Written Blog

Poi Dancing - Yucatán Flow

Life wears us down and tends to tear us away in tiny little pieces, making it hard to remember how full of wonder the world can be.

What's really awesome is when you're able to find moments of beauty through it all. If you leave yourself open to this kind of discovery, you'll find these moments of beauty appearing more often than you might think!

Several weeks ago my girlfriend and I took a vacation to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. I will totally admit that I was pretty grumpy and exhausted and wasn't even sure I wanted to go.

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Top 3 Behind the Back Poi Tricks You Should Know

I've been in the poi community long enough that I've seen several waves of tricks come through that become cool, then passe, then rediscovered all over again.

When I first started spinning, behind the back tricks were one of those tricks that were absolutely essential if you wanted to be taken seriously as a tech spinner. They've lost a lot of that sheen in the past several years but I still see people on occasion doing creative things with these tricks.

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Ridiculous Thoughts | Poi Dance Choreography by Drex

I'm absolutely heartbroken with the news yesterday of Dolores O'Riordan passing. The Cranberries were an incredibly important band for me as a teenager and probably the first band that convinced me that it was worth listening to music that had been recorded after 1973. I took some of that heartache and decided to make it into something beautiful with it. I hope you enjoy it.

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Top 10 Favorite Poi Spinners of 2017

2017 was definitely the year of string manipulations and continued our community down the road of fusing poi with juggling. I'm also pleased to see that it is the first year we've had three women in top 10 (can't wait till it's half or more!).

Chris Kelly returned to the top spot after being dethroned by Tim Goddard last year. It should be noted that they were separated by only 3 votes so if this keeps up it'll be anybody's game next year.

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How much do Flow Artists make?

A couple years ago I remember running across a blog post by the cellist Zoe Keating. In it she laid out in fairly explicit detail where her income for the past year and come from and how much it amounted to.

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Who owns tricks?

The flow arts have grown by leaps and bounds partially thanks to a culture of open source sharing--but that culture may have a darker side. I've seen many online debates over ownership of tricks and a recent conversation with a friend prompted me to reexamine my own stance on the issue.

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Mayday ATL Fire Safety Blanket Review

About a month ago I was sent a very special package!

A company in Atlanta called Mayday ATL is now making fire safety blankets that they hope will make the venerable duvetyne a thing of the past.

Their new blankets are made of aramid fibers, so they're both naturally fire resistant as well as machine-washable. In addition, they feature a trim of reflective material to make them easy to spot in the dark and embroidered personalization.

I decided to put Mayday ATL's blankets to the test in this review--see what I thought of them!

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Leave an Open Door

I spent most of the year choreographing it and I got a lot of requests for a video that was just my performance of this piece without the tutorial around it. Here it is with some minimal edits--I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed choreographing it!

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Poi Spinning Combo Choreography: 2017 Routine

I know from my surveys that without a doubt the content you all most like to see from me on these newsletters are my Poi Combo tutorials.

Well...I've been kind of holding onto a bit of a secret with these all year. And that secret is that every combo I've done since March was part of a full-length routine!

That's right. All the combos fit together like puzzle pieces and this morning I published a tutorial that shows you how to stitch them all together.

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How to Choreograph: Blocking 101

If you want to choreograph your own pieces, Blocking is an essential skill to have. This is the process of breaking songs up into smaller bits that correspond to dynamic or instrument changes.

In this video I show how this process works and choreograph a short piece as a result of that blocking. Check it out for yourself and learn this very valuable skill!

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Which prop is right for you?

I got asked in a recent Q&A how one can find the prop that they were meant to spin. The answer I gave was something I'll reckon the person asking didn't quite expect but in my experience it's the right one. Check out my thoughts on the matter here:

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Profiles in Flow: Rachael Lust

Rachael is one of my favorite hoopers out there! I'm constantly amazed not just with the creativity and dedication with which she approaches her craft, but also how deftly she balances her roles as a flow celebrity and mother.

I got a chance to sit down with Rachael last week and talk to her about her career and how she's managed to do the impossible. Check it out to get her tips on how to go viral, put together workshop tours, and manage your social media presence!

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Advanced Poi Choreography Combo: November 2017

I want to let you in on a little secret: tech and flow are not opposites.

Lots of people think they are because they decided to pursue one over the other, but there's no reason they can't live together in harmony.

Take my last combo for the month of November! Here you'll find rapid transitions between pattern-based tech poi tricks as well as beautiful jumps and pirouettes. It's the best of both worlds!

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5 Poi Tricks Every Beginner Should Learn

I remember one of the biggest hurdles when I started spinning poi: there are SO many tricks to learn.

How do I know which ones to focus on?

I didn't have a very structured learning environment, so what I learned was a hodgepodge of what looked cool, what my friends told me I should learn, and what tutorials I could find online.

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Speevers Super Soky Poi

Speevers is a juggling company based out of Israel that is now making LED and practice poi. They sent me a set of their Super Soky poi to review, including their new Jupiter ball LED heads.

The good news: I really dig the twist they've put on sock poi. They're just as fun to use during the day as they are at night.

The bad news: They're incredibly hard and may not be the best set to start out with.

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