins, but hitting the beats of music, maybe have him just explore what he can do with the poi, on all levels, turning, behind the back etc, or challenge him to come up with a move completely on his own, something he makes up for himself and teaches to you.

Bottom line, he will only continue if he is enjoying it, so whatever level he is at, if he likes it that is good. Some people have to struggle a long time before they " get" anything. I take a long time for the lessons to sink in. It was almost a year of spinning before I would even let Nick watch me ! ( Meenik, Great teacher, extremely patient. )How he taught me without ever watching what I was doing is beyond me... ;-) ( he says he snuck peeks when I wasn't looking)

Have fun !

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

.Morph.SILVER Member
669 posts
Location: Lancashire, UK

Written by: Vampyricacid

he just doesnt seem to get it, to him its about what the ends do, not what his hands are doing

Many people see it as that initially, coming from a spectators perspective. You could see if he's up for trying the moves he knows without the poi in his hands.

Encouragement & patience, like Andrea said....tho maybe he needs to forget about poi for a while & juggle some balls...then come back to it.....

CheesemasterJak 9 posts
Location: gloucestershire, England

Morning all.

Wicked this is my first post!!

I can see that the basics need a' learning in order to progress.

and people will learn at their own pace.

But I have been conscripted to teach almost thirty 16 year olds at once!! (I'm 17, will they listen to me?)

how do I teach them all??? this is surely going to be a mighty challenge.

theyll all learn at different speeds and people will get behind, or worse people will get ahead and bring the rest down.

oh yeah. I'm teaching them from scratch! their only briefing is what poi could be (I.E. ballso on strings!) and have been told to bring tennis balls and socks into their first lesson!.
I'ts a tutor group and they decided to make poi their goal. but reading this thread just gave me a hugely different spin on what I thought I could achieve. they'll be move driven and i'll be technique and feel driven.

Do you reckon I should make them dance?

I need help! any suggestions? anyone?

I need a signature thingy.

TheBovrilMonkeySILVER Member
Liquid Cow
2,629 posts
Location: High Wycombe, England

Get them to teach each other.

As you're teaching them stuff, get anyone who picks it up really quickly to help those that are finding it difficult.
That should get them off your back a bit so you're not trying to teach everyone at once, the people who find it difficult get almost one to one tuition and those that pick it up quickly get to cement it in their minds better through showing someone else - everyone wins smile

I'd steer away from dancing for a while, at least until they can turn and move about with the poi - it'll be no fun trying to dance while having the poi bouncing off legs and heads wink

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

StoneGOLD Member
Stream Entrant
2,830 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia

bump smile

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

Christopher_harperSILVER Member
11 posts
Location: Usa

Thanks a lot for writing that. It made me really think about what this community and spinning really represent. I am glad i managed to read all of that (lol long post!).

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