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WHAT IS POI?

Poi is a form of dance, where weights on the ends of tethers are swung through rhythmical patterns. The word poi comes from the Maori people of Aotearoa (a.k.a. New Zealand). Poi dance is part of Maori tradition.

The poi dancing outside of Maori culture is a more recent development, and is quite different than traditional Maori poi.

Poi was popularized throughout the world largely through the performance art of fire spinning, which is not part of Maori tradition or culture. Nobody seems to know who first invented “fire poi,” or when it happened.

This new version of poi was only loosely based on traditional Maori poi, and quickly evolved as it spread around the world. Enthusiasts invented new moves and borrowed heavily from other disciplines, such as juggling, club swinging, dance, and rhythmic gymnastics. Yet the name “poi” stuck.

Playing with Poi is more than just a beautiful art. When I first started I didn't realize there were so many benefits to Poi.

With time, as I got more advanced, and my training routine became more intense, I noticed it worked my body more and more. Before I knew it, my muscles were toned, and I was feeling healthier. It was round about this time that I decided to look into the benefits.

I found that Poi was used, many years ago, by the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand to increase their flexibility and strength in their hands and arms as well as improving coordination. Well, it turns out there were many more advantages that modern science revealed and we are still discovering more!

To learn more about Maori poi, we recommend booking a trip to New Zealand. ONLY the Maori can help you understand their culture and traditions.

Physical Benefits

  • Stretching, Joint Flexibility & Muscle Toning,

  • Full aerobic upper-body/full-body workout.

  • Playing poi strengthens your arms, wrists and fingers.

  • Poi will balance your left and right sides of your body by developing the weaker side and stronger side equally..

  • Develops a sense of rhythm and timing.

  • Strengthens cardio vascular health, therefore Decreasing the risk of heart disease.

  • Improves Body Posture.

Mental Benefits

  • Improve your fine and gross motor co-ordination.

  • It improves your hand eye co-ordination.

  • Speeds up reflexes and improves reaction time.

  • Playing poi heightens one's awareness of immediate surroundings.

  • Develops concentration and focus.

  • Cultivates patience and persistence

  • Teaches you the importance of precision and accuracy.

  • Develops self confidence & self esteem.

  • Relieves stress & fosters inner peace

*Documented Case - The Benefits of Poi*
Playing poi every day helped a child suffering with genetic childhood arthritis in her spine and joints. Within a period of 6 months she is almost medication free and is an active member of the poi and fire performance and exhibition team. (Aunty Yo Poi Academy, KZN)
As you can see Poi is more than just fun and it has major health benefits. So if you needed a reason to spin daily, you now have a great reason. Your personal well being! 

Children and Poi
"It is not the age but the mental abilities of the child that matters"
from "The Rhythm and Life of Poi" by Ngamoni Haut

There are those `born with poi in their hands` and there are others who need work at it. Children should be nurtured and encouraged to expand their knowledge because they will be the future creators of compositions.
Poi dance is traditionally an art of survival. It is also a clear presentation of unconditional behaviors in the present level of a child's development. Poi spinning can help any child with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, as it feeds back to the child their own experiential understanding of their difficulties - increasing confidence as their abilities rapidly grow in an entertaining, non-competitive manner while exercising them holistically both mentally (left/right brain) and physically.
For a child, poi spinning becomes an adventure of broad dimensions. He or she will think of 101 things they can do with the poi balls and their own senses will dictate their movements and motives.

Nick May highly recommends poi to anyone who is interested in learning a flow art or just improving their health through a movement based arts.

Class Options

Session Dates

Age            Price/hr(Included Poi)

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4-6              $25

7-10            $25

10+              $25

*1 on 1 Personal Classes Also Available*

Please Call to inquire for Special accommodations.

  • All Ages / Family
    Jul 14, 2020, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Kiwanis Park, 1401 Morton Ave, St Joseph, MI 49085, USA
    $20/person over 7 years old $5 Practice Take Home Sock Poi