Three time Best of The Bay winner Temple of Poi is the world’s first poi fire dancing and flow arts school offering poi lessons to fire performers and students world wide since 2002. We offer structured classes, free workshops, free podcasts and also sell poi video lessons on DVD or download. Based in San Francisco, California, the community of fire dancers, spinners, artists twirlers and performers specialize in poi light and fire spinning classes as well as hoop, fan, flagging and staff lessons. Book our fire dancing performers, review the schedule for Bay Area based poi, hoop, fan, and staff fire dancing lessons or watch our performers at upcoming events.
Welcome to the Temple of Poi. And welcome to the spiritual pursuit of what is possible with two balls and some string. The willingness to study the infinite, complex combinations and possibilities available in the simplicity of some string and balls exemplifies our willingness to grow, change and evolve our practice.
The core of our work is about Flowology, defined as follows: The study of where I end and where that which is not me begins and the process of manipulating that boundary with ever increasing levels of ease and understanding. This is not limited to poi or flow tools; this is a life practice.
Our Founding Principles
- Express yourself fully and completely until and unless you take away someone else’s ability to express themselves fully and completely.
- Open to evolution.
- You can be, do, see, create, and inspire everything you truly want to be, do, see create and inspire by aligning all your actions with those intentions.
- “Starving” and “artist” are two words that do not always have to come in the same sentence.
- Create a product so valuable and rich in experience that clients would be willing to pay more for it.
- Pass on the gifts you can afford to share only and as frequently as your journey creates.
- Be the change you want to see.
The Temple Of Poi is a school dedicated to supporting a community of individuals seeking greater understanding of them Selves through movement and flow arts. We are consciously creating an environment for exploring balance and harmony of mind, body and spirit through dance, meditation and performance while we inspire each other to evolve toward realizing Self in expression as flow artists.
The school was founded in 2002 and began by teaching poi classes to beginning poi students. Later that year, intermediate poi classes were added to the roster as the demand for more skilled education increased. In 2003, the intermediate poi class roster was augmented with half a dozen other classes with specific focuses. In early 2004, Temple of Poi began offering Hoop and Staff classes as well to support the ever growing flow arts market.
Our vision is to actively cultivate increased physical dexterity and mental acuity for our flow meditation students in an effort to facilitate euphoric states and a sense of oneness.
Temple of Poi classes are developed with this holistic journey in mine. To support improvements in the physical skills of the flow arts, we offer comprehensive structures, drills, models, and distinctions which continually deepen the artists relationship to their flow tools. As the art form matures, we evolve our curriculum, continually affording student diverse material to study.
At the same time, our classes educate beyond the technical focus and continually encourage development of a powerful and positive mindset. Integrating this mindset deepens our understanding of Self, yielding greater confidence, compassion, grace, positivity and acceptance practitioners experience within their flow practice (and life). As artists develop these attitudes, they release tensions and stress while increasing openness and access to flow. Increased access to flow accelerates the rate of learning, boosting confidence further.
Through practice, this flow rEvolution cycle repeats endlessly, allowing artists deeper understandings, increased flow, never-ending learnings and the ability to create and surrender Self to euphoric states of expression.
Just as we facilitation evolution for students, we have also evolved, expanding Temple of Poi class choices. With nearly 30 poi classes alone, we offer a roster designed to help flow artists deepen their practice and skills.
We intentionally keep class sizes small so each student receives the personal instruction they need to continually grow. We create a supportive environment by inviting everyone to embrace the Flowology Mindset(tm) which encourages everyone to relax and enjoy their individual experience, no matter what it is like on a given day.
Classes are designed using a consistent developmental model for each class. Each class offers new information as it relates to the model to help students gain a deeper understanding of their skills. Through this model, our classes teach the structure of a move so students also understand how to create moves like the ones they learned in their class, thereby reducing their learning curve.
While developing their technique, Temple of Poi offers classes to help students develop artistic skills and style which uniquely define them as individuals.
Our vision encourages artists to explore flow arts as an empowering practice. The practice can be an exploration of the physical, mental, spiritual, meditation, technique, primal, archetypal, fire, performance, artistry and especially some combination of them all.
Our community inspires diversity of expression, learning and being. This includes sharing ourselves courageously by teaching and learning from others.
We believe our overall approach ripples from individuals into community and is the core of theflow rEvolution.
Isa “GlitterGirl” Isaacs established the Temple of Poi, the premier poi school in the world, beginning classes in early 2002 with a full time schedule by Summer of 2002. Her first class was taught in public parks around the city, then moved to a warehouse in Potrero Hill. By Fall of 2002, Isa was teaching larger classes in a mirrored indoor studio at DanzHaus. Isa believed that teaching the art form would enable her to have the greatest possibility for mastery and could raise the awareness and standards for poi artists everywhere.
Early on, the school worked only with beginners. As the demand for education rose, the Temple of Poi expanded its offerings. In Fall 2002, Jim “Sparky” Rudoff became attended the firstintermediate poi class at Temple of Poi. He and Erin “FirePixie” Glover began teaching for the school in Spring of 2003 where the Temple of Poi established the Main Studio in SOMA.
Vikki “FireSpice” Friedman, Jamie “Sparkaluscious” Luv, Ellen “Sowelu” Butensky and Katy “Resonance” Pomelov also began studying with the school Spring 2003. By Summer 2003, these new students joined Jim and Isa in the 2003 Temple of Poi Conclave where they performed a choreographed piece the night of the burn during Burning Man and were featured on the front page of the Living Section of the San Francisco Chronicle in August of 2003.
As the Temple of Poi community grew, the artists sought education in other flow toys. By Spring of 2004, Isa and Jamie combined their (sparkling, glittering) ideas and began teaching hula hoop classes. Isa also partnered with Andres Amador of Infinite Kaos to facilitate staff classes through Temple of Poi. Later that year in July 2004, Temple of Poi won a Best of the Bay award for the“Best place to learn how to fire dance Before Burning Man” reported by the Guardian newspaper.
In response to requests for education in other parts of the world, Temple of Poi began offering online computer based training in the Summer of 2004 and by Fall 2004, Temple of Poi had already worked with over 450 students. Registration surged after Isa and the Temple of Poi were featured in the SF Weekly cover story in November, 2004 and Isa took on a second studio in San Francisco, Studio B.
In Spring and Summer of 2005, active members of the Temple of Poi community created a highly technical and tightly choreographed performance for the Fire Arts Festival sponsored by The Crucible in oakland and a group of 54 went to Burning Man to perform in the 2005 Conclave.
By Summer of 2005 the student roster exceeded 685 poi students and artists from around the world and Temple of Poi responded to the expansion of the art form by re launched its web site in September of 2005. In addition to new meditation, intermediate, choreography andperformance classes, Temple of Poi expanding its offering to include on line moves and combos.
[last updated: 050901]