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BRONZE Member since Mar 2003


Location: Rotherham, UK

Total posts: 724
Posted: I was thinking the other day about how and why i became so interested in Poi, and i wondered how far the fascination with fire goes back into my childhood. As a little girl i used to sit and watch the fire and my family used to tell me to move away because id burn myself but i didnt care I was so completely fascinated with it i never noticed the heat on my face.
I first became fascinated with Poi etc when i saw 2 girls at glastonbury and i got completely taken in by it and felt it was something i just had to try.
I thought it would be interesting to hear how other people began their fascination with fire and Poi, doubles, staff etc. What made you feel like you had to try it and why?, and do you think it started in your childhood?.

Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realise that we
cannot eat money.

Cree Indian, 1909

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BRONZE Member since Aug 2002


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:the only redeeming feature of GCSE double science was bunsen burners. Can't say i'm into burning myself, but fire is certainly pretty cool (to excuse an oxymoron), i think i'd be pretty impressed when i was young to find i'm now a fire performer


GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:I used to juggle (a lot!), broke my finger, couldn't juggle, saw a fire chain spinner, got some fire chains, never looked back since.

"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!


BRONZE Member since Jun 2003


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: "In your ear", United Kingdom

Total posts: 6207
Posted:quote:Originally posted by flid:
but fire is certainly pretty cool (to excuse an oxymoron), well done flid an english lesson on a HOPboard! im impressed!

i always loved watching street performers and guys who did Poi and Diabolo, but mu olds always dragged me off or wouldnt let mewatch, so i decided to take it up cos i could, i tried a friends Poi and was hooked!

as far as fire goes i have always played with fire in safe ways!but Poi is just an extensoion of that!

later days

Step (el-nombrie)



I don't want a title.

Total posts: 940
Posted:I saw some photos up on Petridish of a friend of a friend (to the nth) spinning naked in Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

I knew I had to try!

E pluribus unum, baby.




From the Ashes of a Ninja Rise THE HIPS OF RAGE
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 371
Posted:A friend of mine spun and for ages she told me to come down to a workshop in Brixton. I eventually went one day and walked into hall full of flying things and people just hanging out being cool.

The third time I went when I left the after pub every single person shook my hand and said good-bye, the people are what I love most about spinning, playing with toys is just a bonus




Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:fire... longer ago than i can remember being a country boy i grew up around very frequent bonfires just as part of normal life

Poi... glastonbury an hour of watching people gracefully dancing around these balls that were dancing around them... just had to give it a go i like graceful quick things...



BRONZE Member since Dec 2000


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Fire... Had a fire place ever since I could remember. I used to sit on the hearth and watch it. Used to poke at the camp fires and was the fastest time starting fires in girl scouts. *shrug* It is something I was born with.

The Skills. Oh my. Well, I was brought up with carnival people. My parents and my uncle were vendors in the circuit. I loved watching the jugglers and such. I was glued to the tv watching magicians (especially David Copperfield with his annual special) as much as I could, and still do come to think of it. I wanted so much to persue it but my parents would not hear of it. I even did reports in school on side show arts and such.
I took up acting, first in school when my parents did know about lunch time rehearsals, then later in College and Uni. I had been singing and dancing by that point for years.

I then worked at a Ren saw a fire eater who was terrible, and had always wanted to try it, and mentioned to friends that I could do better. PWB dared me to, and the rest is history. I started with the close proximity fire (eating/breathing/trailing) and worked to other arts from there.

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


Mistress Aurora

Mistress Aurora

Hot Schtuff
Location: Stillwater,OK/Wichita Falls,TX

Total posts: 1032
Posted:I first saw Fire Poi last year about this time at the Lunar Festival for AASA. I thought it was the coolest and prettiest thing ever!

Dio invited me to one of their practices and from then on I was hooked

RISK: Do not follow the common path; Go where there is no path and leave a trail.




Location: oxford

Total posts: 192
Posted:i saw some people poiing and using staff as well as some guy fire breahting at Readihg last year (strange... seems to be the only thing i can remember from it!!!) and i knew i had to strat. the next day i just bought some very overly priced poi's from the only shop in oxford which does spinning items and just got on with it.

as for the fire, nothing quite as beauttifull as sitting on the harthe watching the embers crackling... just really like setting fire to stuff... but having the control over it at the same time. used to reaalllllllly have a problem with that......


GOLD Member since Nov 2001


still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:something borke in my head so now i need fire.

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always



Location: Sydney Australia

Total posts: 150
Posted:I used to play drums in a pipe band when I was a youngster. The tenor drum sticks are spun around while playing & we used to do displays where we would attach glowsticks or fluro tape to them.

