marmaladeSILVER Member
72 posts
Location: Toronto, Canada

Hi all,

Not sure where to post this, so my apologies if I'm in the wrong forum.

So yeah. I started spinning poi in January of this year, and had my first burn in June. Ive been spinning fire pretty much once a week all summer long, and while it is by no means 'a performance', I've always felt really great after spinning.

A couple of weekends ago I was at an outdoor party, and I lit up with some other (more advanced) fire spinners. I felt a bit apprehensive, but I just chalked it up to the moment and just kept lighting up short burns so that I could get comfortable with it.

Since then I've felt as though the only move I can safely do lit is a 3-beat weave, or perhaps the butterfly. I've tried tossing in a fountain, or corkscrew, low reels -- all stuff Ive done lit before, but I feel as though I cant successfully do them so stop almost before I start -- I'm erring on the side of caution here.

And flow? There is no flow. I pretty much stop one move, swing the poi a bit, then do another move. And even then, I find that when first lit, I just stand there spinning circles trying to get a better feel for the fire.

So, I am chalking this up to a loss of confidence. While I know that the only way to move through this is to spin more fire (and I will this weekend at a festival), Im wondering if this is normal.

Has anyone else out there all of a sudden felt this way?


Mr_ChutneySILVER Member
1,712 posts
Location: Herefordshire, England (UK)

I don't think the way forward is to spin fire more- if anything, i'd suggest getting some glow equipment and concentrating on spinning sock poi and your glow stuff before you move back to fire. I feel too many spinners rush to spin fire at the negation of developing a broad ability with poi, feeling that spinning fire is all there is too it, and thats a shame as spinning alone can be so much more rewarding than burning.

Practise learnig with sock poi, or at least tails if you must, and get confident spinning those, knowing where you're going, keeping your planes clean, making your transitions second nature. Once you've done this (and that could be quite some time- i didn't burn at all until i was some 2 years into my spinning life) you'll immediately be more confident with your ability and the fire aspect will concern you much lass as you'll know you won't be hitting yourself smile
In my experience it is at this point that you'll start to get the illusive flow.

I hope this doesn't sound harsh- I really hope you are able to enjoy spinning fire poi again, I just feel that you'll benefit from spinning in general a whole lot more if you really, really work at the fundamentals.

Also, having reread your post and what I've written so far, it may be worth considering that fire just isn't something you're comfortable with- thats ok! Fire is dangerous and many people don't feel comfortable with the risks of fire arts- you don't have to spin fir in order to get an awful lot out of poi. You may well find that after more practice you want try burning again, but don't just subject yourself to burns purely to 'get through' the anxiety of spinning.

Blimey, what a long post. I hope you get my meaning, and I hope some of that waffle is useful to you.

Happy spinnning! smile

marmaladeSILVER Member
72 posts
Location: Toronto, Canada

Absolutely! Thank you for taking the time to reply smile

I actually feel quite confident when spinning with LED and with my sock poi, even though I know that I still have loads of things I want to learn and explore. I guess Im just taken back a bit with what seems to be a sudden lack of confidence when spinning fire.

Maybe Im making too much out of nothing, I'll see what happens this weekend at the fest I mentioned. I'll be bringing up loads of glowsticks to attach to my practice poi, and when/if ready, light up my wicks.

I'll let you know how it goes smile


328 posts
Location: uk

I don't know really, converting to fire although has certain similarities for each practioner, everyone generally have an essentially a uniquely and personally different experience. I f I rememeber correctly somewhere around what would be three years ago now, the fire component for me got off to a really unpleasant start.

Completely self taught, I guess I'd been working towards fire for approximately six months, covered thouroughly all the groundwork, spent a lot of time on dry wicks, then wet wicks, hadn't really given much thought though to possibly the most important thing, that being me, that perhaps I just didn't like the idea of being in the middle of two fire balls rotating around me, a real shame really, since this was something I really wanted to do.

On the whole I found the experience very unpleasant, that probably wasn't helped when I managed to scorch the top of my head, now I didn't actually hurt myself, or really put myself in a position where I'd be doing anything that hadn't already been thouroughly practised. Bottom line that evening put me completely off performing with fire for a good few months, I'd turn up to meets, spend most of the evening practising with fueled heads, occasionally I'd get asked if I was going to light, always the same answer, don't think for this week.

I've had a long thought about this, several times now, what worked for me was to stick at fire poi, if I was to be open about it, when I finally managed to get started with fire much later I intensly disliked it for a long time, I'm not sure if it was just the initial experience, or a general non existence of confidence with fire. I now perform professionally and teach fire arts to others, if starting fire from scratch. I'd suggest starting with staff or club swinging, rather than poi, even is staff is not really your main interest, it has a lot of benifits over starting with poi, but mainly it takes away the discomfort than potential tangles with poi instill, and you have more or less complete control, that is its much easier to drop a staff of swining fire club safely should anything go wrong.


marmaladeSILVER Member
72 posts
Location: Toronto, Canada

Im happy to be able to say that seems to have been a temporary loss of confidence --- I spun fire several times at the fest I was at last weekened no problem. In fact, I had several other spinners tell me that I was doing pretty good smile

Then last night at a drumming circle that I went to I was not only eager to spin again, I was able to work on some new moves (complete with the requisite hootin' & hollerin' from me when I finally nailed a butterfly turn combo I've been working on, lol).

