Riley – Canberra, Australia

Riley (Canberra, Australia)

From around 2002 until around 2010 I break danced everyday. It taught me discipline, a deeper love for music, and brought happiness. Early March in 2010 I saw a twirler practising in my local park. Curious of what he was doing I went over & asked. He handed me a staff and taught me figure eights and throws for next two hours, and immediately that same happiness came out.

Staff didn’t seem to come as naturally so I was back and forth between dance and staff for the next 3 years, but as I was coming back to Canberra after moving away to Melbourne (I had barely been back in the city 5 mins) I saw all these wonderful people fire spinning! I saw my friend Dyl who gave me a hug and showed me his set, asked if I’ve heard of poi, and just handed me this pair of socks with rice in them and said “get better”.

“get better.”
Over the next few weeks I became more comfortable with them and started to experiment. I played with them until I started to notice things, very quickly my spacial awareness became heightened, I started being able to control the way my body flows through moves with muscles that felt like they’re newly formed, I start to reach almost a meditative state within the first month and the thought of getting better is no longer important.

2 years later there’s not been a single day that I haven’t wanted to be poiing; I carry extra sets to give to anyone who finds it interesting, I use it to relax in the morning, I go to bed after practising. It’s become who I am. Interestingly, I can now write with both hands ambidextrously because I have to understand the functions of both hands for poi. Its taught me how to hold my posture, flow to music, given me something to give back to the world, helped me meet and become friends with hundreds of other people who spin, shown me a confidence in myself that helps in any other situation, and brought a harmony in my household because now we’re all spinning 🙂

I do what I love while it benefits me everyday and I could not be happier!

– Riley

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