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Posted:Greetings, I have to say I'm a bit annoyed. No, not annoyed, but dissappointed that so much posting is about tools and technique. I've tried in my own little way to address issues about poi and spinning as an art form. I can't say that each individual getting a 5-weave or a behind the back anything, in and of itself, makes for a better poi spinner or furthers the art form in any way. So, what can *you* do to contribute poi as an art form? Diana the Huntress

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tekknogurrl
member
Location: New Paltz, NY, USA
Member Since: 13th Feb 2001
Total posts: 90
Posted:i can't say i understand what you're saying really...is it that you don't want people asking advice on how to learn different techniques and moves? there's really nowhere else we can go to ask such things. i think it's great that we have this forum, and that the more experienced are willing to share their advice with us. as for poi as an art form, some of us aren't interested in that. we're just kids (though some of us may be 30 or 40) out to have fun, and trying not make something wholly pretentious out of it. i think learning new moves is equivalent to adding to the art of poi though- if someone only knew a basic butterfly, it wouldn't be very impressive or visually interesting.

~K~No matter what you do, one billion Chinese won't care.

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protozoa
member
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2001
Total posts: 148
Posted:Diana:Relax a little. We're going to discuss tools and technique no matter what; this really is the only place (and certainly the best well-known) to do it. And that's not a bad thing, it's a good thing. I'm extremely grateful for the technical discussions here; they've made me a better fire dancer.That said, I'm glad you repeatedly start these non-technical threads.What do I contribute? I've focused a lot lately on teaching basic techniques to other people. As people learn, they discover new things that more seasoned poiers may never have thought of, and then they teach them back to me, and to other newbies.I've found learning and teaching this art form to be extremely rewarding.-protie

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I think I might understand what you're are saying Diana. I think tekknogurl hit the nail on the head by saying some people just do this for fun, while others see something else in it. I will say that I believe tekkno's saying that concidering poi as an art is pretentious is wrong. Just because something is an art does not make it pretentious...the attitudes of the people doing it are what make it pretentious. I don't believe Di has that attitude.In the end I agree, there is so much more to poi than the techniques here, than the five beats and behind the backs. There comes a point where everyone sharing the same moves is no longer challenging, it turns into a competition of who can do what...which has happened on this board, which completely gets away from the fun, the love of it, turning it into "work". To further the art I think there must be a creation of new techiniques, new tools, new moves, new transitions, new attitudes. This is part of the essence of poi, taking things and making them your own..or just playing until they become an extension of your body, not necessarily taking them to an extreme. There is a spiritual side to poi, taking people to a trance like/meditative state, both those who watch and those who do. There is the physical part, of going until your muscles ache and you feel that sense of accomplishment, not necessarily from doing a difficult move but from getting from one butterfly to another smoothly. Poi is graceful and fluid. It is seductive and sexy. It is robust and energetic. These are the things that make it an art. Too much focus on the technical parts takes the focus away from the passion.Some of the best routines I have witnessed (on video's) had nothing to do with moves more complicated than the butterfly. The people moved with the poi as if they had been born with them. They had a passion that showed instead of the intense concentration of making certain that each move is technically just right. They lost themselves in the sheer joy and fun of it, thus drawing the crowd in and making them want to have fun. And they only had handmade, towel wicked poi, and were still able to forget the world.Something I personally aspire to.Art has no technical boundaries nor does it have the perfect tools...it is about attitude, individuality and what works for you.Now as for the business of poi...that's another story. The safety, the insurance, the responsibility, the professionalism..those are all prices we must pay to allow our art to flurrish.In the end, it is an art, whether you do it simply for fun or not. If you do not respect it as such is really not the issue, because others do including those that may watch you, and this is something you need to be certain of. You are accomplishing things others cannot phathom by doing what you may concider your easiest move. There is alot to be said for that.If I read more into your statement then I am sorry Diana, but this is what your words inspired in me.Regards to all.------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Simos
enthusiast
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 12th Dec 2000
Total posts: 382
Posted:hey all...well i won't pretend i know a lot about Poi as an art form because i don't - i agree with Pele on that sometimes we are a bit over-obsessed with new more complex moves; on the other hand i can see why this is happening - it's because we express ourselves through Poi is sooo many different ways, using fire or not , and swinging to soooo many different kinds of music - at the end of the day what is common to all of us are the moves themselves. I think it's really great when you share a move and so many different people start using it in so many different but equally beautiful ways - some will do it gracefully and more slowly with fire, some at phenomenal speeds with glowsticks to hard beats and the list goes on and on... in my opinion everyone who swings their poi is contributing to the Art of Poi, even very slightly...the Art of Poi is evolving through time and everyone contributes their bit in one way or another...and of course some people contribute more than others to the Art of Poi - in my case i am afraid that i cannot contribute much yet; at least i can make people interested in the Art of Poi when they see me spin...they come and ask and i can tell them a few things about it, let them have a go and if they are keen to learn i teach them; i hope this counts as a tiny contribution
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happy swinging,Simos


