98 posts
Location: Albany, NY United States of America

people being self taught or a student of another spinner seems to come up every once and a while in topics. So i was wondering what peoples thoughts of this is. Whats are you? what makes a better spinner? and other things...thanks emptyset------------------bring light into the night

Its all in good, clean, light producing fun.

521 posts
Location: Bristol / London / Norwich / Chennai, India (UK) (...

Student taught basics and self taught the rest.student is good cause it mixes in the whole social aspect aswell.peace outgarbo tongue

be excellent to each other: safe:

60 posts
Location: Albany, New York, USA

well, i dunno about me. lets see... about 5 or 6 months or so ago i had no clue about any of this swinging business. then one of my friends showed me at a dance that some people would spin glowsticks on strings, and it would look really cool. both of us werent really that good, but we both got into it at the same time. hmm, my friend kinda introduced me to the idea, so i guess he was kinda my mentor, but alot of the moves were self-taught after that. a little of both, i suppose.Hapes-Nova, semi-self taught stringer

PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA

Student for any flamey thing that goes in my mouth, self for all spinning, student for stage fighting but adapting it to fire was all mine.I think student is good for guidence and community. Also, as long as you have a good teacher, you can be sure to be taught a safe technique. I like self for innovation. I find I am not as stuck in the ideals of the "correct" way to do things, and I am constantly coming up with new things to attempt, moves and such, instead of trying to assimilate someone else's into my routine. In the end, both have plusses and minusses and so it is what works personally for each individual. Besides, I prolly would've gotten frusterated with a teacher harping on me for my roller coaster regimes. I always did have problems with authority anyway! winkI don't think schooling or non-schooling makes a better spinner. No matter what you look at there are people with a natural affinity and there are those who can be taught til the cows come home but still don't get it. I think what makes a good spinner is passion, dedication and work...and knowing that difficulty doesn't equate to better.....But that is just my humble opinion. Next? grinBTW...good question!!!!------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...[This message has been edited by Pele (edited 15 March 2001).]

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

dangerboyoriginal member
205 posts
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Self all the way. Everything I learned about chains I learned from this site or taught myself. For staff I had someone teach me two beginning moves, then my body figured out the rest. I like being self-taught, but it would have been ncie to have someone there along the way. Now that I've acheived a certain level with staff and chains, I would love to hav someone who blew me away to take me as their apprentice. Don;t suppose there is a mystical guru out there who can spin everything, is there? ------------------Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath, fire my spirit

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

1,015 posts
Location: Austin TX USA

Like Dangerboy, I'm self-taught, having picked up almost everything from this site (unlike Dangerboy, I am not a Lord Ninja Knight-Templar of Twirling). I have benefitted a lot from watching a lot of other twirlers, but no instruction as such. I do get together with other twirlers for practice sessions, and we all learn from each other (well, I try to learn from them, but can be pretty dense; they probably don't have so much to learn from me).

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

SsJ KaKaRoTtOmember
26 posts
Location: Planet Earth

well personally 4 me, when i watched my freinds and people at dances do it, i was like "whoa!" and when i asked them how to do it and they showed me, i got so freakin' confused. so i taught myself. well that's my view!

SupermanBRONZE Member
829 posts
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

i watched other people and when they finished..i said give me those damn things! and i started in reverse. Everyone kept telling me i was spinning them in the wrong direction, but i did cooler things with them going backwards...but then i started watching people and picked up some basics...so i guess it is a little of both. I was flat out taught the corkscrew..i could not figure that shit out to save my life at first.------------------"Only the warrior that hears the call will know when to leave, Where to go" -unknown

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.

- Mark Twain

AnonymousPLATINUM Member

I started with a teacher, learning basics on torches for about two months before going on to my own biz. I've also been taught other skills ad hoc since then. That's ideal for me. I got a solid foundation of skills and learned fire safety and ettiquette as well. Then I went on and made of it what I want. Diana

72 posts
Location: Oakland, CA, USA

self taught everything. poi, staff, contact, etc. the only thing someone has actually taught me was the weave... karate instructor. i figured everything else out on my own. when it comes to liquids though, thats more of a group learning, teach eachother kinda thing. all my closest friends can liquid and we do it together and show eachother new shit we figure out. but i have taught myself sooo much liquid stuff that my friends have no idea how to do. even when i show them. one of my friends..jon, says im the best liquider he's even seen. sure he was high when i he said this but ill believe him. yaknow...i dont really know how i started talking about liquids...hmmm anywayDRAKE

