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

Hi Lads and LassiesThis topic has probably been discussed before but since there are quite a few of us registered now I would like to ask - How did it all begin? How did you find out about poi/staff, how did you get hooked on it, what medium did you start on?To answer my own questions. I had heard the NZ's talk about this Maori poi thing and had no idea what was so special about it until I went to Kyoto last May. I went to a rave and one of the NZ girls that we were staying with started twirling a long glo-necklace as if it was poi. Then when we went back to her place she got out her poi and staff and lit up.I was fascinated and mesmerized. Upon my return to Akita I did a frantic search on the internet, found this site, and ordered some poi as a birthday present to myself. In the meanwhile I practiced with bags of rice stuffed in tights. Then my delivery from Malcom arrived and my addiction with Poi began. My boyfriend even woke up one night and found me laughing and doing the 3 beat weave (sans poi) in my sleep.I started with fire recently and my addiction is as strong as ever, and for some reason when I am performing with fire I care more about poi than who might be watching me. Now that it is warm here I can practice in the evenings and am determined to become fluid and graceful at poi.So how did your addiction begin?? ------------------"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

309 posts
Location: Tampa, Fl

Well, for myself, I wasnt even looking for Poi. I didnt even know that they existed. I was cruising the web to check out dancing videos and sites. And one of my searches led me here, and I saw one video, and it was over. I was floored. And I am soooo happy. grinSo I immediately ordered a pair about a month and a half ago, and now I even made a staff, something I could never imagine myself learning! Peace everyone------------------~I dont care if they eat me alive, Ive got better things to do than survive. ~Ani


Girl From Marsmember
168 posts
Location: Liverpool, NY, USA

i began by taking an old rubber type jump rope and cutting it in half and putting glowstick on the ends. i'm not quite sure where i got the idea, i think i heard about it from someone. but i've only used these strings ever since. most people that do glowsticks use shoe laces but i'm very attached to my jump rope, it glows in the black lite too. smile happy twirling------------------the music feeds my soul that glows and grows with every spin i take.

the music feeds my soul that glows and grows with every spin i take.

26 posts
Location: Woodinville, WA, USA

Here's my full poi story, from first learning to now. Just 'cause it's fun to tell.OK, so back in 1994 (Damn, that was almost seven years ago!), when Jupiter was about to get *utterly destroyed* (heh heh) by Shoemaker-Levy 9 (anybody remember??), I was with a friend and his friends, who were amateur astronomers. An older guy, who was always into that sort of thing, brought out some red poi, and spun 'em around.He showed me and some others how to do the weave, and I stuck to it and learned it that day. I found out later that the guy had died of cancer.When I got home I made my own (embarrasingly bad) set of poi...Socks and shoelaces. Eventually I made a better set (Rope and socks), and spent most every day spinning. Great for depression, I tell ya.Long time went past, I didn't know that poi was called poi, and wanted to find out. A relative who's authentic Hawaiian said that it's Polynesian, and the Maori used it. So I searched the 'net, but found very little.I taught myself most of what I know; but did learn by watching people flail them around for the first time, and sometimes amazingly come up with new stuff.Some time I made a set of fire-poi, and while spinning practice poi for fun at a FolkLife festival under the Needle (Seattle), was told about guys formerly in the band 'Tchkung! (however it's spelled). Later in the night they set up and invited me to fire-spin with them. First time I'd ever seen another person do fire.I used my own fire-poi, and one stubbornly wouldn't go. So I spun the other one *really fast* like I'd always done to put it out. Big lesson here. The ball got loose somehow and flew off, missing an audience member's face by literally a foot or so.I think that guy and quite a few others left. I borrowed the other guy's fire set, and spun with that.After some time I put the poi away for a year or more, except for a few goes once in awhile. I felt like I couldn't figure much more out. Lame that I did that.Well, every once in awhile poi would pop back up. i did fire twirls for small groups every so often. I can't remember if I found this site before or after my family took a trip to Hawaii. Ever since, this site has been a great inspiration to me to keep on twirling and figuring out new stuff.In Hawaii I found out a lot about poi at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Really cool.So now I've been doing some demos for my martial arts, and have been better at keeping up with practice. And I'm considering pursuing less in the computer field, as I've until now wanted to do, and going for something on the lines of performance. Much thanks to poi!Amazing how one thing can affect a life..-ryan


642 posts
Location: UK, London

I first came into contact with poi, at a pagan wedding. I had never seen them before, and they looked amazing. I sat and watched the girl twirl for ages.However it was months after that, that I got my own poi. I know my sister does it but I have not seen her in ages. She does not know that I have started twirling so it will be fun to see her again.Jez

'Happiness is liking peeing on yourself. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.'