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adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:I certainly do feel that poi *can* be an art form, although I wouldn't dare say that what I am doing is, at least not yet.I make no secret of wanting to learn more moves. Partly because I am a beginner, and there's so much to learn. Partly because I want to work more variety into my routines, where I keep falling back on the same moves. Partly because I see others doing Move X and I think "damn, that looks cool!" And partly because, for me, poi is an athletic challenge--I am not competing against anyone else, only my own expectations, and my imagination outraces my ability. And part of it is showmanship (something new for me)--I don't so much want people to see me and think "he's really good" (well, maybe a little, I do have *some* ego) as "that's really neat to watch."(digression mode=on)Last night I had my first light-up in front of civilians. In fact, there were a number of people present who had never seen fire-twirling before (I was one of 7 or 8 who twirled). I got to talking with some of the spectators, and they were saying how the men had a very different style from the women, and I commented that each individual has a very different style--there's a troupe here in town that does synchronized twirling, each of the three women has a very different style and presence that shows through even when they are in lock-step.Performing in front of civilians was humbling. It was cold out, and I was inadequately warmed up. And I was nervous, I realized later, about my performance. I was making mistakes and being unimaginative. So it was doubly humbling when people complimented me on it. A couple fellow twirlers were, shall we say, sympathetically critical, which made me feel better.(digression mode=off)------------------Adam Rice :: www.fire-gear.com

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Posted:Here -fuckin- Here!I've been thinking the same thing for a while now Diana.<kiddy raver spinner>oh! oh! oh! I can do a 12 beat weave! I'm the coolest....</krs>And Technogirl, if you think its so pretentious to treat it as an artform, and to strive to do things differently, to one day actually contribute something - youre shooting yourself in the foot. Cuz all those moves you love doing 'just-for-fun' were originally innovations (invented by your so called pretentious types <subtext: love to hate em, hate to love em> ).However Diana, I think it is important to learn the foundations of spinning (what your arms can and cant do for eg) in order that you can progress from that point. Take Biology for example. Should I just throw it all out the window and just start mixing up chemicals in the hope that I hit on something new? No. I should learn as much as I can until I can recognise that something I have, is actually new, and pursue it, without wasting time exploring deadends...I think the best contribution to the artform that can be made is one that can be passed on to others.And because of this, I agree with some of the statements here. I think it is Vital that there is a place for upcoming spinners to learn the actions and get into the groove. I think those who are extremely good probly owe it to their teachers to pass on the information...from Teacher to Student. It is a fact of life that some ppl will give up, having never reached a level where they notice the other aspects that can be associated with Spinning, and thats just the way it is.In martial arts for example, for every 1000 whitebelts, probly only 10 will get to blackbelt. probly only 1 out of every ten will reach a level where they actually might start making a real contribution to the body of knowledge that is making up that Martial Art. However, unless you provide an interesting method of attracting those thousands of potential students, you wont get as many ppl making real contributions.There is also a possibility that they may grow from 'just-for-fun' spinners who know-5-beat-btb-but-not-much-else into ppl interested in what other things twirling has to offer. And from there, they may even begin to care about contributing...Soooo.....
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I'm contributing by getting as many ppl as I can interested in twirling, and trying to meet as many other twirlers as I can. I'm particularly interested in stylistics, and the encorporation of dance.I'm also very interested in the teaching of Twirling, and I'm working on methods of teaching transition and dance - online.(being a keen twirler, an Educational Web Developer, a Martial Arts Teacher and a long time Trance music lover - I think I'm particularly well suited to this role).and Diana, being approachable about learning that btb butterfly and promoting a friendly learning environment, while occasionally showing whats on offer if you pursue the deeper level of twirling (through the ocassional thread (like this one)), we will be doing the best we can to advance Twirling, as an artform.Josh