AnonymousPLATINUM Member

Hmm interesting responses...I'm self-taught, in as much as my self is a product of my experiences, and various learnings...I've done Martial Arts, but the twirling is different, however the learning process is the same - and this has been what has allowed me to teach myself.HOP has been a great help since I joined...all of three months ago! smile)I see ppl at parties, and they sometimes show me something that is possible, and that helps me practice til I get it...hmm...I dont think there would be many ppl who are completely self taught eg, stuck on a desert island, realised you could swing a mango around on a string...worked out tricks... smile)Josh

127 posts
Location: Yorktown, VA, USA

I taught myself how to spin glowsticks in straight circles... [that's actually quite difficult if you're not too bright... like myself for example]. I basically taught myself everything i know thus far [not too much] from the NiCE lessons on this website. The variations, combos, and routines are entirely self thought up though. I've only seen one person do it live [friend i picked it up from, but he didn't know too much], and watching i think is the best way to learn. ------------------"Happiness is not a destination, but a method for life"- Burton Hills

The reason communism doesn't work is because people like to own stuff

428 posts
Location: Mystic, Ct. USA

oh OH OH ! I SO love the mango on a string idea!!!! and then to finish it you do a butterfly and grab a bite of it in your mouth when you inevitable whack yourself in the face with it! and its a nice squishy fruit so it wouldnt break your tooth as much as something like an apple.........8)oh yeah and i was taught. see previous thread about jim of katoomba somewhere.happy twirlinPere

52 posts
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

This site has been my Mecca, my Sanctu Sanctorum, the well-spring from which I flow... I'm definitely naming one of my kids/pets "Malcolm"(kid) or "Crawshay"(pet)!Learned pole twirling from Shaolin Wu Shu and adapted it from there. Poi twirling is a synthesis of this site and my my most recent experiences...As for learning moves, I think it best to paraphrase The Borg (from Star Trek):"I am Lutzki, the Cutest of Borg.Lower your poi and surrender your moves.I will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to my own.Your culture will adapt to service me.Resistance ... is futile."If I see someone do a move I cannot do that's me for the next day trying to reproduce *that* move ... and you know what ? It NEVER comes out the way I think it should. In trying to immitate someone (the sincerest form of flattery) I invariably *assimilate* that persons move into my equivalent of that move.Do you get me ? I have yet to meet someone who has the same 'style' of twirling as I do. Although we can all pull the same moves, it's that little bit of ourselves that we add that makes what we do unique and beautiful and precious ...I've taught people as many moves as I can (I think the "hey look what I can do and you CAN'T!" mentality is counterproductive) and have discovered the following:-There are two types of students ... some people are just wired to spin stuff(naturals), others have to work at it but have a *determination* most naturals do not -(plodders). A natural can freestyle almost from the word go whereas a plodder has to build a repertoire of moves before they can string together a performance.Similarly there are two types of teachers(like any discipline).A world class talent might be a lousy(impatient) teacher or, an unrecognised nobody might be able to train a Dugong (Sea Cow) to do a reverse btb 5beat weave ...The simpler moves are easy enough to teach but all too often I hear myself saying: "It's like *this*. That hand goes there, twist it ! Focus ! The penny *will* drop ... " trying to explain a move that I can *do* with ease but *explain* ... ayssh!I don't think it's 'wrong' to pinch moves off other people as it is a *translation*, not a copy.As Pele said in another post, don't be too hung up about what people might think. Beware of self criticism (it can be crippling). If you think you look like everyone else - take a video of yourself, I promise you, you don't.I've seen many performers style through their moves and have been left cold by their performance. Moves are just the alphabet, your *style* forms the words, the syntax, the language ...All of us are essentially self taught, is it not the *self* that seeks to learn more ?Ask yourself: "How good do I want to be ?" If you can answer that one it's just a matter of making it real.You might learn more with a teacher, you might learn faster. You might learn style from a teacher, you may be adversely influenced by a teacher. It all depends on you and it depends on the teacher ...I'd love to be able to teach my moves to a Prodige - like a legend that keeps getting embelished, a story that just gets better and better the more you tell it ...If you teach don't stifle ...If you learn don't capitulate ..."Time is the Fire in which we burn ... )Bish

Hasst du etwas zeit fuer mich?... Dan singe ich ein lied fuer dich ... -Bjork/Nena

382 posts
Location: London, UK

wow so many diverse backgrounds... emmm mine is quite boring, i am self-taught all the way, started off on my own, then fortunately i found this site in a short time and most of you know the rest! smilehappy swinging,Simos

AnonymousPLATINUM Member

You da Man Bish.with ppl like you (and others on this site) swinging, nobody can question the legitimacy of Poi'ing.Josh.

