AnonymousPLATINUM Member

Hi all... Nice forum here!! Anyway, I am new to the art of poi, and have been practicing for about a month. I've got several tricks down pretty well, and am learning more everyday. My question is, How did you know when it was time to light up? I have read all the saftey info (I take that very seriously), and the bits about doing your routine without hitting yourself. But, I'm still wondering when people chose to light up for the first time. Is there a giant feeling of trepidation (sp?)? So much for my first post. Great board here.Joshua!

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

You just know that you are comfortable enough with the fact that you aren't hitting yourself so much and feel like you can swing a few without charring yourself in the process. Because of this knowledge the curiousity ends up driving you completely mad until you just have to. Then the adrenaline from it drives you completely mad forcing you to light up again and again and again....
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At least that's how it happened with me.
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...

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

nomadnomadBRONZE Member
356 posts
Location: Paris, France

Also, don't light up alone the first time. I discovered poi through friends on the west coast. Then i practised on my own for about 3 months. Then went back to SF and did fire for the first time with these people. I remember it vividly, as i was really scared of the flames! I only did basic weaves and butterflies the first time, just to get used to the idea that fire was spinning around my body.... Then you know what to try and when not to be overly ambitious, especially after you hit yourself a few times.
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9 posts
Location: boston, ma, usa

I'm still pretty trepid about what I do with fire, but that's probably because I don't practice enoguh while lit. Guess that's not too much of a help for you... I guess you should light when ever you feel pretty confident about your unlit poi abilities.-xest

1,015 posts
Location: Austin TX USA

I think some trepidation is a good sign. Anybody who feels utterly confident the first time lighting up is clearly missing something (humility, a few marbles, sobriety, take your pick). Then again, you obviously shouldn't light up if you are freaking out at the prospect.In my case, I first lit up after about a month of frequent practice--I'm guessing about 50 hours. I got to the point where I felt I needed to try it with fire to move forward, to see if I was on the right track, to test myself. I felt pretty good about my abilities, and I'm happy to say my first burn did go pretty well.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

36 posts
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

the moments prior to my first burn, i was as as scared as anything! once they were lit though, i think that you *know* whether you're ready or not. i waited three months, not taking any chances, so by the time i got my own, and tried them (under the supervision of my group's numbers), it just felt *right*... you feel that you are prepared, and the anxiety flows right away. =)

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring.

277 posts
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

I think the answer to this question is the same as the one to, "How do you know when you are in love?" The answer being, of course, when you are, you just know.I know some people who have been idly practicing for several months who are still not ready to light up. I hooked up with a street performer last weekend who took my fire wicks after about 30 minutes of lessons and practice.The single biggest factor really seems to be the people you spin with. People who learn from other fire spinners seem to light up *much* quicker than those who learn on their own.We have a running joke in our group here in Baltimore that goes something like, "Here, try just this one wick that is about to go out." In every case where this has happened so far (maybe 3 or 4 times) the person has *immediately* requested two fully-soaked wicks. ;-) And no, we wouldn't hand a lit wick to anyone whom we didn't think was ready.-p.

AnonymousPLATINUM Member

erm - I dunno about everyone else, but I first lit up when all I could do was a weave and standard turns and thats about it. I was *very* good at these, and didnt hit myself much. and thats all I really tried with my fire poi, til I got my skills up to speed etc etc...the first couple of months spinning seem quite vague to me...I'm not sure exactly what I was doing or how. I do remember that I was quite impressed with some local fire twirlers and I can remmber them spinning...but now I have to travel all over the place to see impressive I guess I've improved a lot since I first - as long as there are a bunch of alert ppl around you armed with wet towels / blankets etc etc..and you are comfortable doing even a few moves with your fire poi I reckon you should be ok.Josh

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