GOLD Member since Jan 2004


bastard child of satan
Location: Raanana, Israel

Total posts: 1113
Posted:So I've been working a lot on body movement recently. I've improved a lot with poi and doubles, but I can't seem to figure out how to move well with contact staff. Any movement that's slightly exaggerated seems to end with the staff on the ground.
I'd like to be able to do something more complex than just a deep squat with a staff on my neck, I can't find any contact staffers who move a lot other than Linda.
Any tips on how to move without dropping the staff?

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BRONZE Member since Aug 2004


1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK

Total posts: 3540
Posted:practice slowly?

Start by balancing the stick somewhere, and seeing how much movement you can make?

There you go. smile

Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.


SILVER Member since May 2007


Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Total posts: 3597
Posted:the thing with contact staff is that...and this depends on the stage yer at WITH contact staff...the staff is dictating where you move. Just because you want to move a couple steps to the left and a step forward doesn't mean that you can keep the staff going (w/o touching it with yer hands) and move there. Now if yer really good you would think about that movement as a combo of tricks that when finished will get you to the same spot.

Good luck


Owned by Mynci!


BRONZE Member since Apr 2005


Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:your movement is always freer once you know what your doing with a stick. Learn the balance points around your whole body, you CAN make big movements but you have to do them at the right times, when the staff is securely balanced for example, try thinking a little differently with expansive gestures using parts of your body which are NOT required for the move you are doing (Leg kicks, arm waving the whole hullaballoo) fishtails offer an opportunity for expansive gestures of the arms for example.

The other thing about contact staff is if you move too much it looks like your chasing the stick trying to get it under control. The point of it is YOU are controlling the stick you should be calm, composed and relaxed. make it look easy. I think sometimes a good contact set involves very little movement from the person. the fact that they remain almost perfectly still and with small movements of the body make big staff movements shows a control and skill far beyond pointless arm waving and dancing (that's just fluff and filler unless you're cartwheeling or rolling on the floor like sandy lol). But I do agree you need to able to do expansive movements too for empahsis or just variety. It took me ages to be able to Jesus with my hands in my pockets but I feel it can look better than having your arms out if they aren't at exactly the right symetrical position. Spinning around with the staff going crazy with your hands by your sides just screams "this is dangerous and impressive" and it's harder for people to see how it stays on.

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


BRONZE Member since Jul 2004


old hand
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 716
Posted:Yup, you definitely need to control the staff before you can move with it, its walk before you run. If you have a reasonable turning halo there is quite a lot you can do with taking larger or smaller steps while turning, crouching down, getting onto your knees (or even your hands and knees but thats pretty hard), jumping, bending your body or spinning on one leg (think about what could you do with the other one).

For every move you do you should also have the footwork worked out (something i didn't bother with for years and am still trying to drill in). It will tidy up your spinning and as you learn the footwork you will find ways of exaggerating what your doing into specific movements.

"Don't do it naked!"


Kyle McLean
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Kyle McLean

Living it up
Location: Brisbane/Berlin, Australia

Total posts: 364
Posted:I noticed that most of the replies thus far are from the UK. Bear with me for a second in using a horribly broad brush when I say that UK spinning is very tech orientated. Thats not a bad thing! And I think some of the specific advice already given is awesome. But I would also like to suggest that moment can be more then an embellishment to add afterwards to your developed technique. If you want to do really hard tricks whilst moving, then yes, you really need to learn them without the extra movement. That said there is also lots of wicked stuff that you can do that does not really involve lots of contact technique.

There are lots of examples of this but the best that I can think of is turning in a circle with the staff balanced on your neck/shoulders. This is something that even a total beginner can do, but there are a LOT of movement pathways you can do this with. Try it high, low, moving from high to low, with a hand and foot on the ground, hoping, whatever. If you are trying to learn new ways to move, and not learning some set steps, its really important that you are comfortable to be silly and to try new things. Music can help a lot with this of course.

Finding lots of ways to move WITH the staff (ie you are both moving, but its not turning relative to you) is very powerful because you can also find lots of different ways to apply force and momentum. When you stop the stick will keep going, and there is an opportunity for a movement pathway that bridges these changes.

Just some thoughts, good luck with it!

Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


SILVER Member since Dec 2007


Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:Originally Posted By: Kyle McLeanThere are lots of examples of this but the best that I can think of is turning in a circle with the staff balanced on your neck/shoulders.

I will second that that is easy enough to learn. It was the first thing Dentrassi taught me. tongue2

Nice post Kyle, will have to drag the staff out again and see what I can do. smile

'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