So, What the heck are Fire Poi?



The Healthy Mind and Body Benefits to Spinning Poi

Discover Performance Poi and How This Practice Can Be Beneficial to Your Health and Wellness

Ever been Wow’d by the enchanting dance of a fire performer but wonder what the heck they are spinning around their body? I remember the first time i saw a fire performance and thought, “What is this sorcery? I want to try!” Fast forward a few years and now I am joyously on the flip-side as the fire performer sharing this fiery light and rhythmic dance with others! So, let’s talk Poi.

Great Balls of Fire

Poi is a performance art that involves swinging tethered weights in rhythmic and geometric patterns while infusing dance elements. Poi can be made out of a variety of materials, but Fire Poi consists of a heavy wick generally in the shape of a ball at the end of two chains or tethers. Sounds a bit intimidating, huh? Well they used to be slightly less so.

A Brief History of poi

Poi originated with the Māori people of New Zealand. It was originally made out of twisted flax fibers and plant stems tied in a knot at the end with decorative tassels. They were used in choreographed performance in conjunction with storytelling and singing. It was not initially performed with fire. You can check out some sweet videos of traditional Māori Poi dance here. Tourism to the island allowed the poi ball to grow in popularity and now it’s a world-wide apparatus that keeps on evolving!

Poi Play Today

These days you can find many variations of poi, from the breathtaking fire poi, to the technical LED glow poi, and even the simplistic practice poi. Practice poi are the best way for a beginner to start working with the poi art form and to build a skill set before setting wicks and chains on fire. Practice poi can also be made out of a variety of materials including socks with weights, glow sticks on strings, etc. As long as you have weighted tethers you can experience the dynamics of poi, and I highly suggest you do!

Poi is not just for performance, it can be done by anyone! There are so many amazing benefits to practicing poi.

Change Your Brain

Watching a fire poi performance looks beautiful, but did you know practicing this skilled artform can change your brain? Here are some of these was poi play can benefit your cognitive development.

  • Creates new neural pathways as complex patterns are learned
  • Balances left and right brain hemispheres
  • Improves motor coordination
  • Improves hand eye coordination
  • Improves reflexes and reaction time
  • Heightens spatial awareness
  • Develops concentration and focus
  • Develops precision and accuracy

No Gym Pass Needed

Not only is poi good for you brain, but it’s great for your body too. 💪🏽

  • Strengthens upper body; arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers
  • Encourages muscle toning and flexibility
  • An aerobic, full-body workout when dance is incorporated
  • Balances and strengthens both sides of the body
  • Develops a sense of rhythm and timing
  • Strengthens cardiovascular health
  • Increases circulation
  • Improves body posture

A Healthy Confidence Boost

  • Increases self confidence and self esteem
  • Encourages patience and persistence
  • Relieves stress when in a meditative flow
  • Activates conscious movement and body awareness
  • Connect with community as you learn and share with others
  • Feel like a warrior with your new skills
  • A healthy hobby to have, you’ll never be bored again!
  • You’ll be invited to every event in the neighborhood 😎

So What Are You Waiting For?

Poi can be practiced by anyone, at any age! Children can practice poi to instill healthy habits, cognitive and physical abilities at an early age. The elderly can practice to resist and potentially reverse mental and physical decline. Everyone in between can find joy and amusement in learning new skills and incorporating dance and movement, and maybe just a little showing off. It’s good for you! 

Start Practicing Poi Today!

I offer one-on-one lessons and a weekly group session on Thursdays in Ocean Beach, CA. Reach out! I’d love to schedule some time to work with you and begin your poi journey! Whether you want to learn for the health benefits, for fun, or hope to perform with fire one day, I can get you started! 💚

Book Me For Your Next Event

I’d be honored to spin fire at your next event! I offer a variety of fire apparatuses including poi, hula hoop, fans, dragon staff and levi wand and can tailor the performance to your special event. 

Email me at:

Or check out my upcoming events on Facebook:

Love & [Fire] Light!💖🔥


📸 Photo captured by the incredible Orin Louis Weintraub. 

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