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Not as fireproof as he thinks
Location: Canberra, Australia
Member Since: 24th Mar 2010
Total posts: 22
Posted:My wife is organising an event soon and wants me to teach a beginners poi workshop. I haven't really had a lot of poi teaching experience other than helping out some of the newbies with moves they are stuck on at our weekly spin.

Anyone have any ideas on what I should teach? I'm assuming zero experience, so I was thinking of doing basic planes, direction and timing, maybe some simple turns, butterfly and 2-beat weave. Lessons will only be 1 hour, so I'm not sure if that is too much to cram in... I don't want to get too bogged down in theory, because I want it to be fun, and I want them to have some cool (if very basic) moves to show off to their friends.

Any beginners out there that can help me? I've forgotten how long it took me to pick up the basics when I started.


Putting the "FUN" in fundamental since 1981
Location: Dover, Delaware USA
Member Since: 15th Sep 2009
Total posts: 787
Posted:My tip would be to teach basic terminology while demonstrating so they can apply it in the process and speak in very clear understandable descriptions when giving examples of moves to aid in covering material that the completely green/inexperienced person would ask to maximize time management. yes

~Rock on!~

"As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle, being swept along is no longer enough"-Waking Life

(All you RLers this is epitome_of_lame *waves hello*)


Location: swansea
Member Since: 9th Mar 2005
Total posts: 544
Posted:i have run workshops for poipoi/ tai poi wales (gizmos project) and cardiff youth service.

i always get people in a circle and run through 3 or 4 basic moves. just to see what levels people are at.

then break off into a few smaller groups giving each group a few moves to practice depending on their ability then ask them to link them together and show the other group what they have come up with.

just make sure you have a lot of basic moves in your head and make sure you think about how your going to explain each one before the day of the workshop. plus think about linking each move.

good luck mate and let us know how is goes.



lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder
Member Since: 22nd Jul 2005
Total posts: 926
Posted:I would say if you only have an hour, to plan for teaching 3 moves. Once you show them how to do a move go round and make sure everyone is in the right plane and doing it correctly. If theres time at the end, either show them how to interconnect the three moves or have another move to teach. I would suggest for a first lesson either 2 beat weave, butterfly, buzzsaw or corkscrew. Hope this helps Xx

on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

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Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:This could be too late a reply, but if not here's my experience. I used to do a fair amount of workshops.

- Be ready to shift your workshop expectations in response to the group. It may go a lot quicker or slower than you think.
- Keep it simple. You don't have to teach the three beat straight away!
- Technical precision is not essential. If someone's planes are out a bit they'll probably still get a move. Plane control is boring!
- A good way to begin is swing forwards, slow to a stop, swing backwards, and repeat a couple of times. It gets people used to direction and planes. Also repeat with one at a time in front.
- Beginners learn best in groups, so encourage the quicker learners to help the slower learners. It helps both sides.
- Easy moves to begin are 180 turn with poi parallel in front; 2 beat weave and butterfly. Then butterfly with taking a hand out above the head and/or behind the back.
- People get confused about the direction change when turning or moving poi behind them. I've learnt not to go into detail as long as it works!
- When teaching a poi workshop I make sure I know how to tell people to spin slower in the local language. Repeat often!
- Most importantly, have fun!

EDITED_BY: Dom (1278935835)


Not as fireproof as he thinks
Location: Canberra, Australia
Member Since: 24th Mar 2010
Total posts: 22
Posted:I had my first workshop on the weekend. It went pretty well, the main issue I had was the massive difference in times it took for people to pick things up. I had a group with a couple of people who picked up a set of poi for the first time and churned out 2-beat weave, butterfly, and basic same-time turns within about 20 mins, and some who after a full hour still couldn't get their head around the 2-beat weave.
@pitman - I like the idea of splitting them up and getting them to teach eachother. Would give me a chance to get the more advanced ones onto new moves and stop them from getting bored while the others catch up.

I have another class this weekend, probably with more people and a bigger variety of skill levels.

Does anyone have soem good moves/combos to teach inbetween 2-beat and 3-beat? Windmill maybe?
I also have one student who has mastered most of the basic moves, but is struggling to get her 3 beat turns, and getting frustrated that she can't freestyle without them. Does anyone know any good basic combos that don't involve 3 beat turns that I can teach her?


Location: Peoria IL
Member Since: 13th Aug 2007
Total posts: 57
Posted:Just my personal thing but i use pendulums, the movements give a great connection to movement. Breaking it down to each hand movement and playing with direction changes slowly.. top hand does half circle with a stall and bottom hand doing a continuous circle. It gave them basic control and body movement to connect to and most learned stalls in a very short time. another approach i give is to do certain moves without the poi in hand. Like open arm butter flies or flowers. Or giving them a silly body move to mimic the poi move, like a hammer swing with both hands to show a basic butterfly move, gets the hand offset and the shoulders chest and legs involved.
Everyone else s ideas are great!!!
Good luck

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