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Simos
enthusiast
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 12th Dec 2000
Total posts: 382
Posted:Adam, i know exactly how you feel - that is exactly how i felt after my first public performance...i came back to my room, and kept thinking about my performance over and over again, thinking how unimaginative i was and how many mistakes i made; needless to say that in my case too people kept complimenting me for days after and unfortunately there were no other swingers around...looking back at it now though i think it was one of the most useful experiences i had - there's no need to be tough on yourself...i am sure, despite feeling a bit nervous about it
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, you enjoyed yourself last night...basically it's a beautiful learning process, each time you learn a bit more; i remember the first time i performed...i didn't feel i knew enough moves so in my mind i kept going through all the moves i knew, making sure i run through all of them in my performance so that i didn't look repetitive...in my worries about the moves i forgot about the music at some points
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- it was this that i found to be the biggest weakness of my performance when i thought about it after some time; i must have looked very 'mechanical' at some points...in my next performances i tried to work on that and i think i've improved a lot...although i am still not so technically fluent so that i can do every move without thinking about it, i am now better at them moves and can express myself better when i swing - what if i don't use a single 5-beat weave in the performance or any btb moves? it doesn't matter...what does matter though is to be able to do the moves effortlessly; this is when you can truly let go and express yourself, not worrying about the moves...that's just what i think anyways, enjoy yourself and make the best out of the learning process...it's usually equally rewarding as the final result itself...
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hmm a bit off topic i know but i thought i'd write it anyway
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- thanx for another interesting thread Diana...thumbs up for the music preferences of Josh too
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...happy swinging,Simos


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nomad
nomad

retired
Location: Paris, France
Member Since: 15th Jan 2001
Total posts: 356
Posted:Another fired up (ha ha!) topic started by Diana. It seems like most people here agree on the duality of Poi. It is a beautiful and graceous art form and we all know that we don't HAVE to a 12 beat btb chase to make a good performance. However, I often come to a point where i feel like i'm repeating myself and need some new material to work on. When I practise, i usually divide my time in two. During the technical part, i try to perfect moves i already know and i work on new ones (this is no fun, it's the "work" part!). Then i switch to "freestyle" mode and i just dance along with the music. That's usually when i come up with new transitions and more creative stuff.Cheers everyone!

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Posted:Thanks all for contributing to the dialog. I suppose I should explain more of what I'm talking about. I read over my post and it is a bit terse. This came from a busy weekend after a busy week after another busy week. My frustrations included a lot of bad production communications, rescheduled rehearsals and a cancelled show. <long rant>There is a core of my frustrations that informed that post. I had a gig on Saturday. It was a benefit, throw-down style, but the acts were set. Someone who I did not teach, but who I lit up for the first time came to the show. He was hanging around the dressing room, saying he'd like to spin to his friend who was on the bill. The producer of the show made it clear to all of us that only those on the bill were performing and if anyone wanted to play they were to talk to him about it. A lot of kids on my scene expect that if there's any fire at a party it's an open invite. This person, from what I could tell, asked the producer to perform. The producer apparantly said no. He proceeded to come back to the green room and bitch about the producer to other performers on the bill who know and love him very well. I was also at a rehearsal where someone picked up a move from me across the room and didn't bother to introduce himself to me though he had plenty of oppportunity. There's a big contingent in my town, as well, of shoot first ask questions later. In other words, take other people's tricks and rely on that person to tell them if that's a problem. I'm in another camp, as it were, that says ask first. To me, copping someone's trick from across the room is highly impersonal. I strive to create and honor personal rapport between people. How you treat people comes first. Before improving your skill, before any sort of self-aggrandisement. If you approach the person and say that move you did really inspired me, may I learn it from you, you not only get a chance at picking up a new move, but you get the opportunity to forge a human connection. If you just take the move, that's all you get. I also talked with someone who I'd met some months ago but didn't work with because he's a very young fire kid (just coming on a year now). No, not just because he's young. Because he has this energy about devouring everything he comes in contact with. Every tool, every trick, every one. He had seen me eat fire in our previous interaction and credits me as inspiring him to go off and **learn to eat fire by himself**. AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never asked for that kind of responsibility. This is so hard for me to take. I'm seriously thinking about not performing or seriously curtailing my performing, something I really love to do, because of this. I feel so disempowered by these experiences. </long rant>In the end, I've got another situation where I declined to help and give guidance, and they fucked up. I've got a situation where I tried to help someone and give them guidance and they still fucked up. I've got an extreme frustration with these people's selfishness about fire that I'm having a hard time justifying going on as I have been. For the first time since starting fire, I'm actually thinking I may give it up for other than health reasons. It's not that I don't want folx to talk about whatever they want to talk about. I'd expect more discussion about moves under New Moves, but that's a minor point. I'm not saying don't learn the basics or whatever you want to learn for that matter. IMHO, though it's not just doing the basics or even the fancy moves. It's about "now what are you going to do with that skill?" Don't just show me your bad-ass skill, tell me something with it. My point is, well, I think Pele hit it and explained it better than I could. Thanks to Josh, too. The martial arts analogy works really well for me. I'm not here to be a drag on anyone's fun. I just want to introduce other considerations. Thanks all,Diana

