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Forums > Social Discussion > why the hell are all these untalented fire dancers trying to teach ppl

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joshthejuggler


Member
Location: fairmont minnesota

Total posts: 1
Posted:this disgusts me i have been doing fire performances for 8 years and and now all thes ppl who have been doing poi when there bored a few times a mnth are lighting up and thinking they can teach ppl / what the hell happen to the old days when you apprenticed someone with fire not a [censored] social gather if u want to learn pay ur dues . when i started i didnt even touch fire until after a year of training now it seems that every one and there brother thinks they can spin and blow fire hmmm maybe thats why u need so much safety info cuz they dont know what they are doing .the people who are serious performers and have been for years and make a living off of this stuff knows what im talking about.tips and tricks should only be shared through an appretinceship

hehehe howdy

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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:Hi Josh

I've clocked up about a years-worth of spinning (over two and a half years) and haven't even really thought about dancing with fire yet.

Admittedly I'd love to, but I want to perfect my techniques and learn all there is to learn (or as much as I can learn) before playing with fire (see what I did there?? ubblol )

From what I've seen thus far, I haven't been badgered in to taking it up before I'm ready, nor do I know anyone who's gone in to it without proper prep-work.

Although, I was at Reading Festival a few years ago (where I was bitten by the poi bug) and I was there practicing my weave when a guy sparked up his fire poi. All my friends were sitting around and the next thing we knew, my girlfriend at the time went up in flame (more my jumper did!!) because the guys hadn't shaken off the paraffin properly! Needless to say, it opened my eyes to the dangers a little - hence the hesitation.

I think the danger is small, but I suppose it only takes one incident to escalate before fire dancing is given a bad name.

Cheer up fella, you can't be responsible for everyone elses actions biggrin

Niggit


Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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Psyri
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK

Total posts: 1576
Posted:yeah it can be annoying but its just a way of expressing, if someone has guts enuf to play with fire when they arent any good either is stupid or they mean to do well.
If someones is interested let em play they'll find out what happens if it is stupidity.


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Shu
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Shu

Retro Fyre Wizzard
Location: Pietermaritzburg (KZN)

Total posts: 538
Posted:I would agree with you there, and i have noticed the same thing happening with a smal (but growing) group of people here.



one of the Ice-E FyreStorm performers was invited by someone to join them for an informal gig last month somewhere! She was fairly impressed by their "moves", but not so much their skill. She also noted that they have ABSOLUTELY NO SAFETY EQUIPMENT or any regard thereof!



I know these people, and i could have told her the same things, but then i do not particularly like to badmouth anyone, particularly when it's with someone who's about to go off and perform with them. At the time i just told her to be carefull!



As far as i have experienced, there are 2 types of fire performers (and i think ive said this before). There are the performers who dance because they love it, it's a passion! and then there are the people who are "ego-spinners" as they've been dubbed around these parts.



I have found that some people are impatient and just want to play with fire so they can say they can (EGO), they normally end up with this other group.



Nothing really bad has happened (not that i've heard of anyway), but it's just a matter of time, and they are so unprepared i don't really want to think about it.



Some people might even say (in this regard) that we are overly prepared! Personally i'd rather be safe than sorry!



I've gotten over it now! "...there are always people who will strive to exercise their god given right to be stupid..." [paraphrased from sum1 sumwhere!]


Regards hug

Shu
(Ice-E FyreStorm - Group Manager & Performer)

You know those people your parentals warned you about?... I'M ONE OF THEM! ubbloco
Yes, i do bite!!