'If *I* had a hammer, there'd be no more folk singers.'

336 posts
Location: NY, USA

Mea Ornamenta (My jewel) got me started into it. She and I (Girl from Mars) have been twirling since.------------------Care of other people's approval and you become their prisoner.Live fully, Rave wholly.Fluid are the movements of my strings...

Care of other people's approval and you become their prisoner.Live fully, Rave wholly.Fluid are the movements of my strings...

6 posts
Location: Jersey, Channel Islands

Some friends brought the fire idea back with a couple of colapsable staffs they brought whilst traveling a few years ago. But for me the poi/fire thing took off after going to Glastonbury that year and seeing some people just playing around. I think the one that stuck with me was the guy on top of the tallest stone in the stone circle, surrounded by drummers and didge players. He span for what seemed like hours. and I just though "I can do that!" so I came home and with a friends help made my first set of fire chains. So utterly hooked am I now, that the deciding factor for my moving to my new home was that the garden is big enough to spin in. smile

SupermanBRONZE Member
829 posts
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

my friends had started hitting the clubs & raves here in Houston, and they saw some people spinning strings (glowsticks)Then around a week or so before Christmas, a friend of ours had his Grandparents' duplex for about 2 months. So about 4 nights a week we were in this Duplex out in the middle of nowhere. (the owned about 10 acres of land in the country) So this place was secluded, right out of Blair Witch.They had learned about three or four moves. I tried it a few times and was instantly hooked... I have completely passed them in skill, i am teaching them moves now. Of course i actually practice 5 times a week, they justsee it as something cool to do at a party, for me it has gotten under my skin, and i can hardly go a day without doing it.I soon hope to be graduating to fire....OHHH i just found out the other day that they actually have video of me spinning for the first time. We use to video all our parties, and they have my first try on tape..i have never seen it. It should prove to be entertaining.------------------"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

160 posts

Heh...I started spinning after a passionate other and I broke up... she was a firedancer. Therapy, I guess.Taught myself for two weeks... and even though you can't spit here in Seattle without hitting a firedancer,did not have that essential person to light with......then this youngster walks by while I'm spinning... and she spins too... and we get to talkin......and the first night lit was in the brick yard of my university, two of us who would have never met otherwise, gettin' to be fast friends.Synchronous.

33 posts
Location: Boise, ID, USA

I had no idea Poi even existed until a friend of mine visited me from Denver this summer and brought a set.It's weird though because I've been spinning these homemade fireballs on chains for five years that I shown how to do by a friend from Stonehaven, Scotland where I guess they've been spinning fire to celebrate the New Year probably since ancient times.Fireballs, whiskey, TNT,the Cotton Gin, Malcolm... what a magnificently inventive, productive and handsome breed, those Scots.Skye

214 posts
Location: Manchester

hey hey grini got into poi through my brother and his girlfriend (cheers bruv )I saw them practicing and was mesmirised.I start to go raving at about the same time (with people i'd met at the juggling club). Later it became more spiritual, as i started really getting into fire, poi and nature.thats when i couldn't put my poi, down and was really hooked,, grin

14 posts
Location: NY, US

girl from mars got me on just glowsticks and then when she and n8 started with the strings i copied just as any lil sis looking up at her big sis would. but i'm now looking at going off on my own and starting to use staffs.

14 posts
Location: NY, US

girl from mars got me on just glowsticks and then when she and n8 started with the strings i copied just as any lil sis looking up at her big sis would. but i'm now looking at going off on my own and starting to use staffs.

Endangered Sanitymember
164 posts
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

I had never heard of or seen poi or glowsticks until i watched this video slip on the net of some guy twirling glowsticks. I thought it was pretty cool, so i searched for glowstick twirling and found this site. ever since that ive been hooked

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