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:"Do whatever you can to take care of yourself in the here and now." These are the words you gave to me when I needed them.I think that to continue to perform in a frustrated state while worrying someone in the audience might be stealing your stuff is an open invitation to danger. It can cause a shift of focus that is unwanted. I am driven to say "No Diana, don't give up." under the premise that you add so much to the art, you have such a regard and concideration for your audience, you have such a love for performing and fire, you have such an understanding of how much farther this art can take us, you are evidence of someone who is worthy of respect in an art where many try to demand it, the loss would be felt tremendously, at the very least by me, clean across the continent. I can't imagine what the impact would be in your own community.I am reminded of the saying that "Imitation is the finest form of flattery." While there is, or should be an etiquette attached to this there seems to be a competition of the new fire kids of a "me first and me better nature" that forgoes any polite protocol. So while they probably think it's flattering, it is also very toe squishing.I don't know what your nature is about being vocal about these situations but I would suggest you talk to each individual, informing them of the beef you have. So you might get a reputation of not being so "complacent" but that isn't a bad thing. The word will spread that Diana doesn't want her stuff taken, she doesn't want credit where information wasn't given freely and right now she isn't into teaching.Another option is to write out your shows and copyright them, you could then always threaten with litigation.There is this thing in the eyes of the law concidered "Intellectual Material", items which are done or improved, created by you. The butterfly and such do not fall under this category. Things *you* created though, and someone else takes without your permission, fall under this. They are committing copyright infringement. Just to let you know. I'd have no problems threatening litigation if someone were to try to cut into our stuff, tho in the Ren community, it would be obvious. We have a distinct advantage there.In the end Diana, you perform for the love and for yourself as much as for anyone else. Do not lose touch with that. If you feel you must back away from the scene to gain a better perspective, then do so, but continue to grow, and develope and perform for you...because in the end you are the important one here, and the others, as bad as this may sound, don't matter.Best of luck to you. Please don't allow this to bring down your spirit, which is such a lovely thing.Take care and hope this helps.------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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tekknogurrl
member
Location: New Paltz, NY, USA
Member Since: 13th Feb 2001
Total posts: 90
Posted:Josh, i didn't mean that considering poi an art form was pretentious- for some, it is their means of supporting themselves. and i congratulate those few who have become so absorbed in it and are so talented. but for others of us (like me), it is only a fun pastime. i meant that it would be silly and pretentious of someone like myself to start talking about poi as an art form, because i really haven't the slightest idea. i think it's unfair that you instantly categorize me as a "kiddy raver". i don't consider myself a raver- i've only been to one rave- i don't really fit into the stereotype you're trying to put me into, and i don't like to be labelled. my name only refers to my love of techno music. i don't have the time to sit around trying to think of what poi means as a way of life, or how i can contribute to the almighty world of fire spinning. i don't think i could if i tried. i'd rather just spin and make cool patterns with the poi. it's just my more laidback way of dealing with it, and i guess that's not what you're into, and that's fine. sorry if i offended you in any way shape or form...

~K~No matter what you do, one billion Chinese won't care.

