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PhilomelSILVER Member
39 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Yesterday, my non-spinning friend and I had about 15 mins to wait at a bus stop. I carry my sock poi around with me everywhere, so I started playing with them while we waited for the bus. I just did the usual butterfly/weave/windmill sort of stuff and lots of turns until he told me that I 'look like I don't know what I'm doing with them' and begged me to put them away. I think I was embarrassing him or something - he really didn't seem to like the fact that people were watching us.

Now I have only been spinning for a couple of months, so I could have handled a comment like "you look like a beginner," but not that. I've been really upset over it. It's ruined my confidence and has been making me spin poorly ever since.

I've been teaching myself from the Art of Poi DVD and Kahn's book. I can do just about everything on the DVD (most of the things in the 'free lessons' section of HoP) apart from one-handed, BTB, and 5-beat stuff. And I'm about halfway through the 'Intermediate Moves' section of Kahn's book (learning waistwraps at the moment). I've even found other spinners in my area and had them confirm that I've done quite a good job of learning by myself. So before yesterday's incident, I liked to think I was making a lot of progress and that I looked pretty damn good while I was spinning (for a beginner), but apparently not.

I don't think this guy has ever even seen fire-twirling before, so I doubt he even knows what it is meant to look like. I really shouldn't let it get to me, but I keep remembering the comment in the back of my mind and it is bothering me. frown

jcrsGOLD Member
the floor is a sea of tigers...
404 posts

Meh, I've had non-spinny friends who told me that I look silly prancing about spinning a stick... then when i attempt to do what little contact staff I know, the comments would be that i look even sillier. Though they have never seen me with fire anyway, so could be just that.

personally, I just spin for myself and haven't been bothered by what other people say these days. but when it comes to construcive criticism - me like smile

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

Try making him do the moves, then criticise him. Then who will be the one 'looking like they dont know what they're doing'?

No! Don't do that!... ubblol

Seriously though, you need to forget about your so called friend and move on. By the sounds of it youre going really well and you're learning very rapidly which is awesome, your friend is probably just jealous then he can't do any cool tricks with things!

Don't be disheartened by your friend. It's not worth worrying about. Try to laugh and shrug it off.

Now go forth learn more tricks and SMILE! biggrin


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

JauntyJamesSILVER Member
3,533 posts
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

I'd advise you find yourself a house in the middle of the mountains someplace. Come down occasionally to buy groceries. Then, you won't be subjected to any criticism.


"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

thegreatBJ 332 posts
Location: Hull...ish

I hate this about people who dont spin (like my mother) they all think its so easy and that if they tried then they'd be able to do it better than me GRRRR yet they never try it when I offer

you just have to keep going... my mum chriticises me all the time and Ive recenlty let myself get out of nack with my poi because Im ashamed to do it where she can see

ohh and the only person Ive ever persuaded to have a go with poi has become a poi monster (Im talking about stig or whatever he's calling himself nowadays by the way) he eats sleeps and dreams poi.... its even repaced sex! so Im not gonna try to get anyone else into poi


AsenaGOLD Member
3,224 posts
Location: Shatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Lol, I know wat you mean. My family were like, it looks soooo easy, so i passed them my tails, and watched one by one them all hit themselves, bash themselves and look stupid. The best thing was tho, they all got more and more frustrated until they just go, oh its pointless anyway. My housemates at Uni tho, much better, some of them try to wind me up pointing out they got a move in like 5 mins, but i've got one into staff spinning and hes coming along nicely, the rest just dont have the enthusiasm for poi.

Anyway,Philomel, ignore your friend. Carry on practising wherever and whenever, stuff him, he just doesnt appreciate art and how hard it is! biggrin

SunnySammySILVER Member
453 posts
Location: Cambridge(ish)/Bath Spa Uni, United Kingdom

its weird with my family my little little sister luved it so much shes bought herself a pair but me other sister thinks im obsessed with it because everytime she sees me that what im doin, then tells me to get a life! whats up with that!

