Poi is a performance art that originated in New Zealand, where the Maori people practiced it. Some reports, although unconfirmed, say that Maori men used poi to help them improve the flexibility of their wrists.

Shaunee Shaun of PoiCDO spinning fire.

The word poi means ball on a cord, but today’s poi comes in different forms. There’s a glow poi, a sock poi, LED lighted poi and a fire poi. Its main concept of improving dance and rhythm has evolved into something more as poi is now popular as a form of physical activity that helps develop self-confidence. It has also become an important manner of self-expression and playing up one’s creativity. The people who perform poi are called flow artists.

Cagayan de Oro has its own group of flow artists. PoiCDO was established in 2009, originally as a group of friends who shared a passion for spinning poi. Eventually, the group grew and became a group of local poi talents. PoiCDO has had numerous performances since 2009, and in some of these performances, they represented Cagayan de Oro. When they perform in different parts of the country, they are known as PoiCDO Fire Spinners. As a result of these performances, people became more aware of the beauty and thrill of spinning poi. Thus, PoiCDO came up with a series of poi workshops of lessons.

Tomorrow, April 15, marks the first day of PoiCDO’s poi lessons for 2012. The sessions will go on for the next Sundays of April, until May. Registration fee is at Php1,000, and this includes a Basic Poi Kit. For those who are interested, registration starts at 1pm at Bo’s Coffee, Rosario Arcade, Limketkai Mall. The lessons will be held at Fit & Well (formerly Clark Hatch Gym) at Rosario Arcade.

Desperately trying to spin!

I have tried for years to join their workshops and lessons, but it wasn’t always the best timing.This year, I hope to finally be able to join. If you’re interested in learning the tricks of spinning poi, especially fire spinning, you should grab this chance to take a peek at the “secrets” of CDO’s best poi spinners. I’ve done basic poi (very basic, actually) for quite some time now and I guarantee you, it is totally fun and exhilirating! It’s a different kind of experience. You won’t regret joining the sessions!

For more information about poi and PoiCDO, check out their website.

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