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ykaterina
member
Location: east randolph, VT USA
Member Since: 16th Jan 2001
Total posts: 107
Posted:*all child-like*i contribute my farm...does that count?
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Posted:heh Sorry Tekknogurrl!I can see how you thought I was talking about you specifically in my previous post, but actually I didnt have you in mind at all - there are kids at parties round here that are like I say, but I dont know you (although your pseudo is very suggestive!)
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I misunderstood what you said about being pretentious; I thought you meant Artsy-Fartsy Poi'ers are pretentious!
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So dont worry - I wasnt knocking you - I just misunderstood what you said.I'm glad you cleared up my mixed upness, instead of just sitting back and writing me off as another poi snob
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I hope there's no hard feelings (there's none on this end).Josh


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Posted:Pele, Thank you for your kind support. I have to say it's not so much the intellectual property thing that gets me. Though that's a particular annoyance. So is having someone I influenced behaving badly not dangerously. Having someone teach themselves to eat fire because I inspired them is much more scary to me. I feel really caught in the middle. I know what it feels like to want to do fire and not finding anyone to initiate me. I waited for *years* from when I knew fire I wanted to do fire to when I found my first teacher. Even then learning new skills, especially transfers and eating, was another initiation. I want to help. I don't want to be part of a fire community that shuts everyone out. But now I'm really sketched out about taking a hands on interest in someone's work. I've come to understand the karma, if you will, that comes down when you take someone under your wing. It's very serious business to me. I'll share a story, not mine, with you all that explains what I'm talking about. I have a friend who's a very amazing fire performer. There's noone who does better fire transfer than her. She's had serious fire breather training by old circus masters. She blows huge flames. She met someone who really wanted to learn to breathe fire. He'd already been spinning fire and he was traveling through town. She sussed him out in terms of being a serious student. He was supposed to leave the next day, but he was willing to stay for a week while she taught him how to breath fire. Some time later she met up with this guy at a gig. He had developed an act with his girlfriend. The girlfriend would wear a "bra" with flaming jets coming off them and he would blow fire off her "tits". When my friend addressed her about how dangerous that was, she seemed oblivious. Well, during this gig, some drunk and drugged out kid wanted to play. Everyone was like this kid's too fucked up, keep him away from the tools and fuels. Everyone did their best to stop him. But after the set had closed, he got up with a can of white gas and blew fire off her tits. Lit his face on fire and burned her stomach. And my friend feels she's responsible for that because she taught the guy who taught the drunk and doped up guy to breathe fire. The ripples of how you effect people when you do fire or teach fire are intense. Now, I'm having to deal with these potentials simply from someone seeing my work. I'm having a really hard time with that right now. I'm working on it. I'm taking care. Yes, and I should totally talk with the folx in question to clear the air. I think I just need a bit of time to absorb this. Thanks for the very sound advice. Diana

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Posted:PS: Yes, ykaterina, that counts!

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Posted:I dunno Diana,I think I see what you are getting at, but I have a different perspective.At some stage you have to leave ppl to take responsibility for their own actions. Simple as that. where that line is; is up to you as the teacher to decide.Personally, I wouldnt teach someone Fire twirling if I didnt think they were a responsible person. And I trust my student to respect the fire too. And all that comes from instilling in the student, proper practices from the beginning. For example, I have a family friend whose child is like a nephew to me. I've known him for a long time, and yet he is at an age where even the best kids sometimes muck up (12). He saw me twirling at a family gathering, and really wants to learn. So I made him some Poi and gave him this website's addy, and said, when you can do all the moves on this site, we will talk about fire. It can be fun, but its quite dangerous. I think he respects that.As for fire breathing, I guess thats even more dangerous, and so has to be treated with even more respect.But if some idiot hurts themselves by trying to learn firetwirling on their own and not under any experienced guidence, after Ive given the watching ppl the 'fire is dangerous' speil. Well enough's enough. I'm not taking responsibility for that.The girl who got burned should have known better. The guy that did it should have known better. Drunk / Drugedness is no excuse in the eyes of the law, why should it be in our eyes?As analogy;Should we not teach ppl to drive a car because there is a risk that they might get drunk and hurt someone with the skills we taught them?Should we not teach ppl martial arts, as they may just use it to beat the crap out of someone? (although the vast majority of ppl become less violent as a result of training?)One thing I've found in the course of my life, is that ppl who behave irresponsibly generally behave irresponsibly. Ie; if they are the kinda person who would blow fire while drunk as hell off someone's tits, they probly would have hurt themselves doing something stoopid anyhow.As long as your friend did all she could be reasonably expected to do to instill respect in her student, and to stop that idiot pissed guy and girl from trying the trick, then I dont personally see why she holds herself responsible for that accident. Also. how many ppl would teach fire tricks with less of an emphasis on safety than you? If ppl want to learn they will eventually do it, and the teacher they may find may not be as responsible as you are.Anyhow - I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just adding my own perspective, something I have to deal with everytime we get a new student through the door at the Dojo. The potential that this person is really irresponsible and that we are giving them weapons with which to exercise that irresponsibility more strongly. However to prejudge that person not worthy because of the small risk that they may turn out to be bad, is not equality in my opinion, and is denying that person to realise their own potential as a student, and perhaps as a teacher.I like to think of strangers as potential friends, til proven guilty.
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Josh.


