Written Blog

How to do Poi Turns

Since taking up formal dance training 8 years ago, one of the my favorite challenges was learning how to turn as I spun my prop!

As it turns out there are a lot of ways to go about this, including chaînés, pique, and fouetté turns.

It's something that people have frequently told me they really dig about my style of spinning as I've worked very hard to integrate these turns into my flow.

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How to Make a Prop Rack and Prop Wall

When my girlfriend and I first discussed moving in together, one thing that came up time and time again was our desire to have a way to store all our props that was both functional and beautiful.

We've had many friends online who've created prop racks or prop walls to show off their many tools and make them easily accessible and so we wanted to make one for ourselves.

Truth be told: this was one of the most fun home improvement projects I've ever done. We started by planning out the wall with scaled down paper cutouts and pricing out various options at hardware stores.

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Poi Dancing Tutorial: How to use Levels and Level Changes

Several years ago I went on an Easter holiday to Ocean City, MD and spent some time getting my flow on while I was on the boardwalk.

I had a friend take some video--it was some of the earliest footage I'd seen of myself moving with poi and I was overcome with one thought.

I looked horrible.

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Beginner Poi Dance Combo for July 2017

Learning transitions is almost like learning poi all over again.

We all know that feeling when you've spent hours trying to learn a trick and the moment of victory when you can do it reliably.

Then you realize you have no idea how to connect it to your other tricks...

Many of us when we first start out simply do a trick for a few repetitions, stop spinning, do our next trick for a few reps, and stop again.

It can be an agonizing way to start out--especially if you're spinning fire!

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Drex's Road Diary: Czech Republic and Pyroterra

What is home?

It's a deceptively simple question but it somehow becomes a lot more complicated when you travel frequently. I have people and places that feel like home to me all over the world.

Home feels like watching Game of Thrones with my friend Kate McCoy in Ohio. Home feels like catching up with my friend Tracy in New York City. Home feels like hiking where I grew up in Colorado.

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A Mathematical Approach to Classifying Poi Patterns, using Trigonometry to Model Toroids

This post continues my section-by-section exploration of my poi math paper.

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A Mathematical Approach to Classifying Poi Patterns, using Trigonometry to Model Flowers and Third-Order Motions

Today's post continues my step-by-step exploration of my poi paper for easier searching. Yesterday featured my introduction and the basics of periodic math. Today we will apply these concepts to modeling flowers and third-order motions.

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The Five Mitzvahs

So the wonderful folks at Flowtoys have asked me for my flow story, and like most things I do what I'm going to give them is going to be a little unconventional. It's not necessarily my flow story, but the story of five people who whether they realize it or not are directly responsible for the artist that I am today. We'll call this a thank you to all of them for actions big and small to push my journey forward :)

Brian

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The Introverted Performer

Everybody knows a performer when they see one: performers are loud and outgoing, friendly and confident. They reach right out to you and draw you into their world, promising a good time with someone who makes you feel totally at ease. I’ve never done a poll, but I’d suspect that the ideal performer to most of us is somebody that fits the rough definition Carl Jung laid out in the 1920s of an extrovert: a person who is sociable, takes charge, is outgoing, and is at their best in a crowd of people.

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"I can't do that."

This is one of those phrases that generates within me very conflicting emotions when I hear it...on my less proud days, it makes me annoyed. It’s a wall they’ve imposed between themselves and whatever they’re seeing and there’s a part of me that grits my teeth and wants to tell them, “well...sure you can’t, as long as that’s your attitude.” Which is a pat response to an even more pat statement and seldom very constructive.

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A timing and direction based approach to classifying Hybrids

This is partially inspired by Pierre Baudin's recently published matrix of hybrid patterns and partially a byproduct of revisiting old work. Back in the spring as I attempted to cobble together a hybrid Gina McGrath posed as a challenge to many of us at FLAME Festival I found that my perception of how polyrhythm hybrids could be composed was only a third of the story at best.

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Drex's Planar Graph Conjecture for Poi

Ever heard of a mathematician by name of Leonhard Euler? I recently did a video on his Seven Bridges of Köenigsburg solution and its applications to how we create poi paths...well, I've found another use for Euler's work, most notably his Polyhedron Formula. The Cliff's Notes are that Euler noticed upon studying the Platonic Solids that if you counted the number of vertices each of these polyhedra had, subtracted the total number of edges between vertices, and added back the total number of polygonal faces and the number is invariably 2. You can see an outline of the concept below:

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5 Poi Spinners to Watch in 2013

While I was collecting votes for the Top 10 Poi Spinners of 2012 effort, it quickly dawned on me that some of the most interesting people I was discovering as part of that process were not going to make the top 10, so I thought it appropriate to highlight some of my favorites who seem poised on the edge of breaking into the mainstream in 2012 and possibly climbing the list by the end of the year if they make good on the promise they’ve shown in the past year. In no particular order, here are 5 spinners that are likely to be making big contributions to the world of poi in 2013:

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The Top 10 Poi Spinners of 2012

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Does handedness influence dominant direction of spin?

laterality /lat·er·al·i·ty/ (lat″er-al´ĭ-te) a tendency to use preferentially the organs (hand, foot, ear, eye) of the same side in voluntary motor acts.

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