Bouncing, Backspace, and Butterflies: An Exploration in Poi!

Class Description

We spend most of our lives directing our attention to what’s in front of us. I want to help you break that habit and be able to freely move through the 3-Dimensional world we live in. By unlocking all channels of movement, we can free up a near limitless potential to express ourselves. We’ll map out patterns and further your awareness of our spatial possibilities through three very simple concepts:

Bouncing: A technique that is closest to traditional Maori poi, this is the simplest way to add a directional change and give some more flair to your style.

Backspace: We will discuss some imagery and anatomy to help you feel out the world behind you, work through some exercises to solidify that feeling, and put that knowledge into practice so you can walk away with some cool moves and building blocks to improve upon your own style.

Butterflies: It’s one of the first moves we learn when we pick up poi. Simple, borderline boring, and occasionally awkward. We will expand upon these basic patterns by moving them through space and around our bodies with simple exercises and imagery that will blow your mind and level up your technique.

About Zach Kiyuna

Oregon native Zach Kiyuna discovered flow arts over 8 years ago, and it has since led him on an unbelievable journey of self exploration and discovery. He’s learned from and practiced alongside many amazing members of his local community in Eugene, Oregon, attended workshops at flow/fire festivals such as Pacific Fire Gathering and Fire Drums, and supplements his practice by attending dance classes at the University of Oregon. Although his primary prop of choice is poi, he is a man of many interests and believes strongly in the concept of cross-discipline practice, citing influences such as Tai Chi, Kendo, contemporary dance, and juggling. His style is a dynamic blend of technical precision, innovative improvisation, and fluid movement.

On describing the impact that movement practices – particularly Poi – has had on his life, Zach states that, “Poi has helped me become much more aware of my body and mind and even changed the way I go about learning new skills. It’s inspired me to make healthier lifestyle choices and opened paths that I honestly didn’t think I was capable of exploring. After observing the flow community for many years, I’ve asked myself many times what I could contribute to the art. So much more technical knowledge is available to people now than when I started spinning, but I’ve started seeing this trend of going from cool new trick to cool new trick. While technical knowledge is very important in any discipline, I want to bring people back to the main reason I started spinning, which is the feel – to really break away from the idea that the poi is just a prop that you try to control and, instead, work with it as an extension of your own body.