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Posted:Hello. I started poi in my teenage years with my sisters. We would proform at a couple of local pow wows in the past, but because of my sister's health, we are not able to do it any more.
I am a Native Dancer, I grew up in my native roots as well on the Pow wow circuit. I've been dancing since the age of 5, started off with men's fancy, then southern straight and Men's Traditional. My elder recently taught me the hoop dance, the old style and new style. He himself used to be a fire hoop dancer and proformed at the world's fair. I am grateful for him passing his dance to me and wish to improve my skills. My biggest problem however, is proper technique. I have the basics with 1 hoop, weaving between my legs, weaving over my body, basic arm spins. with multiple hoops basic patterns.
I have experimented with different sized hoops, not knowing how big i needed my hoops to be, and i found the size right for me. my hoops diameter is from the ground to the bottom of my knee cap. perfect for the moves that he taught me. I made my hoop (being a electrician) out of 1/2 inch seal tight flex and electrical tape. these are fine for practice and for normal dances, but I strive to pick up the fire dance again.
What I need help with is how can I incorporate my native hoop dance with the fire hoop techniques that would allow me to have a safe balance in my proformance.
As of right now, to do patterns, i require anywhere from 3 to 7 hoops. The bird pattern for example consists of 5 hoops. One that sits across the shoulders, and 2 for each arm. you weave your arms though the hoops by intersecting the sides of the hoops and keeping your arms extended.
Each hoop has to be custom fitted for me to allow me to pull off the dance. Other moves such as 1 or 2 hoops, is weaving them back and forth acrross by body. I take one hoop and place my leg in it. keeping it at the bend of my knee, i hold my hoop with my hand palm facing me, Pick my leg up and roll the hoop around my torso to my other leg. I then repeat the process going from one leg to another.
I'm still new at the dance, and need to hone my skills as well as develop my own dance and story. After all, all native dances are stories. And the hoop dance has very heavy meaning and a story with the story of the dancer. Can anyone help me by teaching me basic hoop controls, moves, and ideas on how i can incorporate the fire hoops back in this story dance.