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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:Just wondering if any of you have noticed since you started playing with fire, your level of snobbery towards other spinners has increased, or even the amount of competition between yourself and other twirlers has increased?Sometimes i have to remind myself that i was a newbie once too and should practise more tolerance to others....Anyone else?

- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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Posted:yeah I have to say - I find myself comparing myself to other twirlers, but I guess I've always done that eg. Man! That looks F#ckin' hard! whereas now its like; Oh ok, circular 3 beat weave...no probs...The only thing I get negative about is when someone who isnt very good runs around showing off and acting all important...Or ppl who wont twirl if there is someone better than them twirling
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Josh


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gάrbǿ


gάrbǿ

addict
Location: Bristol / London / Norwich / C...

Total posts: 521
Posted:you only do that if you are indeed better than them.peace outgarbo
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be excellent to each other: safe:

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TallJuggler


member
Location: Texas, USA

Total posts: 41
Posted:I find myself looking at other twirlers hoping to learn something. If some one is better than me, I try not to look at them with a snobby attitude but as if they are challenging me to do better. It makes me practice more and become better. I want to be one of the worlds greatest jugglers, if not, at least one of the most dangerous. So I see everyone as a challenge and that just gets me to work harder. Though I am a good sport and willing to help out anyone who asks.

Oh LordForge me in the fire of your mightLet your flames burn higher and brighterMake me pure and holy in your siteAnd cleanse me with thy consuming fire

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N8


member
Location: NY, USA

Total posts: 336
Posted:I go to lots of raves, and although I don't spin fire, i find that there is always some one better and someone worse than I. I try my best not to become critical of people but I agree w/[Josh] on people not spinning cause they see that someone's better. I think that's just dumb.The worst is when some idiot starts running around doing a forward cross over at like 500rpm thinking he's the cat's ass. That just irritates the piss out of me, cause they don't spin for the love, they spin to impress, and its really not that impressive (N8 laughs uneder his breath). Most of the time they're all hopped up on E, so i guess you can't blame them for acting a little bizzare.------------------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...

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:I don't think of it in competitive terms. I don't much think of it in terms of one person being better than another.I'm fairly new to twirling, and I will admit that I think I am better than some total newcomers. But beyond that, I think everybody can bring something interesting to the table. I just enjoy watching other twirlers. Once in a while I'll crib a move from them. If anyone asks me "how do you do that?" I try to help them. I don't think I'm snobby about it, and I don't think I've run into anyone else who is.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Posted:Right on , adam. I'm thinking as I'm reading this piece, like "How do you decide who's the one person 'better' than everyone else?" I don't think in those terms either. I do know who's got their act together. And I do know who's got special skills and ingenious ways. But I don't think in terms of a linear ranking of "better". I guess I've got the advantage of being around a lot of the same fire performers over time. Even if I don't see them for a while I remember what they were doing last time and can appreciate what they've worked on and contributed. There are definitely some people whose work I respect more than others, but I'm always thinking about what each contributes as an individual. Snobbery, hmmm. I suppose there was a time when I was about six/nine months in that I was thinking a lot of myself, where I looked down on people with less experience and didn't respect people with more. Sooner or later you learn that you're not all that. Then I realized there are things integral to me, that only I can embody. I do want to say that one of my beefs is folx who pick up my skills without asking. I'm very willing to share. I taught a lot of kids skills. But I've had people pick up signature moves of mine and then perform them in front of me without a thought. The only way to know for sure whether you're copping something that's unique to that person or not is to ask. And if you talk to a person you may end up not just with their moves, but with a friend. Diana

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Well said Adam and Di. Saves me words
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...


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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ykaterina
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: east randolph, VT USA

Total posts: 107
Posted:that was one of the coolest things about east coast, actually - no one was snobbish. everyone was on different levels, and some were way good and some were just starting, but even the people who were just starting had some unique thing to share - even though they weren't as fluid or as experienced or didn't know as many tricks, they'd have some new thing that no one had ever thought of before. that was the greatest. it was such a great illustration that it just doesn't matter.i mean, sure it's one thing if someone's always saying they're so great, blah blah. and in that case if they don't stand up, well, they're just a loser. but the real truth is this isn't an olympic sport - it's not about ranking. it's about you and your poi and what you can learn from other people, no matter how often they practice!
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nomad
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

nomad

retired
Location: Paris, France

Total posts: 356
Posted:Wise words from Diana and Adam. All the spinners that i've met so far were very low-key down-to-earth people and all willing to teach their tricks. I haven't run into the obnoxious ones yet! To me the way you spin is an extension of what's in your mind, therefore the diversity and the fact that anyone can bring something to the table (moves, combos, and most important: style).Diana, I can understand your frustration if someone steals your moves. I haven't run into that yet but again my exposure to other spinners isn't that great. And when it is, it's with some really cool people like at the ECSP. Btw, are you gonna be in the fire conclave at BM this summer?Nomad

