Forums > Meet Others > looking to interview poi spinners across the globe (from victoria bc)

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I'm a journalism student and beginner poi spinner trying to write a feature on poi. Would any of you lovely spinners be interested in answering a few questions? Either on here or by email? Please and thank you?

what is the poi community like in your city?

why do you spin? what do you like about it?

describe spinning fire (I know it's hard to put into words :P)

thanks for your time, if this isn't where I should post this, please direct me to a better forum

DuncGOLD Member
playing the days away
7,263 posts
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingdom

This isn't really where it needs to go but meh.....I ain't no mod so whadda I care eh! biggrin

What is the poi community like in your city?
I live in a small town and there are very few spinners around. Certainly not close enough to meet on a regular (ie weekly) basis. The only real 'community' of spinners I interact with are internet based.

Why do you spin?
1) Because I saw a group of spinners at a festival and it looked like a lot of fun. I bought some poi (I guess everyone suckers once eh) and immediately fell in love with them.
2) I found I had the natural ability to at least accomplish the basics and enough interest/spare time to continue practising.
3) My interest turned into addiction so now I can't stop biggrin

What do you like about it?

I like the challenge of trying new moves and combinations, even if it takes weeks and weeks to accomplish one apparently simple trick.
I love the excercise, it's low impact and good for the muscles and joints (especially the joints wink peace )
It keeps my brain active when there's nothing else to do except watch tv. I think of new combinations and corrections to my technique and have even dreamed about spinning.
Best of all, the most enjoyable aspect that I never expected when I first wanted to try is that it's a wonderful way to meet new friends and be welcomed into a thriving community. I have now met more folks than I can count on both hands, feet and ears that I count as friends, some of them close friends, and all simply becuase we like to spin things!

Describe spinning fire
The first time...exilarating, exiting, scary, all the things that get the adrenaline pumping.
I'm not actually a big fan of being watched while I spin and fire tends to draw more attention than usual which puts me off as I can't concentrate so mostly I spin unlit poi like sock poi and might light up once in a while at a special event etc.
These days my opinion is that fire is overated for the masses, and sometimes the emphasis is given to throwing fire around as fast as you can without any appreciation for control or safety. Going quick can entertain those who've never seen it or had little involvement so far but for most spinners simply thrashing as quickly as possible has little value. But when fire is spun by someone with real talent who've spent time perfecting their craft it's probably one of the most beautiful things I can imagine ubblove

Let's relight this forum ubblove

YexBRONZE Member
97 posts
Location: Kamloops BC, Canada

journalism at uvic i assume.

What is the poi community like in your city?
ours is pretty good here, every friday at our local park about 5-10 spinners depending on the weather. although i don't usually get there because friday is also my poker night. but when i do its always a good time.

Why do you spin?
i really enjoy the total balance of it. it keeps me in shape, its an out from regular world pressures, and i'm just a pyro. but most of my spinning is done with my hackey sacks. fuel can get expensive along with replacing kevlar.

What do you like about it?
while actually spinning fire, i like the sound the most. sounds like the wind is beating around you which is under your control. getting tricks that have eluded you for so long is very gratifying. a sense of accomplishment that is hard to find in other places. fluidity of an accomplished spinner is an amazing sight, i love watching as much a doing.

Describe spinning fire
i don't really know how to answer this question.

"Not all who wander are lost. "

J.R.R. Tolkien

ImmortalAngelSILVER Member
578 posts
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

What is the poi community like in your city?
None. The only spinner here, other than the ones I have taught myself, is me. There is no other jugglers, spinners, stilt walkers or staffers.

Why do you spin?
It makes everything else just float away untill nothing but the circles matter.

What do you like about it?
I like how much fun it can be. How there is always new moves and ideas being though up for it. How I can choose moves that I enjoy doing and that work well with my style of spinning. I like the people it has brought me into contact with. There is no one cooler than them.

Describe spinning fire
Intense. Fast. Hot. Totally a surge of energy and power.

