Latest News

Fund the Flow Arts grant recipient

NOVEMBER 2016: SpinPoi was a recipient of the 2016-17 Seed Grant Cycle from Fund the Flow Arts, a US-based nonprofit organization established to present and promote the Flow Arts globally.

Story on Newstalk ZB

NOVEMBER 2016: "A researcher who is looking into the health benefits of twirling a poi is in a spin after winning a hard-fought global thesis competition. Kate Riegle van West came all the way from the US to study at Auckland University..."

Article in El Mercurio, Chilean Newspaper

NOVEMBER 2016: Poi research and the 3 Minute Thesis competition win are featured in El Mercurio, a national circulation newspaper from Chile.

Article in the Times Higher Education

NOVEMBER 2016: "Poi PhD student wins three-minute thesis competition. Ms Riegle van West said that the competition had given her “an amazing platform to share my research on poi and health, and I am honoured the judges have chosen me”

Three Minute Thesis international winner

NOVEMBER 2016: Kate was awarded 1st place in the International U21 3MT competition! "From circus performer to award winning doctoral candidate...Kate’s win reminds us that excellent students come from all walks of life."

Research presented at active ageing conference

SEPTEMBER 2016: Preliminary results of the poi and health trial were presented at the New Zealand Association of Gerontology 2016 "Making active ageing a reality" conference in Wellington, NZ.

3 Minute Thesis Auckland University winner

SEPTEMBER 2016: Kate was announced the Doctoral Winner and the People's Choice of the University of Auckland 2016 Three Minute Thesis competition. She will go on to compete at the Asia / Pacific competition in Brisbane.

Article by Flow Arts Institute

AUGUST 2016: "For many of us in the Flow Arts, we are aware there is a connection between spinning and our personal wellness. One of the people leading the way in this area is Kate Riegle van West..."

Poi for your health on TV ONE

JULY 2016: Tim Wilson from TV ONE's Seven Sharp gives poi a go and speaks with Kate about International Poi's potential to keep older adults physically and cognitively fit.

Interview on Radio New Zealand

JULY 2016: Kathryn Ryan from Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon program interviews Kate about the poi clinical trial, what she's found out so far, and implications for the future.

Article in University of Auckland News

JUNE 2016: A pākehā from America studying poi? I am often met with confusion, curiosity, and sometimes skepticism when explaining my research on poi and health...

Interview with Seniors News

JUNE 2016: Seniors Newspaper speaks with Kate at the International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference in Australia, where she presented the preliminary results of the poi clinical trial.

Research presented at two international conferences

JUNE 2016: Preliminary results of the poi and health trial were presented at two international conferences, the International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference in Brisbane, and the World Congress on Active Ageing in Melbourne.

Poi / health documentary released

JUNE 2016: A short documentary on the first clinical trial to measure the effects of poi on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults. Click to view!

Poi clinical trial launches

MARCH 2016: Forty healthy older adults began a clinical trial at the University of Auckland, to see if there is an effect of poi on physical and cognitive function.

Article in New Zealand Herald

JANUARY 2016: An article about the upcoming poi research study was released in local Auckland newspapers: "There are hidden health benefits behind one of the oldest Maori traditions. This is what student Kate Riegle-Van West is trying to prove..."

Crowdfunding campaign successful

JULY 2015: Thanks to many generous donors, SpinPoi raised enough money to conduct the first clinical trial to measure the effects of poi on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults.

DEMO Magazine feature

MAY 2014: Kate and the Orbitar were featured in the Columbia College Chicago DEMO Magazine article "Top 20s: Alumni Making Their Mark in Careers They Love"

Poi at TEDx

DECEMBER 2013: Kate performs with The Orbitar at TEDx Beacon Street, and talks about the power of poi as a tool for play, and its future potential everywhere from schools to nursing homes.

Orbitar featured at Salisbury University

AUGUST 2011: The Orbitar is featured in the Electronic Art Gallery at Salisbury University during their "Summer Shorts" Exhibition.

Orbitar, new poi musical instrument, debut

MAY 2011: The Orbitar, a new digital instrument rooted in poi which creates live audio soundscapes, had its debut performance at the Stage Two Theatre in Chicago. Click to view a video of the show.

Presentation at CAA 2011 Conference

FEB 2011: As part of the New Media Caucus at the 2011 College Arts Association Conference, Kate spoke about The Orbitar on the Instrument as Artwork as Interface panel. Her research was also published in the Media-N Journal following the conference.

Poi video shown at Digital Graffiti Festival

JUNE 2010: The Geometry of Poi, originally a 4 channel video installation, was a finalist at the International Digital Graffiti Festival in Florida, where it was projected life size on the side of a building during the festival.