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TheApprovingNinja


TheApprovingNinja

From the Ashes of a Ninja Rise THE HIPS OF RAGE
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 371
Posted:I'm afraid that Poi and fire spinning has moved beyond a professional art into the realm of hobby. Poi is one of the hugest hobbies out there at the minute, trust me I used to work at a juggling shop and every 30 seconds I would have someone come into a shop and they all would say "do you have those things on string that spin around I saw them at this party"

I too am a professional fire performer and make money out of it, but that doesn't mean that I won't teach someone how to play. The secretive only learning from a master approach sounds like something from magic where tricks are gaurded because they ARE secrets and if someone knows how to do them then it ruins the whole point. Juggling tricks and movement have been there the whole time it's just a way of moving your hands not some huge secret that will destroy an illusion

Yes people have hurt themselves loads and they always will because with the spread of it there will always be some drunk guy coming and going "give us a go" this is bad and you do have a point that people should learn more before lighting up

I don't hesitate to teach people that I meet playing in a park, because of the great people and great times that I've had from this medium. In an age where 98 percent of the population can't list a hobby and most people spend all their lives in front of a TV I think that anything we can do to get them out of their couches is a good thing.

sorry if this is a bit attacking for your first post, hope to have many fruitfull conversations with you


Viva UGLY STAFF

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I think there is a difference between the hobbiest and the person that performs for a living.

I, personally, do not see anything wrong with a person coming up to another at a fire meet and having that person explain or show to another a certain move they have done with their poi or staff. When I ask a person to show me how they did something, I don't attempt it right off the bat on fire. I then go off to a corner and try to figure it out with my practice poi. To me, that's perfectly acceptable. Of course, I'm just the hobbiest poi/staff person. Sure, I have a gig here or there, but it isn't how I make my living.

If you intend to be an actual performer and make your living doing so, then yes, I think you need to spend a few years perfecting your skills,style, show, and audience appeal before attempting to get anywhere with your performing. But, for the hobbiest, I think it is perfectly fine to go up to another in a casual setting and ask for tips/advice/help with moves.


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Psyri
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK

Total posts: 1576
Posted:yeah but its all about enjoying it... just as long as ur careful

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Mags The Jedi
GOLD Member since May 2004

Mags The Jedi

Fool
Location: Cornwall, UK

Total posts: 2020
Posted:I agree with what Steve said, but I have to say I find the tone of Josh's post rather offensive. Was there some secret temple on a mountain that I had to get to before I could learn to spin fire? Any initiation rituals involving flame-bearing virgins that i missed out on?

Firedancing, with what ever type of kit takes your fancy, is a form of expressing one's soul, as all forms of dance, music and the arts are. To not teach people and share it as a form of expression is not only silly, as poi people are the nicest people in the world, but it's also repressive.

I will teach anyone who wants to learn, as long as I don't find them annoying. smile

devil


"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

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I'm with mags and the rest of them.

I learned myself. I'm far from the best in the world, but I'm not bad.

I don't need to be an apprentice. There isn't a ranking system to Poi. This isn't a martial art. This is an art. We learn from each-other and by practice, practice, and more practice.

To say that I should have a "master" or "teacher" implies that there is someone who can learn nothing from me. Aside from a very few spinners, I haven't met many people who I couldn't teach at least one thing, even when they knew a lot more than I did.

This ain't Karate, this is poi. And I bend my knee to no spinner (except UCOF, but he's not into that sort of thing. wink ).


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Josh, I think that is pretty harsh, especially for your first post here.
I started years ago too, before it was the realm of "hobby". Even then I was taught safety above all else. Nothing has changed there. The growing number of hobby-ists make the need for safety information to be more widely available, sure. But how is that a bad thing? Making people think about protecting themselves and others is never wrong.

However, this..and all circus/sideshow arts..have grown way past that. I agree with Shu in saying that many people do this for ego but many do it for sheer joy. They are common hobbies now, and in a way that is really awesome because it forces performers to step it up and stay on top of their acts, to push themselves to do better.

I don't agree with novices teaching. I don't agree with someone who has been spinning a week lighting up. I don't agree with someone just lighting up and spinning in black pants and calling it "a professional show", because it is not. I can't stop it but I can make my show as best as possible and focus on what I am doing so that I don't get categorized with people like that.

