7 Layer Dip: Speed (Layer 4)

Poi Lessons San FranciscoNext up in the 7 layer dip is the exploration of speed. Just as size impacts the performance, speed will create the same effect. Often times, artists spin at one speed throughout a performance. Instead, artists might try adding a combination of micro accelerations, micro decelerations and a general sense of swelling with the music.

Just as music brings and auditory ebb and flow to it, as we move with our toys, we can match that experience visually with our movements. By responding to these auditory dynamics with our performance on a kinesthetic level, we can create a visual experience that is even more impactful than it might otherwise be.

Also, considering the lack of use of this technique, artists with speed variation truly create a visual distinction in their performance because this technique, while simple, is so infrequently utilized it becomes more obvious when it is expressed.

When considering working with speed consider the following:

  • Micro Accelerations: practice being able to increase the pace of spinning for a few beats or less, to create a dramatic accent in the music.
  • Micro Decelerations: practice being able to decrease the pace of spinning for a few beats or less to create the opposing dramatic accent that also matches the music.
  • Polyrhythmic spinning practice spinning your tools so that each one is following a different rhythm. For example, with poi, spin so one poi is rotating 2x as many times in the same amount of time as the other poi.

Written by Temple of Poi founder and visionary, GlitterGirl, who has been a full time flow arts coach and instructor since 2002. If you are looking to step up your skills as an instructor, please consider joining the Facebook Group, Flow Arts for Instructors and for more personalized coaching with GlitterGirl, email her directly (GlitterGirl <at> TempleOfPoi <daught> com).

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