Seems to be a bit different from the way most people start Poi spinning but.......

(see signature)

People take different roads seeking fulfillment & happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.-H. Jackson Browne


BRONZE Member since Jul 2003


paranoid of gov't conspiracies
Location: USA

Total posts: 217
Posted:well i grew up going to a camp every summer and one of the counselors there did Fire Eating, juggling, ect. and i loved the fire act he did every year and i always asked him to teach me and he promised he would when i turned 18 so i learned from him to eat fire when i was 18 and then from there i taught myself Fire Breathing but i wanted to do more and i learned about Poi from this site and have been doing it since! i love fire so much i think it's so beautiful!~ now all my friends are getting into Poi b/c of me (i'm glad cuz there's no one really around me that swings) but i won't teach them Fire Breathing, i'm too afraid of them hurting themselves w/ it. ok now that i've talked forever that's my story!!




HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA

Total posts: 729
Posted:I saw it as a bridge for myself to learn how to dance, establish a sense of rhythm, become more outgoing and comfortable with myself. Every reason but wanting to light things on fire, it would seem

What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.


BRONZE Member since Nov 2002


Location: Beyond Time, South of Melbourn...

Total posts: 282
Posted:Was watching a Fire Poi performer at a wharehouse party bout a year ago and thought it was one of the most amazing things I had seen.

Thought to myself "I wanna do that"..... found this place then the obssesion began.

So much fire, so little body hair...


GOLD Member since Mar 2003


Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:Last summer I and some friends were partying and I taught myself how to liquid dance. Had the idea of sticking a burning cigarette in each hand while doing it and loved the trailing red ember effect. The next night I found an old flag pole and started just messing around with it. I learned some of the basic moves pretty fast and then someone suggested putting fire on the ends. After that first night with it I found this site and have been doing it ever since.

The only downfall is now anything that is in my hand instantly turns into a vast exploration for different ways to manipulate it... pens, balls, butterfly knives, bottle openers (remarkably perform like a butterfly knife... cool bartending trick!), nunchakus, lighters. Sometimes I get weird looks when I pick up a new object and just start rolling it around dropping it many, many times.

Or maybe I just have ADD or something. Who knows It's very entertaining though!



Location: Bath, UK

Total posts: 279
Posted: Poi... I saw a cute girl spinning and thought it was cool.

fire... I have two juvenile convictions for arson, and that's just the ones they could prove were me.

Magnus... pay it forward


BRONZE Member since May 2003

Location: Sydney, Australia

Total posts: 19
Posted:Well actually I have always loved fire, from childhood, I used to like to light diffeent fuels on fire to see how they burned, I would steal magneseum from school to burn, I experimented with metho and kero and butane. Burned off a decent portion of hair and my eyelash and eyebrow one day playing with metho, then a week later burnt out all my nose hairs by breathing a massive butane fireball (I was using a can of butane, the kind you use to refill your lighters) After that, I stopped with the fire thing for a while, I always thought it was interesting how people swing stuff around, and I have been a medievalist for years (for some reason swordfighting and poi/staff go together) And yeah, so I dunno, the final straw was seeing a music video with someone spinning in it, a couple months later, I was informed about this site, and the rest is history.



Location: BC, Canada

Total posts: 106
Posted:2 summer ago I used to rent a farm with my guy about an hour out of town. We used to throw small parties (about 30-50 people) for friends. A friend of mine did a small fire performance at one of the parties and I totally loved how it looked. Asked him how he learned and he mentioned HOP. So here I am.



Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 35
Posted:i had my first real Poi session 2 days after breaking up with the guy that took me to the place where i learnt. I'd had a few plays on beaches around melbourne and loved it but never took it further... then up in Byron Bay, feeling really daunted about the decision I'd made to move back to the UK and I couldnt get thoughts out of my head. Bumped into a girl with her Poi. Played. Finally felt myself relax, my head cleared and life was going to be good again.
Funny how things work..... life is just poitastic now!

*****those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves....******



Location: kansas

Total posts: 15
Posted:fire- always loved the look and power behind fire.

poi- went to a few raves and liked the look and style of it. then a friend started doing it and told me to go to HOP to check out some moves and stuff like that. and i just got hooked.


BRONZE Member since Aug 2003

Location: Somerset...... England

Total posts: 94
Posted:FIRE It burns! How cool is that. I got into Poi at reading this year. I used to juggle and recently (like last year) got into doing trips with zippos. This just combined the two. How cool is that.

as laZy as .....