I do teach poi though. I teach staves and fans and all sorts of stuff, but not with fire. That is an entirely seperate course that they are only allowed to go through once they, and I, think they are ready. I do this to stop people from having accidents. I would rather teach and be part of the solution than stand by and complain and do nothing.

The thing is, the idea of apprenticeship is rather antiquated and outdated, and hard to find, in the modern US culture. We have trade schools where we used to have apprecticeships...for everything. An internet savvy person can find the how-to's to almost anything online. Or books...wow are there books on how-to. There are even circus schools popping up everywhere instead of just joining a circus and learning as you go. This is how things work now, and how things progress. Sure that means increased safety because there are increased accidents, it sucks but it is a side effect of our instant gratification culture. No amount of ranting will stop it so we might as well go with it and make the most of it...or get left behind.

Kindest regards,


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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Fine_Rabid_Dog


Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...

Total posts: 10530
Posted:hmmm.... right.. I'm god awful at poi... but I still do fire... and I don't care what some person that's arrogant about his own talents has to say about mine, or anyone else who does the same as me.



Its not illegal to teach poi if you aren't good at it... I've taught a few people at my school a bit of poi, and 2 people staff.... and Im probably one of the worst spinners on this board...



And nobody who can spin poi or staff or fire is untalented wink



cos if they were, they wouldn't be able to do it... a tiny bit of an oxymoron there wink ...

EDITED_BY: Fine_Rabid_Dog (1118330803)


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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Psyri
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK

Total posts: 1576
Posted:hell we were all crap when we originally started ey? We're not gods for crying out loud

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Noddy


Noddy

Toe Poking Bad Boy
Location: Lake District UK

Total posts: 2865
Posted:i really disagree with you josh, i have only done poi for a year and i hold classes for people to come along and trade ideas and teach each other (i only charge for the rent of the building, no profit) i believe that you can learn anything off anyone, only last week i learnt bell spins off a 7 year old who picked up a flowerstick for the first time, so stop trying to put people down

Remember.........YOU LOSE!!!

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Again I agree that the Master Apprentice system is a bit out-dated. Yes people should be careful when spinning fire, but to improove at spinning fire, you have to use fire.

I doubt I am the only person who has noted the way fire poi, staff and juggling torches move thorugh the air in a slightly different way.

I am mostly a juggler. The reason I do it is to relax I found it the best stress relief there is, and have now found myself locked in a battle to prove gravity is just a state of mind and if you try hard enough the balls will never touch the floor no matter how many there are and what pattern they do.

I was taught stuff by beginners and although they weren't skillful they gave me the bug and helped me meet a world of new and interesting people, to teach and to learn and to bounce new ideas off each other, (til I came on HOP didn't know ANYONE else who could juggle and do poi at the same time and I only started poi and juggling 1 YEAR AGO!! Time isn't an issue when your learning, just your effort and commitment
PLUS took part in the world record breaking fire breathing at stone henge.
It's all about what people love to do. juggle weavesmiley biggrin


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Psyri
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK

Total posts: 1576
Posted:yeah isnt that what life is about neways... just being out there and learninga s much as you can trying not to restrict ur mind

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Written by: joshthejuggler


This disgusts me. I have been doing fire performances for 8 years and now all these people who have been doing poi when they're bored a few times a month are lighting up and thinking they can teach ppl.

What the hell happened to the old days when you apprenticed someone with fire not a censored social gathering. If you want to learn, pay your dues.

When I started I didn't even touch fire until after a year of training, now it seems that every one and their brother thinks they can spin and blow fire.

Hmmm, maybe thats why you need so much safety info because they dont know what they are doing. The people who are serious performers and have been for years and make a living off of this stuff know what I'm talking about

Tips and tricks should only be shared through an apprenticeship



Spelling and punctuation mine, I probably missed a few wink



Even knowing that I should probably just chalk the post up as someone trolling, I'm quite offended. I've been spinning for the best part of 4 years now and certainly fall into the category of people who have benefitted from the internet and social gatherings in regards to learning to spin.