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />

flokiGOLD Member
183 posts
Location: brussels, Belgium

poi community in my city ?
i live in brussels. there are quite a few spinners here and for a while we had them all together in the park at sunday afternoons ... and during the winter we had the oppotunity to practise in a hall ... it was lots of fun ! nowadays i am sure that they must still be out there, but i lost the view on this.

why do i spin ?
i just started spinning like anybody eles, i suppose : i saw it and i wanted to do it ... so i started torturing myself ... i wanted to show something beautiful to the people ... just as they showed it to me. relaxing ... meditating ... floating in your own trance ... training the different halfs of the brain ... training assymetric moves ...

spinning fire ?
hmmm ... just the kick of hearing the fire passing by your ears ... keeping the rythm and its contemplating effect ... perhaps a little "shutting off" : people dont come too close because off the fire ... keeping distance is sometimes good !

hope you can do something with that ... good luck with the poi and with the article ... and i hope to read later about the results !!!

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

Hey, I'm live in Glasgow UK,


well, it used to be just me and a friend spinning in a park, but when she went on exchange I started to look for a group, just found out about a juggling group, where there are a few spinners, I'll go to it when I get back, looking forwards to meeting lots of new people and maybe learning new toys. Theres a really good shop that sells lots of circus related stuff, which sells lots of poi, yet there doesn't seem to be that many people spinning!


My friend mentioned before had some poi and I was intrigued, after this, we went on a college trip and she and another girl brought some poi, I had a go and was instantly hooked, as soon as I got back I just had to buy some, it really does become an obsession. I think it takes over your life like this because there is so much to learn, so many moves, ways to link them together, and then ways to move with them.

It can be so much fun and so fustrating. It brings people together but it's also a way of keeping people at a distance, the poi form a force field around you and inside, you just focus on the circles, I guess its really just a form of escapism.


spinning fire terrifies me but keeps on puling me back. Its so exhilirating and humbling to spin it. The noise is amazing, all your senses are tuned into the poi and the fire, it takes intense concentration and bravery and skill but always leaves me feeling so relaxed afterwards. I love it!

hope thats a help, you'll have to post the finished result on the HOP site!

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

roarfireSILVER Member
comfortably numb
2,676 posts
Location: The countryside, Australia

What is the poi community like in your city?
I live in a town in Australia of about 28,000. I've been spinning for about 8-9 months and so far I've met a total of 4 other firetwirlers. Occasionally I'll go out and perform to the public but it's rare.

Why do you spin?
It's energetic and is a good work out.

What do you like about it?
It makes me feel amazing and invinsible! Like no one can harm me when I'm surrounded by fast spinning fire. I love the sound it makes and the rewarding photos you get when you take them properly. (slow shutter speed, long exposure etc).

Describe spinning fire
The beauty, the noise, the smell, the is such a beautiful art.

.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.

FireByNiteSILVER Member
Are you up for it??
349 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Here goes.....
what is the poi community like in your city?
In Auckland its pretty good. Once a week at Victoria Park a lot of people meet up, some from HoP and there's usually someone out doing it for busking on a weekend in the city. weavesmiley

why do you spin?
Saw a friend with a fire staff and thought that would be awsome with the poi. hehe Took me a while to actually go out & buy a set though. Like learning new things, new moves. And my car went up in flames late last year so playing with fire poi helps me get over the fear of fire I had after watching my wheels up in flames.

what do you like about it?
I'm only just getting into it but good for fitness, makes me feel free, accomplishing a new move is a good feeling. I'ts just totally different, not run of the mill hobbies that alot of people are into.
My kids think I'm totally cool for doing it shrug

describe spinning fire
Hard one for a newbie to answer... fun, a bit scary, total freedom,
puts me in a really good mood if I;m down. Looks amazing

Are you up for it?

greyedgeSILVER Member
38 posts
Location: San Diego, CA, USA

Here's my response:

What is the poi community like in your city?
Non-existent. My friends back in Texas got me started on it. They didn't teach me much, just spun and made me want to join them.

Why do you spin?
I'm a natural performer. Apparently, I'm also a natural pyro, as well. So, the two combined for a wicked combination. Once I spun fire for the first time, I was instantly addicted. Once I started poi, I was newly addicted. I've had dreams about spinning...