So I guess it's only normal to have moments when you're wondering WTF you're doing.

I also realized that part of the problem could be stemming from a) the new chains on my poi, and b) the change of fuel type used. I went from using lamp oil to camp fuell, which I find burns a lot brighter and a lot hotter. I think that the next time I stock up on fuel, I'll pick up another tin of the camp fuel along with a bottle of lamp oil. Perhaps mixing the two will calm things down a little bit.

So yeah! Im thrilled to have moved past this stumbling block and to have figured out what it was at least in part caused by.


Bender_the_OffenderGOLD Member
still can't believe it's not butter
6,979 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia

first of all,
hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug hug
never forget that each little fire dance you do is a gift:
for the fun you have in twirling!
for the wonder it instills in those that watch you!

in so giving, you have already begun reap the reward.
the 3 beat weave still enthralls me - remember, it's .:fire:. tamed by your own hand.
that has never lost it's appeal to me.
. biggrin

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

JastapusBRONZE Member
39 posts
Location: UK, Essex

Just as a side not to this ive realised that its quite hard to properly hurt ur self with and poi impliment. because if it hits you, with the speed itll just bounce off and leave a black mark. the only dangerious this is when it wraps on you....... eep. however the point i am trying to get across is that if youve got a few polished moves just know that you cant hurt ur self and itll bring back a lot of confidence

Cogito Ergo Sum

GnorBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
5,814 posts
Location: Perth, Australia

Put old socks over your firepoi and practice lots and lots with them unlit as well as lots of lovely sockpoi work.

If you do fire you you and not for others just do what is comfortable. Lots of us have fuel focus where as soon as we light up we forget all the moves biggrin

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

RicheeBRONZE Member
HOP librarian
1,841 posts
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Noone told you you need to spin fire, this is just another kind of expression yourself. Spin whenever and whatever to feel good.


love nad light,



misslucygBRONZE Member
35 posts
Location: Otautahi, New Zealand

one of the most important pieces of advice I think I've ever gotten about poi was that it's just as beautiful and spell binding to go slow, I try to always at least start slow and find my rhythm and flow before speeding up- if speeding up at all, I find this very centring (hehe spelling?!)

Stick ManBRONZE Member
37 posts
Location: Nh, USA

I used to be really self-conscious about spinning fire in front of groups of people. I wasnt so much afraid of getting burned as I was of looking sloppy and unprofessional. I would always stick to simpler moves I knew I could do 100%. Then one night while spinning fire for some people, I tossed in a reverse weave and turn (my first with fire). And I was all kinds of excited about it. But no one watching knew what the hell I was so happy about. To the non-spinners it just looked like the same stuff I had been doing. Kind of a Catch-22, my reverse weave looked the same as my weave. That means it was smooth. But my reverse weave looked the same as my weave. That means they didnt even notice I was doing something different. Something more difficult. So I stopped spinning for other people and started spinning for me. Nailing a 5 beat corkscrew buzzsaw hyperloop without fire while hanging out in the back yard is better than doing a bunch of easy stuff with fire for a group of people you dont know anyway. Spin what you want, when you want.

I ain't been around the world, but I've been around the block. I ain't seen everything, but I've seen enough to talk. I'm not a prophet, I'm not the 2nd comming of christ. I'm just a mason with a will to build and a little advice.

misslucygBRONZE Member
35 posts
Location: Otautahi, New Zealand

so well said clap

607 posts
Location: London/Bristol, United Kingdom

personaly what i'd do is go out and spin moves your not confident with on fire and possible burn yourself biggrin that way you'll find out that it's not so bad. also you'll probably pull off alot more than you think you can as the fire really focusis you. Maybe this approach isn't for you (wimp wink ) but personally I've had enough people saying to take it easy, jump in the deep end once in a while and you might get burt but you might have the spin of your life.

p.s. This is coming from somone who first picked up a staff lite, and for a good year only owned fire poi so feel free to take or leave this advice.

Maybe I should change this too something abit nicer, humm no I still think your all Ccensoredt

Miranda (mewcat)BRONZE Member
queen of all the hipsters
150 posts
Location: Cornwall/Birmingham, United Kingdom

I had a crisis of confidence regarding ALL spinning (not just fire) after i came back from my first meet! Play with what you're happy with and it'll come togther.

to live at all is miracle enough

HOP Newsletter
Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more...