Does this mean that I'm not in a position to teach people anything? Should I instead venture off to a remote mountain range and walk across sheets of ricepaper? How long must I do this before I can call myself a master and take an apprentice?



This kind of attitude only encourages elitism and inhibits the growth of spinning in general.

I'm very much an open source kind of person and would much rather teach people as much as I can and watch them use my knowledge as a springboard to greater heights, not hold them back and refuse to teach people who I don't deem worthy.

Spinning is not a secret art, it doesn't involve any sleight of hand or dark, mysterious techniques that should be kept hidden from the masses.



As far as the safety information goes - you can never have too much (as long as you have a good index wink ). It's a much better idea to have more than most people will ever need than to have too little.

EDITED_BY: TheBovrilMonkey (1118337285)


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

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stroo
SILVER Member since Feb 2003

stroo

trusty sidekick to superman
Location: oxford, england, uk

Total posts: 799
Posted:I'm agreeing with everyone (apart from josh, sorry but i also found your post offensive). Poi is a hobby (a social one at that) rather than a profession for the majority of people on here. Although i do think people need to be careful with fire, i think that if you are aware of the dangers, poi can allow you to express yourself in a truely beautiful way.

I'm not that amazing at poi, but i took part in a circus skills club, and attempted to teach anyone who asked. Is there really any problem with sharing any knowledge you have, however little? especially if its going to let them gain as much from it as you have...

anyway. end of rant.


Livin' on dreams and custard creams

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=Flashpoint=
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

=Flashpoint=

Pasta of Muppets
Location: in the interwebs...

Total posts: 2719
Posted:Well, i'll be a yes man too, once again excepting Josh, who again I will say his post was offensive.

I want to start up a local group. I have been spinning for 10 months now, I love doing it with fire BUT i do not consider myself to be a fire performer/dancer. I lack the grace and the skill... There may be more spinners out there, but lookee here, the world has a population of 60 billion (ish) of which there are about one billion people in the world who can use a computer. There are 20,000 members on HoP, I feel is the foremost community for poi spinners. Do the maths, its not detracting from your "art" or your earnings...

This community has helped me make many new friends, who share an interest, and share ideas. When did this become a bad thing?

[/rant]


ohmygodlaserbeamspewpewpew!
ubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmileubbrollsmile

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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:Does this thread constitute "Social Discussion"? Or am I being a total plank?


Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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Fine_Rabid_Dog


Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...

Total posts: 10530
Posted:Yeah, I reckon your right there Nuggit wink

Well spotted, but I think your a plank anyway tongue (I joke, I joke hug )

I reckon Josh would have started off better with an introduction thread rather than a controversial one wink

I am a sort of apprentice... My step-dad has been teaching me since I was quite young.... does that count?


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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Sir Nuggit


Sir Nuggit

....is a liability
Location: playing with traffic

Total posts: 899
Posted:Agreed young aprentice (the force is strong in this one ubblol )

Perhaps everyone's opened Josh's eyes a little, either that or he's going to order pizza's to all our houses so we can all look like mugs too eek


Pull my pin out, roll me in to a room and see what happens ubbloco

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Psyri
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Psyri

artisan
Location: Berkshire, UK

Total posts: 1576
Posted:I have several masters lol... all poi'ers who are brilliant and inspire me, mind I suppose I wouldnt mind being called young padawan but no seriously poi is good for you why should it be kept from the masses?

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:spank

biggrin


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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:josh this aint the dark ages!!!!

i been spinnin fire for about three months and poi-ing for under a year, i chose fire not because i thought it looked cool and dangerous but because i felt ready.

dont slam me down 'cos you learnt the hard way, nor because you think your better than everyone else!!!

i've learnt and taught with some of the best spinners aroun my area and quite frankly your attitude stinks!

ok so there are some know nothings that endanger themselfs and others, but the suck just as much as this holyer than thao attitude you have.

chill bruv and have some fun


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I came to a certain peace when I realized that everyone does poi for a very different reason.

Some people do it purely for profit.