I jumped into the river, what did i see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me. wink

Mint SauceBRONZE Member
1,453 posts
Location: Lancs England

lol non spinners just dont get it

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)

SkulduggeryGOLD Member
Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
8,428 posts
Location: Wales

I think you just have to ask yourself why you started to poi. Was it to impress others or was it just something you found made you feel good when you do it?

If its the second reason it doesn't matter what anyone says as long as it still makes you feel that way. If it's the first reason, you can never impress all the people all the time, so you better get used to people heckling you and let it be like water of the proverbial duck.

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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

I wouldn't be too hard on your friend, it sounds like he is really uncomfortable with being the centre of attention, and didn't know how else to stop it. I wouldn't take it as something personal or particularly malitious. I can think of different situations where a freinds actions or behaviour has made me uncomfortable, and its very difficult to deal with. It doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with it, but everyone has different insecurities.

And don't worry about other people's opinions. We can't all like the same things, if we did life would be boring. I remember my freinds telling me that they didn't get/like the whole circus skills thing, in a way that was putting me down. This put me off spinning for a bit until I talked to some other friends who are into it and they said just to not worry because its just someones opinion. I'm sure there is stuff that you're freind is into that you don't understand or like too. I made the mistake of judging myself by other peoples standards for a long time until I learnt that they are no better or worse than me, just different, and my likes and opinions are just as valid as theirs.

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

SunnySammySILVER Member
453 posts
Location: Cambridge(ish)/Bath Spa Uni, United Kingdom

Written by: pricklyleaf

And don't worry about other people's opinions. We can't all like the same things, if we did life would be boring.

well said smile

I jumped into the river, what did i see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me. wink

IgirisujinSILVER Member
2,666 posts
Location: Preston, United Kingdom

Aaah dont worrie, I agree with pricklyleaf your friend probably just said it in a bad way. I have a friend who claims he thinks poi is sad, and thinks its a 'really bad hobbie you got there' it did piss me off at first but I soon realised he is jelouse. I took him outside and gave him my glowbalz (not jokes lol) and he started spinning them, I had my tails I showed him a few things and even got a compliment on my mexican wave (god knows why its AWFULL).He had his webcam on once and was I showed him a link to somone spinning tail poi and Icould see through the camera he was gazeing at the screen with his mouth wide open, then he just said it was crap. I even showed him yutas video (wich we all know is amazingly good) and he avoided giving me his opinion on it.

Not everyone understands poi, my familly (and brother) in particular. He used to put me down on it infront of my parents because poi spinning is gay and tried pretty hard to talk me out of it (erm hello if it makes ME look 'gay' why is he botherd about it), unless its with fire wich is then cool (tho he stoped thinking that after he saw me spinning me LED poi outside at night)

Your new and you got the art of Poi lessons all learned? WOW im impressed ive been spinning about the same amount of time of you and I cant even hope to do half of the stuff on there. You are good trust me, your much better than I am, and I really wish I had the confidence to psin in public like you do!

hug You know im pretty jelouse of the way you can do poi miss Philomel, and im honestly not just saying that to make you feel better.

Chief adviser to the Pharaoh, in one very snazzy mutli-coloured coat

'Time goes by so slowly for those who wait...' - Whatever Happend To Baby Madonna?

SunnySammySILVER Member
453 posts
Location: Cambridge(ish)/Bath Spa Uni, United Kingdom

yeah, im pretty slow, been spinning for around 2-3 months and only have a small handfull of moves!
Whats ya secret? wow

I jumped into the river, what did i see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me. wink

KaelGotRiceGOLD Member
Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
1,584 posts
Location: Angel's Landing, USA

love spinning?

Like others said, if you do then it doesn't matter what other people say. smile

To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

15,414 posts
Location: United Kingdom

"We can't all like the same things, if we did life would be boring."
Just like if everybody looked the same? wink

Like Kael said: If someone is rude to you about your spinning, tell them to "***k off ***t". If they are not agast about your language, hit them with another verbal onslaught of expleetives and derogatory language.
They should quickly get the message that you have more important things on your mind other than their opinions. Such as the price of a good cheese.


"because poi spinning is gay" - traitor! oh... I get it! wink