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Simos
enthusiast
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 12th Dec 2000
Total posts: 382
Posted:hey Diana - i think i agree on most points with JOsh on this one - if you do your best and chose to teach someone who, to your best knowledge, is a responsible and mature individual and teach about the necessary safety aspects then i think that it no longer your responsibility if they go and teach someone else who might then do something stupid or even teach someone else and so on...following the same logic the Maori natives should be held responsible for the accident that you have described...so i think if you do your best and as long as you have the necessary knowledge which you pass on to your student then i think there is no need to feel responsible for something that might go wrong, especially if it involves a third person...i can totally relate to Josh's analogy with martial arts (i love martial arts!!!) since you can most of the time tell who is being serious about it and who just wants to go around picking up fights...so in many martial arts there is a long preparatory period before you are actually shown the most advanced moves; it works as a trial period and indeed a lot of people drop out during that period... you can do the same if you want; keep them waiting for some time before you introduce them to fire - you can still teach them moves with non-fire poi and maybe tell them that you cannot teach them fire breathing right away - then you'll get a better idea of who you are teaching and explain to them that they shouldn't try and teach others as soon as they learn it...emmm that's all i guess - i hope you feel better about the whole thing and certainly don't stop doing fire because of this...happy swinging,Simos

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Jesse
member
Location: Pittsburgh, PA/ USA
Member Since: 3rd Jan 2001
Total posts: 118
Posted:Diana -I have to say that I agree with Josh on this one. There are times when I have found your commentary to be abbrasive and even harsh. There have been a few times when I didn't agree with what you had to say, however I will always **respect** you as a performer and an artist. Although we have never met there are many things that I must still give you credit for having taught me. I think that on a whole the lack of your presence within the performance community would represent more of a loss than a benefit. Sure there are people out there who just want to play with fire because they think it will get them more attention or money. I realize how **aware** you are that their immitation of you may cause harm, and that it may be causing you quite a bit of guilt but I think you may be over looking some of the positive things that you bring through your performances. There **are** people out there who are looking for a good example to follow, and without you, what example will the eager follow? I have found that if someone wants to learn something badly enough, they will "learn" whether they should or not. By providing a good example, you provide a goal for other performers to strive towards, and ideal that the owners of venues can look at and say "they're not all bad..." Yes, there are a lot of irresponsible people out there, but there are also people who genuinely wish to be responsible, and are trying to, but lack a lot of the experience necessary to forsee all the problems that they may come up against. (Take myself for example. Since I found this board, and you and Pele to use as examples, I have greatly reduced the number of safety hazards around me. Those safety hazards weren't there because I was too irresponsible to do anything about them. They were there because I hadn't realized that they were hazards!)I understand perfectly the need from time to time to step back and re-analyze our reasons and motivations for participation in any art - but please remember to evaluate with equal gravity the positives that you bring to the fire arts instead of just the negatives! Sincerely,Jesse

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protozoa
member
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2001
Total posts: 148
Posted:Diana said:IMHO, though it's not just doing the basics or even the fancy moves. It's about "now what are you going to do with that skill?" Don't just show me your bad-ass skill, tell me something with it. I say this: it's extremely difficult to do this in a text-based forum. Give us a break! Poiers on this site come from all over the world and most of us will never meet or even see each other perform; just because I don't spill my guts here on my philosophy of life and the meaning of the universe doesn't mean I'm a soulless slave to badass one-upsmanship. Try and give us the benefit of the doubt, Lady Huntress.-protie

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tekknogurrl
member
Location: New Paltz, NY, USA
Member Since: 13th Feb 2001
Total posts: 90
Posted:thanks for understanding, josh! and by the way, i never thought of you as a poi snob
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i was just feeling a bit attacked...no hard feelings!