341 posts
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

So true Josh. That was an amazing post Bish. Dare you to say that to the members of League Against Poi! smile

5 posts
Location: no fixed abode

I was self-taught, mostly. The thing that freaks me out is that these moves have NAMES!!! I just like to dance around, y'know? and so I am so surprised that it is so professional!!'course, I'm from New Zealand, so poi is poi is poi to me whether you light it or not - it's all kapa haka!bright blessings!

KatBRONZE Member
2,211 posts
Location: London, Wales (UK)

I was talking to Chooch about this last night and we were just saying how cool it would be if we had somebody to learn from. It would make things so much easier. I have learnt a hell of a lot from this site but it would be so much easier if somebody was there to show you how to do the moves and correct your mistakes. I have started practicing again as it's getting (slightly) warmer, it was 10 degrees yesterday!! While I haven't mastered the 5 beat weave yet, I am practicing transitions between moves and hope to have a nice routine worked out for the summer festivals. I know that if I could have seen somebody else Poi though I wouldhave picked the moves up a lot quicker and progress has been frustratingly slow. Chooch and I are going to light up together for the first time - I'm really looking forward to spinning with someone else! Kat------------------"London is a city coming down from its trip and there's going to be a lot of refugees" - Danny,Withnail & I

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

poinoobSILVER Member
45 posts
Location: louisianna, new orleans, USA

i taught myself from watching other ppl and it has its ups and downs. i worked harder for all my moves than some ppl did but i taught myself some bad habits i had to go back and unlearn so yeah. but i take pride that i have learnt everything by myself with little resources beside the internet

WooktasticBRONZE Member
the kicker of elves
371 posts
Location: Dublin, Ireland

I'm self taught, I could do with teacher for staff. But I've gotten to the stage where I'm taking on apprentices for rope dart. biggrin

Man is no more than a conduit for excrement to pass through.- daVinci

Jointly owned by BurdA and Tinypixie

Wielder of the voice of Patrick Stewart

squidBRONZE Member
382 posts
Location: sur, USA

self taught, myself. I spent about 6 months in absolute ignorance, learning tricks from what I remembered seeing once or twice on a beach in years gone by. I even attempted fire solo, by building a set of chains and steel wool. Did anyone else realize that stuff burns? :rolleyes:

Anyways, after that came an internet search and subsequent tutorials. It was HoP and Rovo that gave me the connection for a place to spin with others in my town.

Since then, I have never been to a local meet without picking up at least one new idea. But for the most part, because I practice solo, I have been my own teacher.

Same goes for the contact staff. But I have only been at that for 2 weeks now. Still, for such a short time, I feel like Im progressing pretty fast, mainly due to the background in poi.

"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

DarkFyreBRONZE Member
HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
1,965 posts
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

2 years self taught (only the basics)

Then about 2 years semi student (some help but I tried to learn indipendantly aswell)

The last 2-3 years have been self taught with some assistance from all of you luvly HoPpers smile

May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

RyGOLD Member
Gromit's Humble Squire
4,496 posts
Location: Brisbane, Australia

I learn things from everyone, so I'm a student, but my best teacher's been myself.. not because he's got plenty to show me, more because he still hasn't p*ssed off yet.. smile

365 posts
Location: Ontario

Self taught and still doing it.

Have you ever notice that poi is spelled backwords on the key board.............................................creepycool

faith enfireBRONZE Member
wandering thru the woods of WI
3,556 posts
Location: Wisconsin, USA

self taught, I've used the tutorials and worked with scurvydawg(he hasn't been around lately) a few times, but our schedules never worked out...so I guess then mostly self taught

Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

Fire_MooseSILVER Member
Elusive and Bearded
3,597 posts
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Ive taken 2 classes. Staff 1 and staff 2. Staff 1 was mostly twirling and basics. Staff 2 was twirling with some contact. Most of staff 2 i knew before we learned it in class (halos, conveyer, etc.). I went to the Spinagauge in Oakland and hung out with Noel-ski, Greg malanado, and some others and took a bunch of workshops there. Other then that im self taught, watching youtube videos and such.


Owned by Mynci!