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Posted:IMHO, I figure all of us get some kind of satisfaction in comparing our spinning to other people's. That's what makes me come up with new moves and that's what makes me watch people spin for hours...[Willow is also mesmerised by fire...]Was @ a festival this past week-end, and met LOTSA spinners from around South Africa. There were almost no hasles...BESIDES THE ODD DRUNK WHO WANDERED TOO CLOSE!Everyone could join in, regardless skill-levels and no cocky-ness was present.But there was alot of cheering for a move pulled-off well! Haven't put down my poi for 4 solid days and going to bed only now...
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Twist


member


Total posts: 160
Posted:Yah....... this is kinda weird for me because I picked up spinning from someone really close to me who actually didna' want me to start for fear that I would get "better." I respected those wishes for a long time, but then finally decided..."y'know... this is something I truly would like to learn..." so I "trained in secret" (to use a cheezy kung fu movie image)......so, lo and behold, now that I have achieved a degree of competence and my pursuit of this sport is out in the open... it is a constant source of strife between the two of us.After that experience, I felt really compelled to share spinning with as many people as possible... sort of a Karmic re-adjustment thing... but, oddly enough, I do feel a little jealous at times when someone picks up a set for the first time...Basically, I've got to agree with Diana... I'm at the point now where I am passionate about a "style" that I feel is my own... I think maybe I'll call it "Drunken Willow"......heheheh... anyway, has anyone else had experiences like this... people being completely unwilling to share or educate in the sport?

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Posted:yeah - I've had ppl tell me all about their twirling etc etc, but when I asked to hook up for a jam..no joy...Our fire practice sessions are open to all comers, strangers, old friends, participants, or those just watching or hanging out. I think the whole Closed Practice Session thing is a bit of a worry.Josh

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Posted:Hey, thanks for the support. I'm glad to know I share views with other out in the world. Yeah, I do know lots of folx who don't teach or don't teach anymore. I can understand why. (Now this is teaching fire spinning, not poi, I'm speaking of.) The people I know who don't teach are, unfortunately, some of the most serious and accomplished. Those that don't teach don't because they consider it an awesome responsibility to initiate someone in fire. Here's a story from one that I know. She was taught to blow fire in Europe by a very accomplished breather from old circus stock. She learned to breath *very* large blasts. She taught a guy who seemed very responsible. He was moving through town and had planned to leave the next day, but stayed on an extra week to learn. She taught him in-depth in technique as well as safety. Unfortunately, he forgot a lot about safety over time and taught a whole lot of people with less respect for fire. She ran into him again at a gig. He had developed an act with his girlfriend where she wore flaming "bra" as it were and he blew fire off of them. She seemed oblivious to the risk she was taking. He had also taught a guy to breath who was running around the club, naked, drunk and messed up on drugs, wanting to blow. Everyone did their best to keep him away from the tools and fuel, but after the set was over he blew fire off this girl's tits. With white gas. He got a blow-back burn on his face and burned her stomach. Now, she takes responsibility for this because she taught the guy who taught him. And closed rehearsals. Well, I think there's a time and place for everything. I do both open and closed rehearsals. Closed rehearsal are a very good way to work on tightly choreographed group pieces and developing "troupe spirit". Open rehearsal are very good for fun and sharing skills and ideas. Diana

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KT


member
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Total posts: 54
Posted:all i have to say is do it for yourself notanyone else
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PeaceKt


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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:This post was sort of prompted for me by these "rival twirling group" (hehehe) in our area. I went and saw them and couldnt help but think...nah way, we are much better! And also again on saturday night when people would just come up and take the syick from you (literally, this guy came and took the staff i was borrowing from someone else and gave to his girlfriend ignoring my pleas of "its not mystaff"). I think these are the times that i will be most critical and find myself snobbing them as a fellow fire twirler.I mean i know mine and our limits, i mean i still worship the fireflys and think theyre incredible and am learning alot thru their workshops.In general im more than happy to help someone out in learning new tricks, have even lent my pois (for 3 whole days!!!) to someone to have their first light up.
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- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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Twist


member


Total posts: 160
Posted:I think its TOTALLY ok to measure yourself against others... particularly those who have taken on the responsibility of performing......similarly, I understand keeping a practice closed if you're trying to synch some stuff in......I'm glad to hear everyone is more or less open to introducing new people to the art though... but Diana's comment really made me think a bit......I "taught myself" to play Djembe... and, in so doing, did not realize that I was doing something of a disrespect to the traditional approaches to drumming. Do people feel similarly about poi... that there is a "proper," traditional way to approach technique, etc?

