Weaving poi

Forgot to mention: at the party on Sunday night, we got out the glow poi and Gerry taught me the three-beat weave! (See also poi weaves in Wikipedia.)

I'd been trying to get that to work for a couple of months, on and off, but just couldn't seem to follow the standard instructions for it (crossing arms/wrists in various ways). But Gerry suggested just doing figure 8s with both poi, and then spinning the trailing one for an extra loop (more or less), and somehow that worked. I still don't have a clear mental image of how it works, and I'm still really sloppy with it (not keeping the poi in their planes, and occasionally hitting myself in the crotch with them--ouch), but while it's going smoothly it feels totally cool, flowing fluidly, kind of like passing juggling clubs can get when everyone's in sync. And even though it's apparently one of the simplest things you can do with poi, it looks really cool too (at least when someone who knows what they're doing does it).

I think in general I'm finding it a lot easier to do poi stuff when I think about the paths that the poi travel, rather than about where my hands go. I'll have to keep that in mind next time I try to follow the complicated hand motions in the book. Though presumably if I'm disciplined about getting the hand motions right, it'll result in more control and better-looking spinning; I know, from juggling, the dangers of learning something an easier but sloppier way. Sometimes it means you have to unlearn it and start over before you can get good at it.

2 Responses to “Weaving poi”

  1. Gerry

    Congrats on your successful weave! It feels good when it works, doesn’t it? I’m not sure I agree with your statement that it’s one of the simplest poi moves, but it IS the quintesensial, classic poi move. It took me over a year of off and on trying before I got it right. I bet now that your body knows what the flow feels like, you may soon have trouble doing it wrong.

    Check out http://www.templeofpoi.com/ Isa is a great teacher. She has an exceptional talent for breaking down the moves and talking you through the steps. Looks like there are beginner classes starting soon, too.

  2. Jed

    Yeah, I didn’t mean that I find it one of the simplest moves; more that it’s usually among the first half-dozen moves listed in any given source I’ve seen, and sources often refer to it as “basic” (or similar words). But yeah, they may just mean it’s part of the foundation on which a lot of other stuff is built, rather than that it’s simple to learn.

    Thanks much for the pointer to Temple of Poi! I don’t think I can make it up to San Francisco on weeknights (though if I had started last week, the six-week beginner class would’ve been a good fit for my time off work), but it turns out they have online lessons that, based on the samples I’ve looked at so far, are a lot more suited to my style of learning than any other videos I’ve seen. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to pay for the full set of online lessons. Good stuff.


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