I don't know what it's called, but I like it.
April 7, 2011 1:10 PM   Subscribe

What is the name for what the people in the first part of this video are doing, and where can I learn/find the accessories needed to teach myself?
posted by the luke parker fiasco to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
posted by carsonb at 1:14 PM on April 7, 2011

It's poi spinning. It's unusual to do it with flags like that; more commonly it will be on fire, in which case it's called "fire spinning", or have some kind of glowy light, in which case it is sort of a raver thing.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:19 PM on April 7, 2011

Yep, it's poi spinning, this sort of ribbon poi is probably what you want to get to start with (from a quick googling, not advocating that one in particular, just the type, basically it's a beanbag on a string with a tail).
posted by brainmouse at 1:23 PM on April 7, 2011

Fire spinning can be related to lots of things. The two that come to mind are belly-dancing and Renaissance Fair type groups (though not specifically in either camp). A friend does fire spinning, and I think some of her friends belly dance and/or take part in mock-battles of the "historic" sort.

And then looking up "bateria," the first Google search result in the bateria page on Wikipedia, which mentions connections to Spanish and Portuguese drum kits, and Brazilian samba/percussion bands. The latter might be associated with capoeira groups.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:28 PM on April 7, 2011

Huh. At the very beginning of the video, I thought I saw what I know as flag spinning. The Italians and Spanish (can't find video) are experts. Very old though still lively tradition, often seen at celebrations. Quite an honor to represent your borough.
posted by likeso at 1:31 PM on April 7, 2011

It's not flag spinning/colorguard stuff: the "flags" they're using are on strings, not stiff flagpoles, and they're holding loops at the end of the strings that they don't let go of, as opposed to flag spinning where you have to spin the pole around your hand and you also throw the or change ends that you're holding on to. It's more flag-y than poi usually is, but it's poi, not flag spinning.
posted by brainmouse at 1:38 PM on April 7, 2011

Thanks, brainmouse! And OP, of course. :) Learned yet another new thing today.
posted by likeso at 2:07 PM on April 7, 2011

  • It's poi. In my experience, flags are very common but obviously fire and glowpoi happen a lot too.
  • The definitive resource is Home of Poi.
  • To get started just cut a pair of tights in half and put a tennis ball or beanbag in the foot of each leg. Or if you want to spend money, go to your local juggling shop.
  • Your local circus meet will have plenty of people who will be willing to teach you.

posted by turkeyphant at 2:10 PM on April 7, 2011

Yes, they're spinning poi. Specifically, those are "flag poi" (as opposed to tail-, sock-, fire-, etc), but the basic technique is exactly the same regardless.

Most of the kids at the beginning are spinning the 3-beat weave (a few of them are missing a beat on one side), which is the first or second pattern you're likely to learn, along with the butterfly.

Most juggling/circus clubs will have someone who can teach you the basics or at least be able to point you in the right direction. Also, have a look at Home of Poi, which has a load of tutorial videos. Their shop is pretty good too, although the shipping was quite slow when I bought from them. Don't go buying anything straight away, though: get a pair of long socks and drop an orange into the toe of each one. These are just as good to start learning with as "real" poi, if you don't mind getting the occasional thwack in the crotch with an orange.

You can find a load more poi spinning videos if you have a root around in Juggling.tv.
posted by metaBugs at 2:18 PM on April 7, 2011

Yes, it's poi, and spinning poi is awesome :)

If you make sock poi with tennis balls, which is the best thing to get started with for a beginner, it helps to cut a slit in the tennis balls first. The weight will be the same but they'll hurt a bit less when you whack yourself!

For when you want to buy fancier gear for yourself: I like Firetoys. They're based in the UK, so shipping to your location might be faster/easier than from Home of Poi. I haven't really compared prices, though. Home of Poi is definitely the place to go for tutorials and community, though.
posted by daisyk at 4:38 PM on April 9, 2011

Thanks, everyone! Time to find some old tights, tennis balls, and wide open spaces :)
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 7:54 PM on April 10, 2011

« Older Internet search engines that use boolean search?   |   I never took accounting 101 please help! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.