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BEZERKER


BEZERKER

enthusiast


Total posts: 237
Posted:Twist, I reckon it depends on the individual. I'm largely self taught on Poi but when I found this site and got in with a few others who had learnt from it I found that there was a much more technical level of proficiency to their spinning.It made me watch and work harder at improving. It wasn't that they were better than me, just different. I kind of likened it to a musician who is self taught and one who is classically trained. They cam both be spectacular to listen to but have different approaches. It kind of depends what you are aiming for.Doing new things is there for the taking. Not everyone has the chance to go to Africa to follow the traditional way of playing Djembe. I don't think this should stop them from getting into it if that's their passion.Same with poi, I believe anyway

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Posted:i think its okay to compare, if someone is better than someone else, they are still better whether it is aknowledged or not. however, realizing that someone is better than you or that you are better than someone else is very different from turning it into a competition. i have found that competition ruins fun, i used to play hockey, but my team had taken second place the year before, and were in first place that year. everyone on the team turned into a jerk, if someone messed up at all they would really come down on that person, it became undesireable to play and so i simply quit. you want to be careful about that sort of thing. there are levels of skill, and it is alright to realize that, so long as it doesnt become a barrier between you and them. i think it should be a fun journey for everyone to take, not a competition to beat everyone else.

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Posted:Good question, Bez. I know in my community, there's been a big change in recent years. Used to be fire was handed down from person to person. Now, a lot of people of learning for themselves, learning together in groups, some more experienced players are teaching group classes for money. This is frowned upon by many "old school" fire performers. I, myself, did learn in a group setting from a more experienced player. So, to some, I'm tainted by the way I was introduced. But I've also sought out the guidance of more experienced players on a personal level. I've respected fire. So, most have accepted me. I've been through my period of teaching and helping develop other kids. My lesson was quick and clear. I was working with some less experienced kids. One in particular that I had a really good vibe with. We were going to do a gig. There was no guarentee of pay, so I chose not to do it. It was also the person who was the producer. I knew that him saying, "I'll pay you if the event does well", meant that he wasn't going to pay. I went to do fire safety for them. They went out to soak. I ran in to the bathroom. When I came back, they were already on *without safety*. I tore them both new assholes, though they tried to wriggle out of it with every excuse in the book. Then I hear from another fire performer, one I respect tremendously (who's one of the more staunch safety advocates in my area, who it's taken me a long time to earn the respect of) that these kids were out at a very crowded street fair playing without safety. I had to stop working with them. There's also a kid I lit up for the first time who came to a gig I was doing and complained bitterly about not being allowed to perform. It's this kind of disregard for safety and bad behavior that I can't be associated with. I don't teach much now because I need to be *really* sure of a person before I put my "mark" on them. The handing down of knowledge on a personal level has been incredibly valuable to me. I've gotten a lot more information faster that way. I feel a lot more sense of community, after being accepted as someone coming humbly into this experience seeking knowledge, respecting the traditions and doing what I can to keep them alive. Diana

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that fire twirling, as it is practiced by most of the folks here, really doesn't *have* much of a tradition. Local communities of fire-twirlers may have their own practices, but this isn't something that's been handed down from one generation to the other since time immemorial.Which is all for the best, as far as I'm concerned--stuff that is handed down over the generations is prone to ossification and excessive folderol-festooning.Now, local community practices (which I consider distinct from "tradition") may be worth observing, both in their own right and just to get along. But that's another thing.Diana has mentioned the issue of teaching the skill to other people, and it's one of those intractable quandaries: Do you teach, and then feel responsible when a student goes off and does something stupid, or do you not teach, and let the person screw things up for himself? I don't think there's a right answer.None of the first wave of twirlers around here give lessons (though they occasionally trade lessons) anymore, as far as I know. So everybody who is coming to poi is learning either on their own or through a group where people are at different levels and trade tips. Groups are probably the best way to promote safety consciousness and that sort of thing: if your teacher tells you "do this, don't do that," it's one thing. But if you see all your peers doing this and not that, it's another, and more effective. None of my local fire-friends are people I would consider teachers, but if any of us catches somebody doing something that we consider a Bad Idea, we aren't shy about pointing it out.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Posted:Adam, Hmmm, I don't think that just because a practice hasn't gone back beyond memory, doesn't mean it's not a tradition. I'm working now with the one who taught the one who taught my teacher how to do body transfers. I'm fourth generation, so to speak, in that tradition. That may be a local custom to some. I take it very seriously. I agree though that some traditions get all hung up on themselves, maintaining a tradition that's no longer pertinant just because it's a tradition. I don't agree either that someone's fire tribe necessarily has more sway with someone than their teacher. It all depends on the person and the nature of the their relationship with their teach and their peers. I do think that the teaching vs. not teaching issue (old ground for those who've been around this board for a while) is a conundrum. Thanks for your words. Diana

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Thistle


Thistle

old hand
Location: Nottingham UK

Total posts: 950
Posted:Snobbery sucks!! We were all newbies once. I try to help as many ppl as i can, by showing them new moves, building their confidence etc.... When i was learning there was no one else around and i was lonely till i found this website. I don't think anyone is better than anyone else, we are all just at different levels.I have met ppl who dont want to share and are very secretive but they lose out on the *family* in the long run. & i can't be bothered with ppl like that.Onelove, Thistlefirepixie
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[This message has been edited by Thistle (edited 03 May 2001).]


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