What do you like about it?
It's unique. Very few people do it. It's also very primal. I feel really atune with myself and my heritage when I'm spinning.

Describe spinning fire:
It's really strange. I thought more about the flame when I was watching people spin than when I was actually spinning. When I spun fire the first time, I totally ignored the flame and focused on what I was doing. It was like being transported to a different world. It's truely an amazing experience. I love getting responses from the crowd from things I've done...

"I always knew I was a pyro..."

newgabeSILVER Member
what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
4,030 posts
Location: Bali, Australia

The poi community in my city?
Brisvegas.. well, at the moment we have about 5 threads continuously running here on HoP which reflects how active and friendly the scene is.. Bayfire, Moonfest, Piazza at southbank, and people's own personal ones... eg party at the Pixie House, Ry, Valura etc.... It's friendly to the point of being a regional lovefest! ubblove
There is a Monday night meeting with up to 60 people of late, a monthly Moonfest, lots of informal parties and gatherings at all levels.There are lots of people giving it a go, up to unique geniuses (!) like Kyle McL, and internationally performing professional troupes like FlameOz and Carnival of the Divine Imagination who are (or have been)based here... and a big annual festival (Woodford) nearby that inspires a lot of people.

The weather is good to us, there's shops and manufacturers and market stalls with supplies... and I think the scene will just grow and grow. Also, the scene includes jugglers, staff, poi , etcetc- people aren't stuck on fire as the only thing that's interesting... which encourages people to give it a go without the 'mystique' that it is hard or dangerous or macho or hardcore or whatever!

Why do I spin and what do I like about it
Because it's centre-ing, challenging, fun, looks good, and helps my spine and shoulders keep in good shape ( I've had spinal injuries) And because it's a great way to play and share with lovely people ( there's the Brisvegas love fest thing again!)

Describe spinning fire
Good (love the sound!) but not the only way to enjoy it. Spinning long ribbons makes you precise in planes... and has a hypnotic endless feel to it. With fire there's a sense of danger ( though I've hurt myself far more whacking badly spun glowies into my face!>>) and a definite end to the spin. But with ribbons or good quality glowies you can go on and on and it's very hypnotic and trancelike, surrounded by the planes and spaces you've defined with the spin... it's magical.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

BirdGOLD Member
now available in "advanced"
6,086 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom


What is the poi community like in your city?

I live in a rural(ish) part of the UK, so there aren't many spinners that near me, I do get to go to meets every now and then.

Why do you spin?

I started spinning to try and exercise my wrist after an injury, having seen a colleague doing it, it looked like a good way of getting my wrist working again.

What do you like about it?

I soon became addicted and love the high that you get when you finally crack something new that you've been working on. I also find it very relaxing (both mentally and physically) its a great way to relieve the stress of the day. Its also a great way to meet new people who share a common interest. Like Dunc said, there are now so many people who I am proud to call my friends, simply because we like to spin things!

Describe spinning fire

Spinning fire, for me isn't really a huge part of what I enjoy about poi, I tend to save it for special occasions and meets. Having said that, seeing a beach full of people spinning fire is abolutely amazing.

My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

*robyn*BRONZE Member
111 posts
Location: canadian in canada

what is the poi community like in your city?
it's fantastic! i live in london, uk. coming from victoria, canada where there was a small, strong gathering of poi, to london was eye opening. the weekly meet i attend is a large gathering of juggling all sorts. it's encouraged me to try other things; devil sticks, juggling, club swinging, flags. with such a large and diverse meeting you learn techniques really fast. it's very inspiring. it's great to bounce ideas off each other and share techniques. i could attend 2 other meets in the week as well so there is plenty of opportunity to improve your skills with others. i've made some very good friends in this passed year because of my weekly poi.

why do you spin? what do you like about it?
i bought a pair of poi on a whim in london, was informed of the weekly meet ups, went along and became hooked. it's fun. it improves co-ordination. and it's very social...which is nice when you're a stranger in a large city. it's also really addictive. you start to learn moves and become driven to learn more and improve what you know.

