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Forums > Social Discussion > Problem with poi spinning friend- Help!

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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:I've got a problem that perhaps you guys can help me with.
For local civic events, like new year's eve, the local tree lighting, and other fun things, I like to bring out my poi and spin before the fireworks go off.

A friend of mine some time ago wanted to learn poi spinning, so I made her a lovely set of practice poi- chain leashes with quicklinks, and heads made using rubber street hockey balls. A pretty solid set. I handed them off to her...and she never practices with them. Isn't even sure where they are ATM.

On those rare occasions when she borrows mine, all she can (or will) do is a plain forward spin. With her arms sticking out all akimbo, and the poi going everywhere, out of synch. Planes? Planes are just something you fly on, apparently.

Now here's the problem. When it's just us, I can tolerate bad spinning. (I wish she would work up the nerve to attempt even a simple butterfly or mexican wave instead of saying "Oh I can't, I can't!")
However, she always wants to spin with me at things like the public New Year's eve fireworks and celebration. I'm not a Jedi master myself, but I can perform many moves without tangling or whacking, can pull the poi in close to my body when things get crowded, and have a pretty good spatial awareness- enough to tell when people are getting too close for comfort and I need to slow down or stop for a bit. I doubt my friend can do any of this- see my aforementioned discription of her technique.
Having her do this at big crowded events scares the hell out of me, because I can see things going very bad, very quickly.

Scenario 1- she accidentally whacks somebody who has had too much to drink or is otherwise unstable. Now we've got a fight on our hands, which means I'll have to wade in and save my friend from getting stomped- I have martial arts training, she doesn't, and is in rather poor health to boot.

Scenario 2- she smacks somebody who is of the more litigous sort. They scream for the cops. At the very least, my friend is now in legal trouble, and I might be in trouble too, because I was spinning with her.
We could face confiscation of props, arrest or other hassle.

As it is now, I make excuses when she asks to borrow my props for these things. I don't want my expensive kit in the middle of a fight or a legal mess.

My friend likes to spin poi at events, saying she has fun doing it.
Is there any diplomatic way to tell my friend that I wish she would not spin at these things until she has gotten more practice, and her "fun" could get us in a deep pile of poo-doo, given her current skill level?


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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Total posts: 3597
Posted:dont let her spin fire.....im assuming you are not

just let her spin practice poi with you maybe? Get a softer set.;...you would have to be WHIRLING those around pretty hard to hurt someone.

or tell her "no you cannot use my toys. If you want to spin you hahve to commit to practising with me and buying your own pair."


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:Just one thing to add- I should have mentioned that we don't use fire. I don't spin with the stuff because I have not had the safety training, and my friend would not want to.

I use glowbug poi- the kind homeofpoi.com used to sell. I also use neonhusky's glowballs, and am looking at flowlights.
I'm also getting a set of quantum leashes for christmas- yay!
So all my glowtoys are LED-Driven, no flames.


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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:Originally Posted By: LadyAmanitaI'm not a Jedi master myself, but I can perform many moves without tangling or whacking, can pull the poi in close to my body when things get crowded, and have a pretty good spatial awareness- enough to tell when people are getting too close for comfort and I need to slow down or stop for a bit. I doubt my friend can do any of this- see my aforementioned discription of her technique.

"Those who can, teach"

(Actually, that's not all the truth.
Usually those who can, heckle.
But afterwards, they can teach)

smile


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Spanner: It sounds like it is more a case of not really wanting to learn though.

Dunno what to advise you on in this case though. Sorry.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Icarus
GOLD Member since Sep 2003

member


Total posts: 165
Posted:Tell her please. Think about what you really want to get across and then find a way to do it. Seriously... friendships survive honesty... some even blossom from it.

failing that, only take one pair of poi next time. You are not in control of your friend. All you can do is tell her it makes you feel uncomfortable and if she brings her poi and spins... it is totally out of your hands. Don't stress about it... you can't control her anymore then you can control the people who will walk into her while she is spinning

good luck and happy sppppiiiiinning

x


... simplify ...

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:As far as I see it theres two viable options... either aston is right and she doesn't really want to learn... or doesnt really feel like she can do it and is kinda scared she'll brain herself with the poi you've given her.

Chains with hockey balls doesnt sound head-friendly...


hug

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:MNS is tight, there could be a fear factor here.

Would you consider setting your friend up with glowsticks on shoelaces ? IMO, they're about the safest thing to spin when there's people really close. They don't hurt that much to get hit with, something both the spinner and innocent bystander will appreciate and they don't leave nasty bruises to be photographed and later blown up to poster size for use as evidence in the civil suit.