~K~No matter what you do, one billion Chinese won't care.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Alright(*stating it with an absolute attitude of nuetrality and love*). I used to be a second grade teacher to kids with learning disabilities. I am a parent of a very impressionable 5 (almost 6) year old boy. In my eyes it is ludicrous that I am in charge of anyone's growth and well being when I feel as if I haven't a grasp on my own, but here I am, accepting that. Yes Diana, it is frightful to realise the influence we have on others, whether we mean to or not but there is a point where our influence ends and their inherent nature begins. I have to remind myself as I am putting my son in time out that I am one of a hundred influences my son encounters every single day, the same is for *any* teacher and pupil. The thing with teaching fire and such is that the pupils are "adults". We think that they have been instilled with common courtesies, so when we speak of safety and professional morals and protocals, we are supposedly building upon morals they arleady posses. Sometimes they were never brought up with those courtesies and some have polished ways of presenting them to obtain what they want and then they will do their own thing anyway. When teaching an adult you are not so much of a all around educator but more of a stepping stone and sometimes a mentor, depending on with what respect they regard you. By the time they come to us to learn, their ways of respecting (or not) others has been pretty well established in them. Sometimes these things can not be seen until it is too late. It is a sad statement on society today but there are so many people who use others to get what they want. You have to look at it this way. Unfortunately sometimes lessons must be learned the hard way, through injury or mishap, and no matter how we try to keep them safe they must experience this on their own. Rudeness or dangerous performances reflects on them as adults, not on you. You don't teach someone to be rude. You don't teach someone to blow fire off of breasts, you teach the basics and hope common sense kicks in. No venue or performer that I know would associate that personal stupidity with the person who trained them in the basics and then blame the trainer. It is hard, personally to understand, as we would never be that way, it is not for us to understand but to grow from.Also, you have shown that someone will be who they are even with the best teacher. Now allow me to tell you, it's in the person and I can prove it. I was never taught fire or spining. I had no formal teacher. I picked up fire eating/trailing/breathing basics from those I respect at faire and the rest was desire and common sense. Spinning I happened across quite accidentally (literally tennis balls on fire) and I never knew it had a name until I came across this site. I took the responsibility upon myself to research and educate myself properly before trying anything complex. I played with moves, toyed with ideas and then came to this site. For the most part, this site the obvious exception, I am still learning on my own. Having/being a responsible teacher isn't necessarily the answer, not if the pupil doesn't want to put in the time as I did.I also would like to point out (and please no one on this board take this personally),spinning and fire is a relative fad to many, not the passion it is to us. I think alot of kids see it as a right here and now way to impress people, pick up a date and maybe make some quick money. A few months from now they will see how much work it is to maintain the impression, they will find some easier way to make a buck and the next fad will be borne. I think that those who try to push into shows they weren't invited to, or steal moves from others because they haven't the innovation to create their own are destined for the fad lot. Eventually, if they don't shift with the fad, they will be forced to when there is no one left to pirate from and there are no venues who welcome them. It is a question of longevity versus instant gratification. When the fad shifts you will be left as the professional one with the stupifying performances that promoters will keep coming back to time and again. Try to think of it that way.To everyone else, I would like to say that I think the communication on this board is wonderful but that alot of your tones towards Diana seem to be very much on the attack. I don't think that she meant for this to be a spiritual introspective for us, nor did I think that she meant to hurt or offend, that isn't like Diana. What I do think is that she meant how do you take what is *common* to us and make it your own? How do you put a signature on something we all do without stepping on someone else's toes?It doesn't matter if we are spinning alone in our living rooms for no one but ourselves, whether or not we personally concider it an art, we have all been moved to seek out companionship, to become part of the "family" on this board, to share and grow here in cyberspace with one another. That shows a great initiative and love for poi beyond tools and technicalities, which I think Diana was simply trying to make us take a moment to think about.Diana, if I put any incorrect statements or thoughts out there, please feel free to correct me.Brightness to all....------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Posted:Wow, this is such a beefy thread. I do want to take my time to read and absorb what you've all contributed. I do want to address what protozoa posted first off to avoid any confusion. I'm not saying *you* personally need to show *me* personally anything. Like you say, there may be limits to what we can do here, in this text-ridden forum. I'm requesting, in my own assertive way, that "you" or should I say "we" as a group focus on what we're using the tricks we know to present. I should have clarified that I mean the "real" world. My point is that whoever you are, whereever you're from, mostly likely people will see you perform and most likely you'll meet other spinners. There is a larger community in that and over these boards we are all responsible to. Please forgive the style and see the message. I know I should be more sensitive. I know I've taken criticisms personally when they weren't intended that way. Protozoa, if you look at what I've said and it doesn't apply to you, blow it off. I don't know you. You know yourself better than anyone. I have no basis to condemn you personally in any way. Please accept my apologies for not being clearer in my criticisms. On the other hand, telling me I need to "relax" is tantamount to "shut up" to me. Protie, as long as I have breath I will not "shut up". I *will* speak my truth. Diana