SILVER Member since Aug 2003


Location: Cochrane, Canada

Total posts: 277
Posted:Went to a festival and saw a fire show... (Happened to be Ash Circle..) Decided it was cool and dragged sister back... And again... And again... And again- in total five times... Sister was totally bored by now, but I was HOOKED!

Got home and made myself a pair for practicing... Whee! And here I am today, still nailing myself in the face but enjoying every minute of it!!

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."



Location: Halifax, N.S

Total posts: 103
Posted:My girl friend started doing it after she saw ash circle, and after seeing her commitment to it i decided to try it. then after find ing out that Poi was a lot of fun and really hard, i also took up rope torch(because of jet lei..and rick)

some will understand. -buddah


GOLD Member since Aug 2003


now available in "advanced"
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom

Total posts: 6086
Posted:Fire has a really hypnotic effect on me - it always has and I have no idea why!

As for Poi, a friend at work was recommended to try it as a method of relaxation at a festival, he came back and showed us what he had been learning, and I knew I had to have a go!

My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."



Location: Mpls, MN, USA

Total posts: 646
Posted:Personally I just liked to be enveloped by stuff, being surrounded conforts me. When I was younger I wore huge pants (like the 40 inch ankle type) and big hoodies, I loved the feeling of being enveloped by the fabric. I also wished (this was when I was like 8) that I could grow up to be a monk, cause I thought their flowing cloths were cool. Anything large and flowing cloths wise caught my eye, my goal was to give the illusion that I was floating. haha, yeah, I've toned back a bit but I still have a baggy sense of style.

Than I found Poi and it was like another thing that could surround me. With glowsticks, leds, or fire it's like you're taken in and surrounded. Ita all around you, making a shield. Even unlite you're surrounded by the chains or strings, which is cool.

kind of odd, but eh, thats why I like it.

Fuzzy Dice.......................................



Location: wimbledon@uni / Maidenhead@hom...

Total posts: 13
Posted:I can always remember sitting by the camp fire spell bound by the flames as a kid. First saw Fire Staff 2 years ago in newquay, saw a staff in oddballs last year and had to buy it there and then. Didn't see anyone else spin until a year later at the meet on clapham common same time as urban games this year. Had reached a point where i was running out of ideas, but seeing others do it opened so many new doors. Spinning fire is now an addiction! a form of relaxation. Had my staffs taken by security at reading festival & never seen them since, i've just had this yurning to play with fire, but no means to! Ahhh!

never underestimate the healing power of custard.



Location: flames of the netherlands

Total posts: 79
Posted:i was first introduced to spinning threw my older brother but he and I started competeing with each other untill he couldn't keep up and quit using strings to show me up in break dancing
(which he still very much so does)
but spinning fire became my passion and love of my life during one of the f@#king crazyest LSD experiences I ever had,
I only ever used glowstix before then and being
hooked wouldn't describe it in the least
Once those doors in my mind were kicked open i entered the wonderful world of fire
"fire fire burning higher
making music like a quire"-blix


BRONZE Member since Aug 2003

Location: Cornwall/ Brighton, England

Total posts: 71
Posted:Always loved fire - been playing with it since i ws small, love the smell and atmosphere and seeing what it can do - can alwyas surprise you. so now discovering Poi has been a way to seriously step up the fire play. All i got to do is buy a pair now...


SILVER Member since Sep 2003


slack rating - 9.5
Location: Suburbiton, Yoo-Kay, United Ki...

Total posts: 2216
Posted:Wow.. this is a really good thread, nice one astro fairy!

one of my best mates (laura) started doin Poi about a year b4 me an i was always kinda puzzled by it. then i spent last summer workin on a campsite in france where a girl called lucy had just bought some Practice Poi an we tried to get to grips with it for a laugh... didn't really get into it tho till i got really stoned on a day off and found myself lost in it! i was lookin for some kind of non contact martial art to do an twirling seemed to fit the gap! started jugglin at the same time with my girlfriend an had to give Fire Breathing a go later on after always being fascinated by the guys at glasto while i was trippin my nut... since then twirl with laura as often as possible, just keep meeting other cool twirlers an jugglers an havn't looked back!

It is our fantasies that make us real. Without our fantasies we're just a blank monkey' - Terry Pratchett




Location: St. John's, Newfoundland.

Total posts: 233

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a trick, this is a stunt. The difference between a stunt and a trick is that a trick is something that tricks or fools the audience, a stunt is something that only an idiot would do -Ivan, Ash Circle, 10/04/03



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