You may want to discuss

Why do people insist in walking right up to you when you're spinning poi ? You figure they'd look and think, hey there's someone whirling things around their body, I better not get too close, I may get hurt. Do they think that ? Noooooooooooo.

with her too


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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:I'll have a chat with my friend, and I will ask her about the poi I made.
The rubber balls are the same kind used in street hockey- hollow rubber, similar in weight to a tennis ball, but a bit squishier. If she's scared of whackage, I'll offer to sew up a set of sock poi with beanbags or hacky-sacks in the ends for her. And encourage her to save up for a set of the funky glowing sock poi sold here.

If she doesn't really want to learn, I'll have see if she can be gently dissuaded from spinning at these events- as I said, I'm afraid her lack of skill might lead to injuries or other trouble. Good call on the glowsticks, too.
As for my props, would explaining that if mishandled, they can really hurt somebody help? I don't think a quantum leash in the head is a fun experience, likewise a glowbug. Anyone remember those? They used to be offered here on homeofpoi.com, and I bought 6 of them - a yellow and red, a pair of blues, and a rainbow set. Those things hurt like the devil when you hit yourself. They're little polycarb tubes with plastic caps on the ends. They orginally came with full length built-in cord leashes, but I cut my cords down to fit onto my chains.

I'm a bit nervous about this discussion because of a former friend of mine, who I used to do sword sparring with. She admitted that she did not really like weapons, but liked to spar only for stress relief. When I suggested that she not spar anymore, she became very angry, saying I could not tell her what to do. Come to think of it, "You can't tell me what to do!" was a favourite phrase of hers, even when I objected to things that were downright disrespectful to me, or generally bad ideas.
Any wonder she's a former friend?

EDITED_BY: LadyAmanita (1227673568)


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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:I'd say that balloons full of rice or some other material like that in socks is the best poi set... mine are literally made from stripey socks. Tennis balls are way too light, in my opinion.

hug

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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:It could be not wanting to learn from fear, yeah. Did not think of that really....

And Stout: So it is not just the locals who ignore whirling poi. Good to know I guess.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: HOP

Total posts: 1002
Posted:Socks stuffed into socks are also quite forgiving. A bit of sand in a plastic bag can help on the inside if too light
Simple sock poi instructions

Funny how some people think tennis balls are too light and others say they are too heavy. Using something that you can easily change the weight of is ideal in this case.

PS. Use sand not stones. Maori did use stones on cords hundreds of years ago but they are much softer now.

All the best with your friend

Regards

Malcolm


"May your balls always burn"

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Loki_the_trickster
SILVER Member since Feb 2006

Loki_the_trickster

Has sharp edges
Location: Stuck in the mire

Total posts: 1266
Posted:YEAY! Malcolm said it for me.....socks in socks....Or rice in socks is a good safe way to go wink

Don't discourage, encourage! Soon you may have a wonderful spinning partner!

Happy spinning! grin beerchug


My ADD makes it so that.....Ooooo SHINY.....wanna go ride bikes....wait....where am I.....

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Looking at the skill levels of the people who use really light poi, heavier poi are for sure better... the light poi are too forgiving in the paths they allow you to take with the arms, they're much less efficient paths and make it look less smooth.

With heavier poi we can feel the paths that the poi WANT to take. But I think rice in socks in socks sounds like a groovy idea for a softer alternative.


hug

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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:Sounds like I'll be making some rice-filled beanbags, then.
The other good thing about heavier poi for beginners is that they tend to move more slowly, making it easier to slow down the moves during practice.


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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Well your friend sounds like a bit of a pain but I wonder whether you are just as concerned at being embarassed by being associated with her ugly flailing and silly attitude as really being sued etc. I would be. She must have some sterling other qualities to make up for being a goose in this area.
Anyway,

for a way to tell her that you wish she would not spin in crowded public places until she has gotten more practice. You could get us both in poo-doo, given your skill level doesn't give you any real control of hard flying objects ?

how about saying:

I wish you would not spin in crowded public places until you have gotten more practice. You could get us in poo-doo, given your skill level doesn't really give you any real control of hard flying objects smile

Originally Posted By: LadyAmanita
...glowbug... Anyone remember those?

Ya glowbugs are made here in my fair city by a local juggling shop and they do indeed hurt like hell. Nearly broke my teeth/head/face on them many times when I was learning. Good motivator to get clean though.

Loki is clearly a nice person, with his recommendation about encouraging her. Encouraging and teaching people so we can all have more fun is great. But if she won't practice or take it seriously then she just sounds like she wants attention in the worst (girly) way; look at me look at me look at me how inept and giggly I am isn't that cute.'