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emptyset
member
Location: Albany, NY United States of Am...
Member Since: 24th Jan 2001
Total posts: 98
Posted:Sometimes there is just to many little words for me to even care. call me crazy, but i think we all need to just start typing less

Its all in good, clean, light producing fun.

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protozoa
member
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2001
Total posts: 148
Posted:Diana:To avoid allowing you to put words in my mouth, I say this: I don't think you should shut up. Nope, not even a little. Never would think so. I like you. I like reading you. I'd be sad if you 'shut up' because of anything I or anybody else said. And as brave and outspoken as you are I'd hate to see what would happen to your health if you ever tried to.And I'm sorry to have to say it, but I still can't help thinking that you should relax. If you take a deep breath and re-read what I and other have written, you'll realize that no one is attacking you. "Shut up" and "please read my words with a quiet mind for just a moment and try to understand what I'm saying" are not the same thing at all; one ends communication, the other is _vital_ to it.I was irked by your original insinuation that other board participants weren't behaving properly, or something.. spending too much time idly chatting about technique and not doing enough public soul-searching about the meaning of poi.I write that sort of declaration off as utter nonsense on principle because communities like this one are participant-driven. They're what you make 'em. They're living entities in themselves. You can't simply declare that one aspect of it is all wrong and blame everybody else; it is what it is and that's that. Plus, like you, I suppose, I call 'em like I see 'em; which is to say that I'm not necessarily taking it personally I smell something. Sure I could just blow off every person I ever disagreed with. You could just ignore _me_ when I say something _you_ don't like. But we don't do that, why? Probably because we're each really interested in what the other has to say, and we want to provoke each other into clarifying, re-stating, and, hopefully, understanding. And we find it worthwhile in the end, I hope.Having said that, it should be obvious that I'm extremely grateful for your part in making this community what it is. Please DON'T shut up. Same goes to everybody. Okay?Yours in peace,-protie

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Posted:I'll try to keep this short, but as you all know, this can be a challenge for me.
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Pele, thank you so much for your guidance. It's very hard for me to release attachment enough to let people I've taught or influenced go out and fuck up on their own without feeling responsible. I've been raised in a fire culture that takes put a large value on this responsibility. And even though I've felt at the time that I made good judgements on those I've given guidance, I look back and I'm not sure sure. (I'm talking in the "real" world here.) You're right, Jesse. I did come off as harsh and abbrasive. I'm sorry I vented my frustrations so heavily. Understand that I'm not doing anything intended to be crank. Thank you for voicing appreciation for my efforts. And yes, Protie, you're right. I am far too stressed out. I've be working very hard on my art lately, with lots of attendant frustration. I *should* relax more. That's probably why I picked up some kind of flu bug yesterday.
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Again, I'm really not trying to censor anyone. If you want to talk about tools and fuels, this board is here. If you're not comfortable with getting philosophical and soul-searching on a public message board, no prob. I didn't mean to insinuate that you should express yourself as I do. But I did write those words as a challenge to everyone in this community to go deeper. Some will take the challenge. Some will not. Everyone will make their own judgements. At least, I've said my piece. You did make some interesting points in your post as well. And I'll argue a couple, just to show my goodwill.
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Yes, this communities is participant driven, entirely dependent on the individuals to show up and make it what it is. Every person who comes or goes makes a difference here. That means we each get to analyse and seek to change the dynamic if we so choose. This board, to me, is not a static never-changing thing. We all have the power to add our voice and change the environment we live in. I'll admit I'm much more activist in this than most. Thank you for all the love and care, while I've been so tender. Diana <-----going back to bed


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