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Forums > Social Discussion > What is your performance for?

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Location: New Haven, CT
Member Since: 24th Jan 2005
Total posts: 42
Posted:Quote:Hello. In my searches I see a lot of technical moves that make cool patterns. It seems like the moves are getting more and more complex. I am hoping I can have a few things cleared up.

I understand that a large portion of poi spinners think about the visual shape in terms of how it impacts onlookers opinions of the performance. I am not a performer. While I can do some of these moves, they do not do anything for me in terms of expression or internal problem solving. They derail my thoughts and the direction changes that tug my hands are distracting. Who is the performance for?

Great stuff coming out of this forum. Thanks.

[Edited Feb 25th by Rada]

I answered my own question after much through on this topic. I was looking at it wrong. Questions like, "For who?" and, "Why?" don't have (acceptable) answers that come from others. We each lead different lives, and my answer is in me. Thanks for the help guys.

But, since we're on the topic, and I am curious why you like POI:
My performance is practice to I fend off a horde of bad guys from attacking a village. Who's with me?


EDITED_BY: Rada (1330206862)

[ Unregistered ]

Member Since: 29th Jan 2009
Total posts: 413
Posted:Performance is for public.


Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 10530
Posted:I do it for me.

And also hot chicks.

EDITED_BY: Fine_Rabid_Dog (1321277302)

The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

[ Unregistered ]

Member Since: 29th Jan 2009
Total posts: 413
Posted:Quote:I do it for me.
ie practising,



Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:Depends what you mean by performance but it sounds like you're talking about general spinning, not professional performance on a stage.

Poi/spinning/etc.. is about many things: flow, playfulness, fun, beauty... all myriad the aspects of art. A beautiful painting can involve the simplest or most complex of techniques, but neither are a guarantee of a beautiful painting. And so watching somebody spinning can be very enjoyable regardless of technical level performed. Some people can integrate complex & technical moves into a smooth flow, where other stumble. That's why sometimes we spin to lose ourselves and other times we spin to better ourselves and over time we progress.


old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Agree with Dom; I spin because it feels good and relaxing. I'm not a fan of a lot of the uber-technical moves because I don't think they look or feel as nice as simpler stuff done well.

For me, it's all about the flow.. ...and synchronised expensive LED glow toys of course wink

Cake or Death?


Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:I like FRD's reasons. Although #2 never seems to work for me....

'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


The Death Card
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Member Since: 1st Mar 2011
Total posts: 195
Posted:hrm. I am the exact opposite of you, Rada. when I'm doing something relatively complicated my brain tends to focus on the geometry involved. I try to follow the paths of the poi as best I can in my mind. the result is a state of meditation where I understand where the poi exist now, where they were, and where they will be - and there is precious little room left for anything else in my mind. maybe it's because my brain is ADD and if I don't give it something to focus on it will find something, and it usually picks the worst topics. I'd rather feed it the geometry and physics that are inherent to poi spinning.

that's not to say flow spinning isn't important. it's so important and it has benefits all its own... but this is not a tech vs. flow post. unless you want me to make it into one wink

and I didn't really touch on the topic of audiences... I'll say this, there is spinning, and there is performing, and they are two different things. if I'm performing I'm gauging my audience's reaction, taking into account their experience with fire spinning, and doing whatever I can to create feelings of joy, wonder, and awe in them. if I'm spinning, then the performance is for me and only me (and I do tend to use more tech when spinning than peforming).

EDITED_BY: thirteen (1321500637)

The dawn has come
And the wine will run
And the song must be sung
And the flowers are melting
In the sun

Location: New Haven, CT
Member Since: 24th Jan 2005
Total posts: 42
Posted:So after lots of time practicing and growing I've looked back at this thread. I can say 2 things.
1) Don't get ahead of yourself. Once a trick becomes second nature, the act of integrating it into your flow feels really good. No matter the complexity. Being able to pull off a trick is not the same as knowing it. I spoke without knowing the tricks that were making me feel frustrated.

2) When the loops are on your fingers, and the wicks are lit, the crowd should be the last thing on your mind (except for not hitting them). If the onlookers make you feel something wonderful, great, if not, also great. You're the one risking your eyebrows. You're the one who practices, and you're the one who understands how hard it really is. If that means you stick to weaves, windmills, and butterflies because that's what you're comfortable with (and like your hair how it is), do those. If you are doing it to get admirers, do the most crazy crap you can pull off.

There is no answer.

EDITED_BY: Rada (1330206799)

Mr Majestik
coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 5th Dec 2011
Total posts: 45
Posted:I think I do understand how easy it really is grin.

Location: New Haven, CT
Member Since: 24th Jan 2005
Total posts: 42
Posted:Even the point of learning tricks 1 at a time is kinda silly now that I think about it. This isn't a yo-yo. No offense to yo-yo'ers. It took me 11 years to integrate antispin into my body movements. Find people who can teach you things you want to learn. and share what you know with them.
EDITED_BY: Rada (1330826202)

Tu Wahine
Tu Wahine

Location: New Zealand
Member Since: 21st Feb 2012
Total posts: 39
Posted:The word performance would indicate an audience of one type or another and choreographed set of movements.
For me I dont like the description "trick", its more a movement. Or an individuals interpretation of the feeling they may have at any given moment.

Reading some of these posts it seems its more an individual desire to acquire a greater level of skill and then wishing to share whats learnt with others - its all entertainment one way or another, either casual or formal

Nui atu te mihi ki nga mahi o te po, nga waiata, nga poi, me nga haka taparahi.

Elemental Spinner
Location: MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Feb 2012
Total posts: 30
Posted:I do it for mine and the public's entertainment

"Thats what"

Purveyor of knowledge
Location: Littlest big state
Member Since: 10th Jul 2011
Total posts: 8
Posted:I do it as almost meditation smile Love spinning to music... Almost like music and poi are hand in hand. When I hear beautiful music... and sometimes even awful music, I'm thinking about what moves would go with what, almost like planning out poi performance in your head.
And also for public enjoyment grin festies are EPIC FUN!!

I'm jumpin in
big splash

specializes in the potentially insane
Location: California
Member Since: 21st Aug 2012
Total posts: 130
Posted:for me my performances are for myself. i spin poi because it's such an amazing and expressive outlet. i can be angry, happy, sad, depressed, etc. and it all slowly starts to melt away the minute i have poi in hand and the ability to actively express myself. whatever i do, however many people are around to see, i do it for me

"We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin..."