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:My friend's not the type to act inept and girly for attention from guys. I think she wants the fun and attention from spinning at New Years and other big parties, but has not put in the practice needed for that.

If she's willing to work at it and learn with some less painful poi, I am willing to teach. But I'll have to tell her there are some things I do not want to hear out of her mouth. I do not want to hear her talking herself down with an endless litany of "I'm clumsy, I can't!"
And if she's using poi which are soft and don't hurt when the whacks happen, I will expect her to at least try the moves.

I admit, I am a little embarrassed by clumsy, ugly spinning. But in North America, we've become a rather litigous society. And at these events, the police tend to be very thin-skinned when it comes to anything which could cause disorder. Somebody whacking somebody else with a hard object would not go over too well.


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tainted


tainted

addict
Location: London

Total posts: 422
Posted:the main thing I can think of from reading this thread is insurance.... weither you are spinning with socks, glow or fire it is better to be insured - for both you and the audience....
if you tell her she has to get insurance inorder to perform at public events, she might stop wanting to perform at them, and keep offering to teach her more moves.... Just be honest with her, its not being mean.

I had a problem with a girl who wanted to learn poi, when it came to it she didnt listen to what I was saying and was more interested in just waving them about her head. Anytime she went to lift my equipment i had to tell her I didnt like people to use them (I dont gen mind if people know what they are doing and are safe), but she could use my sock poi if she wanted.... which she did but she has since stoped all together...

My advice is just be firm... dont let her use your toys, but keep offering to help her, just hint youd like to see the ones you made her cos you put alot of time and effort into them.

Good kuck... happy spinning


There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers...

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Being the contrary type, I'd find ones that she'd really not be in the slightest bit comfortable using, like the good ol' crack-your-head-open beamers. Then when she asks, give her a war story about the time someone you know fractured their skull with them (i.e. me) and say you'd not be happy with her using them for her own safety.

There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:About the insurance issue- I don't take the stage as a performer, my friend and I just spin down in the audience, when we can find some empty space to dance in without clobbering anyone.

My friend's main attractions to poi spinning are looking cool and keeping warm- New Year's eve in Nova Scotia can be a chilly place!
She just HAS to spin because of that, she says.

I know this sounds a bit a-holeish, but she does NOT look cool when she spins. She looks clumsy and out of control, which is why I worry she will clobber someone. Why does she not use the poi I made her? I asked about that, and she says she does not even know where they are. In her own words, she's "lazy and forgetful".


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ElectricBlue
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:Well it looks like you really only have two safe options here and as a fire spinner you do need to think about safety above your own enjoyment.

1. If you really believe she is dangerous tell her she can't borrow your poi and tell her why.

2. Don't spin at those events any more. If you can't say no to her and you don't want to directly address the issue then the only safe option you really have is to not take poi to those events.

Think about it carefully beacuse one incident involving the public getting hurt can some times be enough to make authorities ban fire spinning at events.

Oh also no mater how competent a spinner you are i would think it would be a safety issue to spin fire in a crowded area with out some kind of roped of space. That is something to think about even if it is just you spinning.

Good luck,
Blue


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

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:I don't think they're talking about using fire.

The solution is probably just glowsticks or really soft poi...

The poi that were mentioned sounded quite deadly, to be honest, and I'd understand the fear.. some light rice ball sock poi or glowsticks would probably be quite fine...


hug

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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:Mother Nature's Son is right- I don't spin fire. I'm not safety trained for it, and even if I was, I would not do it at these kind of events.

I intend to tell her she can't borrow my toys, and if she wants to spin, she needs to get her own. I may just use the excuse that my poi are not really safe for beginners.

If she does want to learn, I'm going to make her some softer poi, and insist she commit to practicing. I don't want to hear "lazy and forgetful" as an excuse if she is serious.


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ElectricBlue
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:Yeah I could not really work that out from the post because they mentioned that they wanted to keep warm in the cold winter??

But same kind of things apply when spinning in public even if there is no fire.

You need to consider the risk of the activity being looked down on if some thing does go wrong. Even being hit by a bean bag can really hurt if you are just dancing in a crowd and somebody is not careful and glow sticks can really really hurt because they go quite fast and have sharp plastic edges.


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

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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:That's why we keep some distance between ourselves and other people. I've gotten so that I can tell when people are getting close, at which point I either bring the poi in close to my body, or stop altogether until they have moved away. I don't see that kind of control or spacial awareness from my friend- she just stands there flailing away.

As for keeping warm, even when the poi are not on fire, the physical exertion of fast swinging tends to keep a person fairly warm.


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