A coworker asked me about poi spinning today, what it is and why I do it and where I learned. After a brief discussion he asked if I could send him some videos of it. Here's what I shared with him.
Nathaniel Everist from Australia is one of the folks I learned the most from when I was starting out:
Another great group I learn from is Nick Woolsey (from Canada) and playpoi.com
Everyone knew it was only a matter of time before I finally wrote something about my latest and most lasting awesome hobby of doom, so here we go!
First Part - What is poi?
Poi is a performance art in which a ball or balls suspended from a length of flexible material, usually a plaited cord, are held in the hand and swung in circular patterns. Poi is one of the traditional performing arts of the Māori people of New Zealand, and has developed many forms used worldwide as a hobby, exercise, or performance art alongside juggling and other forms of object manipulation.
Part the second - Why?
Favorite answer: Why not?!
Well, this is a hard one for me to explain... no wait, it's not. Its because it's fun and it looks freakin cool!
The one important thing they don't mention above (because they're focusing on the basics) is that many/most poi spinners (in my experience) prefer to spin objects that are lit in some way. I generally spin glowing LED powered ones. Later this summer you'll find me LIGHTING THINGS ON FIRE AND SPINNING THEM AROUND ME DAFSASF!!!!!@#HHGH#@
Yes, you heard right, we light things on fire, and swing them around our bodies.
Part III - Danger Will Robinson!
Q: Wait, fire? Isn't that dangerous?
A: Yes, so is breathing, especially in Jersey, ever heard of cancer? ugh.
Life is short. Light things on fire!
... I feel like that should be a t-shirt or something.
Seriously though, when you take the appropriate precautions there's only a small risk of being harmed or harming others, most of which can be avoided by not being a complete jackass and/or trying with things that aren't on fire first.
Plus, did I forget to mention that it looks awesome?
Section 4: the revenge of the section (or, how do I do this poi thing anyway?)
The best way to learn poi is to just do it.
The easiest way to just do it is to learn poi.
Wait, I made a circle. Lets step back.
Poi at its heart is simply object manipulation. You put a weight on a string, you spin the object around. Suddenly this is poi.
Have keys on a lanyard? Have a tube sock and an orange? Piece of string and a banana?
All of this can be poi! (or breakfast... except the keys)!
Sure, you can spend lots of money buying cool toys, but who wants to wait for shipping when you could start hitting yourself and looking like an idiot right now!
I'm going to update this later today with some links to awesome tutorial videos and pictures, maybe if you're lucky I'll post up where to get the same toys I use.
Until then, hold your breath... okay?
I'm gonna go spin. seeya in a bit.
[To Be Continued...]
Been busy the past few days, I'm going to try to actually finish one of the draft posts I've started and hidden on you. I promise this won't go completely quiet.
Meanwhile I've been making bunches of chainmail, playing with my new poi, and realizing I need a video camera that I can use as direct input/webcam mode on my laptop as well as for recording. If anyone has any advice on inexpensive models that might serve for this, please let me know.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart - Engaging tale of a band of gifted children on a quest to save the world from an evil mind controller. 4.5 of 5 stars, easy read.