Forums > Social Discussion > Flid's views on poi and the mainstream

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flidBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,136 posts
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Well, I have to say, it's been a ahile since i;ve made a drunken HoP post, I went without beer since easter whilst revising for my university finals, so tonight is the first time in ages that i've been drunk. Anyway, why am I boring you with my post? Well, i debated with myself whilst walking home whether to write it at all, whether to put it in social chat or discussion, but, here it is. I know this has been discussed before too, but i thought just for myself i'd make my own thread, like 1600 post perogative (heh, lightening is creating enough threads at the mo!) smile

There's been many threads about 'mainstream' and 'poi will become mainstream and uncool' and all that. My 2 cents are here on my observations of the expansion of the poi scene over the past 2 years:

Poi is getting more popular, there's no doubt about it. At festivals here in the UK last year they were selling poi on loads of stalls and there were hundreds of people of all ages trying to spin the 3 beat weave. At uni tonight, the last big free event of the year, i saw various people spinning, including fire.

But, the majority of these people learn poi as a party trick. It isn't anything more to them than a 'hey look at me! arn't i cool!' type thing. It's like fire breathing (no offence to many that do), but it annoys me when i'm spinning and someone comes along and breathes and suddenly they have the crowds attention - because 'my flame is bigger than yours!'. My personal view, is that as poi reaches more people, there will be an increase in people learning, but the increase in people learning seriously, to the point of joining a forum such as this, meeting others, attending meet-ups etc isn't increasing that much. I think it will be a shame if it reaches the point where there are so many '3 beat as fast as you can' party trick fire spinners who set fire to stuff and give it a bad name, but as far as people who actually practice to the point of 5 beat, hyperloops, throws etc go, the expansion in numbers isn't that significant. There was a guy spinning fire tonight at uni, who was just clearly starting out, which is cool, but he was spinning fire in a really crowded area, with loads of drunk people around, and to be honest I just really hoped that security would come and tell him to stop - it was a disaster waiting to happen. I get the sense from people who spin for a living that they want people to enjoy their artform, but at the same time don't want hobbiests to destroy their scene/source of income by stupidity/giving it a bad name. I feel almost like a snob to be saying the same thing, as a hobbiest myself, but i'm worried that with the amount of people introduced to poi, the numbers of people taking the piss with fire and hurting themselves/bystanders will increase substanially frown. I'm still at the stage where i mention poi and people are interested, not think i'm reckless because their friend got her hair singed off by some pisshead with poi at a party.

My view of course, from my small corner of the globe smile It's not a particularly elegantly made post, but then it is 3am, and i hope you get the jist biggrin

Mint SauceBRONZE Member
1,453 posts
Location: Lancs England

i'v been working on staff for abvout 3 weeks now and im still pants but loving ever min of it problem is as was pointed out in another thred my staff loves me to much and keeps tying to hug me (ouch!!!)

before i met those lot i thought they'd be a bunch of dreadlocked hippies that smoked, set things on fire ,and drank a lot of tea but then when i met them....oh wait (PyroWill)

Mags The JediGOLD Member
2,020 posts
Location: Cornwall, UK

I really dig contact staff. Am trying to improvise at the mo, cos i dont know any good sites with contact staff moves. Anyone?

Pheonexx>> Have you tried asking in Tribal Voice? They make and sell poi, and may well know where all the spinners hang out. Failing that, come to Falmouth and play with us!

"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

_pOp_BRONZE Member
Playing OldSchool Poi
593 posts
Location: amsterdam, Netherlands

yep, it's the ever returning thread again...

just on a personal note: amsterdam is full of spinners at all levels right now, which made lose interest of doing it in public, so i won't be associated with the "renagade spinners". with that i mean those who hardly know what they are doing, don't care about fire safety, and call doing 3 beats weaves doing a show.

I was performing (busking) on the main square last year, but won't this summer for exactly that reason. I have to find some other way to do street shows (and have been going to "circus school" all winter), because i want the friendship and respect from other street performers, and the renegades ruined that by having no regard for team spirit and leaving parafin all over the floor so nobody after them can use the pitch anymore without slipping and falling down in the middle of their acrobatics act...

but that is enough complaining from me for today.

about a site with contact staff movies: check out the links-site at but you should really go to meg's site too:

have fun,

eric pOpsteric.


meditate eRic.

I'm not normally a religious man, but if you're up there, save me, Superman!

nativeSILVER Member
sleeping with angels
508 posts
Location: anaheim CA usa

flid i must agree. ive been spinning for two years know and in that time i had only see one person do poi to know i see a person doing it at ever event.
but its a fad that will die down and only us will still be here doing it


9 posts

Ya'll have no idea of how lucky you are. I'm from one of the southeren states, and can count on one hand how many people I've seen doing staff or poi in my area. Hell, I'd sell you all into slavery just for one fellow staffer biggrin. That being said, I really would like for this to go mainstream. Sure you would get '3 beat weave' people, but you would also get alot of dedicated enthusiasts. If it were not for the time I spent in Atlanta I would not even know what these forms of dance are. Anyway, time for me to get off the soap box and maybe practice. Catch you later. ubbloco

musashiistarring Skippy the green llama
1,148 posts
Location: Seattle, WA

oi, go to transformus(check in the events section). Have to agree about the south, except for going to a few parties in ATL, I wouldn't see any different spinners/staffers myself, except for my troupe. But I taught them all myself, at least the basics, then all of them took it to their own level. Seems that there will be more regional burns around the area, so I'm looking forwards to seeing more and more of a scene around the south. It's been crazy to see peoples reactions and understanding change since I've been performing w fire in this town. At first alot of people didn't know what to think, didn't know about the art, and the initial reactions were mixed. I still hear about city officials bitching about us performing at the local monthly street festival, even with a clean safety record, but it's slowly changing. The weirdest thing is before when practicing, people would come up, n ask what I was doing. I haven't gotten that in quite some time. Now they come up and ask when or if I'm lighting up ubblol And it's not even the same people. I think it's a great thing, being able to expose alot of people to an artform they may have never seen before, I'm just careful about how it is presented I guess, because for me it is an artform, not a party trick, and that's the impression I want to leave in peoples minds.

First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

Carpal \'Tunnel
15,414 posts
Location: United Kingdom

*note to newbies*
See what I did here? I searched for this post first before starting a new thread. wink

I think that the day poi becomes mainstream, is the day you can walk down the road, and half of the people you ask, will know what poi are.


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