Forums > Help! > need help on giving poi workshops

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Flecolan
Flecolan

Chillisity!
Location: Nieuwkoop, Netherlands
Member Since: 15th Aug 2007
Total posts: 42
Posted:I've been asked by a local poimerchandiser to give workshops. It seems like a nice job to me :), I always wanted to make money with poi smile. But the problem is that I never gave a workshop before.

Does anyone have tips on how to handle a workshop?


Pagan Hippie ^^

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meshunderlay
meshunderlay

Juggler/Spinner
Location: Hicksville, New York, USA
Member Since: 15th Sep 2008
Total posts: 612
Posted:Have you ever helped someone to learn before? Perhaps a friend, or even demonstrated how to do some fancy manuever at a festival/get-together?

Do that, make a brief outline for what beginners would need to learn, and maybe somethings non-beginners would be looking to work on. *shrug* After that, do a bit of making-things-up-on-the-fly and BAM, workshop!.. =)

*shrug* Most importantly make sure it's fun. I was just at a workshop where the instructors attitude was all wrong (not poi workshop but still).


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:I'd plan something that breaks it down, think about every single step... Something that gives them lots to think about when they go away.

hug

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:i like female instructors, cus they are generally the ones with the supportive vibe that is most conducive to learning.

on a technical level, instructors need to be albe to provide the link between each drill and the overall movement that is being taught. Sometimes great twirlers let themselves down as teachers by teaching drills from only one perspective/direction/height/plane or give incomplete breakdowns of a movement (ie in teaching a move, 80% of the time is spent breaking down the first two steps and the remaining time is rushed through all the rest)

additionally, guys tend to give a competitive atmosphere in workshops - whereas i see female teachers congratulate participants nailing new moves, i often find male instructors in the same scenario challenge instead to do again or in a more difficult way.

lastly, some of the best lessons i have ever recieved was from people who barely spoke english! what a luxury it is to learn from so many teachers - back in 2000 BJ (Before Jedi), all that many of us had was pages of internetz text describing advanced moves like the '3 beat weave'


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:"i often find male instructors in the same scenario challenge instead to do again or in a more difficult way."

I'll have to make a comment on that, bender... if the more difficult task is administered along with praise, then the more difficult task can be the same as encouragement. Giving a more difficult task can be the same as indicating progression and encouraging further learning.

But this of course, depends on the manner in which its done and the environment created and all that jazz. ^_^


hug

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:dude, the point is, new stuff is hard and try not to think that being told to do something harder is gunna feel like encouragement. this is when people feel daunted, drop out.

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:Depends on the challenge, if its within the learners zone of proximal development. (That which they can learn with help) it should be challenging without being hugely daunting, I'm talking about offering more difficult variations on the basic movement that they've been given.

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:?? it's more basic than that - how do you know how daunting it is for a participant? i honestly don't and have to challenge myself in that scenario to err on the side of kindness.

not everybody is equipped with the skills to let on that they're over their head - i am one of them. not everyone has the self observation to grasp how intimidating they can seem.

I recognise your point that a direct challenge to do one better works for people - what i am suggesting is that non-Freuds like me have difficulty picking up on who those people are smile

PS. big ups to MCP for the most door-opening doubles workshop i've had in like 4 years! i love how methodical your approach is!
b


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:I guess I might make a distinction here.

When I say "further challenges" I usually mean using the same skill in different applications. turning with the 3 beat weave. Good job, try it turning the poi and not your body (Doing it at your sides)

Or some movements can be done but say... in opposites or same time/split time. Turning with a buzzsaw can easily become a buzzsaw fountain and even an antispin buzzsaw fountain! I usually teach these fundamental breakdowns first, however, so the people I teach tend to just start playing around without my encouragement.

I do however need more students... or at least some more enthusiastic students.


hug

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Mucky
Mucky

Rum-Swilling Combustioneer
Location: Macungie, PA, USA
Member Since: 7th Apr 2008
Total posts: 227
Posted:MNS, I think maybe the approach you're using is trying to teach concepts over moves? That's what I try to do, anyway - teach *why* you want to know a 5-beat weave - even though the look of the 3-beat and the 5-beat by themselves are pretty much the same - the latter can open up new doors for transitions and patterns.