describe spinning fire (I know it's hard to put into words :P)
loud. i was shocked at how noisy it is! it's great fun too! i like watching just as much as doing. i think you fire spin to be watched. spinning regular poi you do for yourself. you make mistakes, you learn, you experiment, you play. i don't experiment with fire for obvious reasons. it's the preformance side of poi.

my state of mind creates my world

spaceySILVER Member
mischeivious pixie
291 posts
Location: Sydney, Australia

whats the poi community like?

i moved to london 8 months ago and heard about a weekly meet through a work collegue. i had never seen so many people poi! i come from a small village and was the only spinner there...i have been poing for 3 years and taught myself from a book. The people who go to the weekly meet are so friendly and nice and are always willing to teach you new tricks....i have improved so much since going there.
there are several other poi and juggling groups in london that i know of....the popularity of poi just keeps on growing.

Why do you spin?and what do you like about it?

I was at a party when someone there taught me a basic poi move and i kinda forgot about, then someone i went to college with bought a set in and i was hooked from soon as i could i went out and bought my own pair.
what i love about spinning is that its the best sress release in the world..i find it so theraputic and it feeds my soul....i would be lost without spinning now! i love the sense of achievement you get when you master a new move, and the fact that it can be such a fluid and gracefull movement. when i poi i just completely loose myself in the music i choose to listen to and the poi...its toatal escapism and im left feeling happy relaxed and full filled after a poi session.

Describe Spinning fire

what can i say.....what a rush....its the most amazing experience!its exhilerating, frightening awe is one of natures most powerfull elements and you will never have complete control over must never trust it and always respect it other wise you will start having accidents. the noise that fire spinning makes is amazing too, its like a roaring sound that your in the middle of...its so loud

"I dont want no fatty bumbum, i want a lean mean shagging machine" anon

"I'm sweet and wholesome with a little bit of filth thrown in"

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

FlintSILVER Member
10 posts
Location: Texas, USA

I have been spinning for five years now, and I recently just found out how large the community is in the DFW area of Texas. What is more asstonishing is that we are growing in numbers every day.

What is the Poi community like???
Well nearly every Spinner that I have met is always looking for a new friend to spin with. So naturrally if there is no Community around us will will start one. Either by teaching new spinners or activly searching for others. As we come togeather for the perposses of Performing and or Practicing we find our selfs in a family-like invironment. Although we each have a unique way of spinning or a style all our own, we can find a common link in the Technical manuvers. Thus we can and do teach each other from this very basic stand point.

Why do I spin?

These are not easy questions to answer, however I will try my best. The reason I spin has changed from the innetial reason I learned to spin. I orriginally learn to satisfy an over whelming couriosity with in my self. Sence the second performance that I was dancing in my reasons changed. It had become a persute to spread joy to an audiance with a skill, to show people that there is more to fire then just the destructive side. This rapidly grew into an obsession where in showmenship, teachnique, and skill all roled into one as there where other poi spinners in the group that I started in. I spin for the sake of my audiance.

What do I like about spinning?

After so long and practicing at least an hour a day it has become more of a spiritual communion with not only my self but with the other elements of life. Fire is found in the fire poi, weather the poi are lighted or not they will always represent the aspects of fire. Water is found in the motions of my body as I dance, flowing and performing as a single unbroken river flowes with perpose and destiny. Earth is ever present as you dance barefoot in the grass, always placing your trust in the knowlede that the earth will not shift and allow you to fall. Air lends me the freedom of movement from the great winds.

Describing spinning fire poi...

You are correct in that it is not easy to place into words. Yes at first it is an adreanal rush, the sound of the fire is a uncomprehendable roar. After some time when you have learned that the poi are not a tool but rather an extision of your body and soul the sound of the fire no longer screams at you. There are words to be heard in the sounds of the poi. Fire Poi grant you the ability to express the deapest emotions of your soul, the images of the fire are the reactions that your maind and spirit go through when you hear a particular piece of music an d then dance to it.
Spinning fire is the greatest form of self expression that man-kind has ever found. To become one with your poi and to find the inner peace that takes you so far beyound reality that nothing but you and your god or goddess remain.
That for me is the spinning of fire.

I hope that my insight lends it's self to you and other spinners alike.


Keep the fires burning and always listen to your techs.

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