Poi Perfection: My Journey

By Alexandria Boddie

Poi Perfection: My Journey

I first became fascinated by poi back in high school. Those days in the late 90s were when I was first exposed to jungle, drum and bass, and techno. It started with the soundtrack to Blade, and was nurtured by a kid in my Computer Animation class who would burn mixes on CDs and give them to me (shoutout to Digital Josh - we've got the same birthday!). But it wasn't until my third year of college before I stepped onto a dance floor driven by steady beats. From that night at Hollywood Canteen, I started hitting up Vanguard Friday nights, Avalon Saturday nights, and the yearly Monster Massive Halloween rave at the Sports Arena (RIP).

Alexandria Boddie and friend Patricia Malfitano at Monster Massive 2007

Me and my friend Pati at the Halloween rave formerly known as Monster Massive

And everywhere, I was so enamored by those dancers and ravers who danced with lights.

I bought my first set of poi back before YouTube even existed, so there was no crowd-sourced knowledge for me to tap into to teach myself. Just the UTTERLY USELESS instruction videos on a DVD that came with the set. I managed to figure out a couple of moves, but never progressed beyond that. After a few months of fooling around, I put them away and forgot about them until eight years later, in 2015.

I bought myself a new set, to start fresh, from Home of Poi.

Set of lighted poi from homeofpoi.com

My go-to online marketplace for flow supplies

The cool thing about them is that they have a series of videos on their websites that show you how to do different moves. My plan was to teach myself with these videos while looking for lessons because I couldn't find anyone to teach me. So I was on my own. And that was fine for a while.

But I was never able to get into the f l o w. Meaning, I couldn't seamlessly transition between moves. I could do them individually, isolated, but forget putting on a show. Until a breakthrough happened earlier this year, while I was in Canada for a performance workshop. I had brought my poi with me, and a fellow performer named Karla Kloeble asked to borrow them for a spin. I noticed the way she held them, and how she was able to move so effortlessly, and so when she handed them back, I tried spinning my poi her way.

 

 All along, these past three years, what's been holding me back has simply been the way I inserted my fingers in the loops! Fuckin' dork. 

My poi swinging skills are so fierce now. That, right there above, is from this fourth of July. It was THE SMOOTHEST and most advanced personal spin session of mine, EVER. Poi flow is now, officially, on the service menu whenever someone's looking to book me for an appearance.

 I'm so proud of myself!

Alexandria Boddie

I'm a one-woman circus and the world's most passionate Grace Jones stan. Everything about your planet confounds me, except cats. Book me: hritalent.com


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