For absolute beginning beginners, I find it's good to start with the basickest spinning, but add in the butterfly and 3-beat, 'cause they're pretty simple and always good confidence boosters. But once you've done that, and covered basic turns, I try to start demonstrating the concepts, like *why* the hands move in certain ways, and how you can manipulate the poi more efficiently, without being bound by the context of specific moves. I mean, a fountain is nothing more than a weave (or a buzzsaw, or butterfly), so classifying it as a "move" is unnecessary and can be counterproductive - whereas teaching how the concept of a weave can be manipulated - that leads to fountains, but also any number of other things.

But the best thing for workshops is to be very aware of skill levels - if you have somebody who's never held poi before, try to remember what it was like when you were there. If you've got somebody really inquisitive or who has a knack for it, don't hesitate to show them more complicated ideas. A lot of times people will take something you show them and discover more about it in their own practice. Also, make sure to include a bit of time for "free play" where they can practice anything they want but still have somebody who will help them out as needed.


Bouncing Baby Pipe!

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LazyAngel
LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 29th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2895
Posted:I take a few approaches:

I usually explain at the beginning that every move is made up of lots of little bits, and that if you practise getting all the little bits right you'll be able to do the more complicated stuff more easily. Sometimes it helps to illustrate that.

When teaching stuff to beginners, I normally move the poi heads for them while they hold on to the handles so they can actually 'feel' where the poi are going

Once they've got the idea, I think it's important to give people 5 minutes to have a go on their own, without your input.

When people seem to be getting frustrated, i tend to change to another move and get them practising that for 10 minutes to allow it to 'sink in' but so they're not bored or feel like they're not getting anywhere. Once you've done about 3 moves with them, you can chop and change between them whenever you think they need a break.

Oh and always give lots of encouragement: I'm always really pleased when I see someone get a 3bt weave!

Oh and if you're not going to see people for a while, give them a bunch of basics to practise until the next time


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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simta
simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings
Member Since: 11th Apr 2006
Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: benderi like female instructors, cus they are generally the ones with the supportive vibe that is most conducive to learning.

rubbish, there might be lots of female instructors that do that well, but there's just as many males that do it aswell. i've seen some females be absolutely rubbish at teaching, same as i've seen males be rubbish aswell. it just depends.

saying all male-led workshops are a competitive atmosphere is unfounded. maybe the males you've been in workshops with have created that atmosphere but to say that's how it is generally seems a little silly.

in reference to the thread question.

-think about what your going to be teaching in the workshop
-break it down in the simplest terms
-think about several different ways about relating that to the student

different people learn in different ways, so if you give your students different ways of thinking about it chances are it will give everyone a way of understanding what you're teacing.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:Yeah, I dont teach moves at all, Mucky. I teach concepts, concepts teach 'moves'. It leads to giving them the tools to learn for themselves.

Though, thats not to say I won't tell them how it all fits together to create a move.

With one of my friends, I even told him to watch what I was doing and try to work out how to do it himself just by breaking it down... which direction are they spinning relative to me? To one another? Timing? Plane? Do they cross? Hand positions?

I dunno if this helped him learn to learn from others more quickly or what, but it could be useful.

EDITED_BY: Mother_Natures_Son (1225233184)


hug

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ElectricBlue
ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra
Member Since: 11th Feb 2002
Total posts: 810
Posted:I really recommend downloading and listening to this podcast.

They are from the perspective of high level jugglers but i found that they talked about lots of things that have helped me plan even beginners work shops. Especially for work shops in walk up festival mixed level in the same class style.

Juggling Podcast 45 - Matt Hall and Luke discuss juggling workshops.

Look on this page for the link
http://www.lukeburrage.com/audio/jugglingpodcast.rss.xml


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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torchlein
torchlein

Jupiterpassion
Location: Brighton UK
Member Since: 28th Aug 2008
Total posts: 35
Posted:I have just participated in the Nick Woolsey workshops (http://www.playpoi.com/poi-lessons) and obviously male led and not competitive at all and it was a great atmosphere.

I think its worth going to his website and get some inspiration from his way of teaching. If you can afford to however try to get to one of his advanced workshops and you get tons of inspiration of how to approach teaching. He not only breaks things down but also gives little extra exercises that help especially when you want to start teaching the moves where you move the poi independently.

His beginner workshops are probably a good one to learn to teach beginners as well. He is in germany soon if you can get there...

Anyways good luck with teaching hope all goes well!


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