Forums > Social Chat > How old is FIRE poi in your area?

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Hey All,somethings said about Tradition in fire twirling made me wonder...cuz as far as I know, in my area, fire poi (and serious fire twirling in general) is a relatively new thing, which has had nowhere near enough time to develop 'traditions'.I'd put it's age at around the same age of the Trance scene, which (at least in this area) emerged as a cohesive community around 1994-5...In my area, there are very few decent twirlers that arent involved in Trance music...most use the twirling as another method of ecstatic dance, to the rhythm
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I know Traditional NZ Poi work goes back a long time, but how long does it go back in your community?Josh

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

Em..Well there is only 2 of us who do fire poi here and only for a year, and as we are both leaving in July the 'fire poi' community here will die unless we manage to convert some people. Shame, but lots of people are more interested in watching than playing and practicing.

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

Hmmm, the one I know that's been at it the longest here is 22 years now. Though I don't know if she's been here that whole time. I've only been here since 93. I first became aware of fire performance at Burning Man 94 and that was predominantly a San Francisco crowd then. Most kids around here have been at it less than two years. Maybe 35 have between two and five years. I only know a dozen or so more than five years. From what I've sussed out, the trance communit's involvement with fire is a fairly recent phenomenon here. It's been more of a general circus and performance thing here. Some fire takes place with bands as a side act. Some is more of a fire show with music. There's a goth aspect, a fetish aspect, a punk to some of it, though I don't know how far that goes back. Anyone in SF got more local history? Diana

as far as i am aware, there are no fire spinners in wichita. however i am hoping to get some ppl who spin poi together and perhaps step it up a notch with fire, then we will have a community (of course ill probably be leaving wichita soon)

PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA

Here it started with me, myself and I
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And it is only me still doing it!!! Go figure..I'm unique..or is that a freak? Hmmm
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...[This message has been edited by Pele (edited 02 May 2001).]

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

92 posts
Location: roanoke, VA

I'm pretty sure i'm the only one here at school at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia (exceptions being my 2 close fire swingin buddies)we started with glowsticks at ravesand have moved on to FIRE

Peace,Travis IM: frodus17

1,015 posts
Location: Austin TX USA

As far as I know, fire was introduced into this area by a woman who picked it up on a trip to Greece. She went on to form a troupe, which I first saw about 2.5 years ago, though I know they must have been at it for at least a couple years before that. Around two years ago, she introduced it to the "second wave." Things seem to have spread like ripples on a pond from there. The total number of fire twirlers here is probably about 30--almost everybody knows who almost everybody else is.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Thistleold hand
950 posts
Location: Nottingham UK

There's been fire performers here for years but the new breed of poi-ers has been around for a couple of years as far as i can tell and the numbers are getting greater all the time. I am helpin to spread the news with a regular fire meet. I would like info on the traditions of poi if anyone can send me some.

Are we nearly there yet?

160 posts

Heheheh... Seattle is lousy with fire twirlers... as with everything else, I would imagine it started here approximately eight months after it started in San Fran.

160 posts

Hey Diana,You know Death Guild peaps?

Oh, yeah, Twist, I know Calico and Indigo. Not real well, but they're a good group of kids. Diana

214 posts
Location: Manchester

the scene here started about 6 years ago.(way b4 my time
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).a few friends started a circus skills club in the name of manchester university (free use of S.U and some funds here and there.>Manchester University Circus Skills Society, M.U.C.K.S for short.)From that spawned Monkey Puzzle entertainment, which is basically a small group of people (myself included,although i reakon i'm the newest member), who do circus skills, and like to put on parties. Although from when i got into the scene about a year and a half ago, numbers are slowely dwindling as most of the older members leave, theres only 3 or 4 left.
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these seem to have been preceeded by people like me though who help to organise our events, theres no chair-man or anything. its really relaxed. we did get around 250-300 at our last "jugglers ball" we organised (a 3-4 times yearly event/club night), appart from the regulars ( a few dozen ), everyone else seems to turn up for the wrong reasons. (cheap booze), which can get annoying after a while. as for traditions., we have a few. more like unspoken ettiquette curious of others poi/circus skills meets numbers. from those i've spoken to in other parts of England, ours is by far the largest with a regular turn out of 50 ish.whats everyone elses numbers like ?

309 posts
Location: Tampa, Fl

I have never even met another twirler from Tampa, let alone heard of fire over here. Though I have not yet graduated to fire, in a few months perhaps I can spark something up. Probably after we get a heap of rain. We have fires a plenty raging constantly, so I dont think anyone would be legal to spin fire just yet...------------------~I dont care if they eat me alive, Ive got better things to do than survive. ~Ani


237 posts

I saw my first fire juggler when I was ten (15 years ago, but that doesn't REALLY count as twirling
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). The first I saw was an english guy club swinging and using fire devil stick in about '92. The first real community I became aware of was a couple of girls doing twin staff at Camperdown Memorial Park every Wednesday in about'95 but there weren't many ppl there (only about 5 who knew how to do it).Josh as you know Flash, Frenzie, Finn and myself started spinning in the same park a few months ago and BOOM! ppl have been coming out of the woodwork to come (1 guy travelling for over an hour on publis transport to come. I guess the community is definately growing, worldwide too, as performance becomes a bigger outlet for ppl.

44 posts
Location: Douglasville, Ga, USA

Lived in Georgia all my life and never come across poi until recently. There are two people listed here at HoP in the Atlanta area as fire spinners though.btw. Hey guys and gals[This message has been edited by Tiki (edited 08 May 2001).]

1. CAUTION: Knife is very sharp. Keep out of children
2. A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.
3. Always remember to pillage BEFORE you burn.

protozoaBRONZE Member
148 posts
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

Hee!That's pretty funny, the remark about Seattle starting everything 8 months after San Fran gets it..Baltimore's usually about 3 years behind any west coast city!
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I don't mind though.AFAIK there was one fire performer residing in Baltimore before I started doing poi; she's primarily a fire eater, breather, fire transfer type. Baltimore had its first fire poi performance in the New Year's 2001 parade (as far as I know), and all three performers were from out of town. I spun fire for the first time that night (over at my own party in my back yard). Since then I've taught and brought maybe a dozen students to fire.Check us out; we're a humble lot but we do know how to have a good time!

Shouden-CrDSILVER Member
Veteran Member
495 posts
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

Never heard of anyone doing Fire Poi in this area....With any luck, Shibaki,FireSprite will start a regular meet here locally, and who knows?! We may be the first do do fire poi regularly here in Tampa/West Central FL!
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------------------ [PLUR]-=Crazy Raver Dude=-


12 posts
Location: New Zealand

I guess coming from New Zealand means that there is no surprise that I know poi swingers, I believe there are alot more that play with fire than is obvious. Cause I have spoken to people before I discovered the joys of poi about fire poi and where to get kevlar etc in previous years. I know more people that do the traditional poi stuff cause of how Te Puna at schools taught heaps of kids (not me I didn't join the maori group). I am seriously thinking about bugging a friend of mine to teach me some short poi moves. Cause the beat of the poi hitting the hand (no these poi's aren't hard as tennis balls) is quite captivating.

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