Frankly, I can think of a ton of ways to make more money with much less stress and effort, but that's me.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: NYC

Frankly, I can think of a ton of ways to make more money with much less stress and effort, but that's me.



Like teaching high school? ubblol


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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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:*coughelitistbittercrapcough*

Welcome Josh smile


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Elitist?



What do you mean by elitist?



(Note: asking before assuming. biggrin )



Written by:


Like teaching high school?





Well, actually, yes. biggrin



To make the salary that I'm making, with the vacation I've got, and the job security, I think you'd have to work a HECK of a lot harder as a performance artist than I do as a teacher.



Oops... It's 2:45 PM and my work day is over in 10 minutes, I gotta run. wink


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Stainless Munchkin


Stainless Munchkin

Master of the Munchkins


Total posts: 246
Posted:FRD taught me ppoi, I started roughly a year ago, and yet I have already done fire! This is because I was told of the dangers, but I am old enough to spin fire safely if told how to! I shook off the wicks etc, because I had experienced people to tell me what to do. It was probably the worst performance in history(weave, backwards weave and not much else) but this was because that was all I felt safe doing, if I had tried anything I was less confident about then I would have been silly, and people may have been hurt! I think it varies from person to person whether they can do fire or not, and it is the responsibility of friends to give helpful advice, not to get angry!

Are you that clever that you smile forever? biggrin

What's from the Earth is of the greatest worth

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crazycarl
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

member
Location: Bellingham and Seattle, WA

Total posts: 21
Posted:I must admit, it really pisses me off when I see unskilled fire-performers CHARGING MONEY for poi lessons or performances.
I fully encourage the trading of skills, tips, tricks, etc between EVERYONE under ANY circumstances -- for free, however, when you CHARGE MONEY to teach someone a skill, I believe you have an obligation to be GOOD at what you teach.
When you bill yourself as a "teacher" -- you no longer are just representing your own skills, but are representing the art of poi in general. As a teacher (charging money) people put you on a pedestal, and if you are mediocre, people will mistakenly believe that mediocre poi spinning is in fact "expert" poi spinning.
In essence, your students will take away an underrated view of how AWSOME poi spinning can really be...
If you just taught for free, it would be a friendly exchange of tips/tricks -- but when you charge money you inadvertantly become a "representative" of the art of poi as a whole....
I am rambling, hopefully I dont piss anyone off.


A bird can fly, but a fly cant bird...

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: crazycarl

I must admit, it really pisses me off when I see unskilled fire-performers CHARGING MONEY for poi lessons or performances.
I fully encourage the trading of skills, tips, tricks, etc between EVERYONE under ANY circumstances



I completely agree with this. Absolutely. And when I think of the statement "Newbies Teaching", that is exactly what I think. I have seen it. People who can't walk and spin at the same time charging for classes. There is a big difference in my eyes between sharing and teaching. I do both.

And for me this holds even more so with fire. I truly believe that someone who is new to fire shouldn't be teaching someone else fire.
Just as much as I do not expect someone in 5th grade to be teaching my 4th grade son.
Just as I don't expect someone who has just gotten their permit to drive to teach someone else to drive.

Flinging fire around arbitrarily without a clue how to do anything with the tools you are using is not an expression of the soul or the art. I have seen it many times. I have seen a person who couldn't do anything other than spin their body in a circle with the poi on fire, but not spinning the poi, lit fuel flying everywhere. And he wanted to teach a poi workshop. That was not artful, nor expressive. It was dangerous. And that happens often. If it was with beamers I'd say fine, he'll break himself but it was a danger to others as well. There are craploads of stories on the bb of newbie spinners who are dangerous with fire.

How is that being elitist to question this? I see it as being safe.

But like NYC I have come to a place where I know people are going to do stuff like that, they are going to light up and not really know how to spin (some of the people who have walked into my classes have been wickedly guilty of this). They are going to be a danger to themselves and to others.


(btw... not condoning Josh's tone or his post really...just trying to understand the anger that is coming from all this).


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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