How to Master Poi Flowers in 3 Steps

poi flowers

Performing poi flowers is an impressive poi spinning technique used by intermediate and advanced flow artists to create stunning light trails.

The technique is performed by spinning two LED Poi or contact poi (one in each hand) in small circles while, simultaneously, rotating your arms around your body to form a single larger circle on a flat plane. This creates a vibrant flower-shaped image out of the light trails, wherein the smaller circles represent petals.

Poi flowers are a captivating sight to behold. It’s the kind of trick to add to your flow that will wow your friends at a festival, or garner viewership online. If you’re interested in learning how to perform super clean poi flowers, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we propose a step by step process for mastering the poi flower technique using practice poi or LED poi balls of your choosing.

Each step of the process requires patience and discipline, so try not to feel discouraged if you don’t achieve perfect poi flowers right away. Poi takes time to master. Just remember why you wanted to learn this technique to begin with and use it as motivation to push through the failures you’ll inevitably face. It will all be worth it once you succeed in performing your first poi flower successfully.

Let’s not waste anymore time. Here is the first step you’ll need to take in your journey to master poi flowers...

STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR POI

Unless you plan on going the DIY route with your poi spinning tools, we recommend getting a proper LED poi set. A good set, which is suited for your poi spinning goals, will allow you to more easily control your poi during complex spins, such as poi flowers. There are lots of LED poi sets on the market, but for the purpose of creating poi flowers specifically, we believe you’ll benefit most from using one of the following sets.

ORB POI

The Orb LED contact poi, or Orb Poi for short is a sphere-shaped contact poi designed to be juggled and contact rolled across performers’ arms/body for smooth transitions between moves. It’s a great starter poi set for beginners too, thanks to its soft silicone case design that will not hurt your body during impacts, easy color mode interface, internal battery rechargeability, and minimal required setup. Although the heavier weight can take some adjustment, we find that over time as poi spinners advance they prefer heavier poi. The solid non-stretch feeling of the Orb Poi 3/8“ ropes is particularly useful for performing poi flowers but they do not have swivels built-in like the other poi sets we offer so that may be a challenge for some.

HELIX POI

The Helix Poi, also called the LED glow stick type poi for its stick-like appearance, is lightweight, and runs on replaceable/rechargeable AAA batteries for easy all night spinning.  The size of the poi set is also more compact and easy to travel with to a concert and festival due to the stick design. Since the Helix Poi are lightweight, compact, and have swivels built into the UltraLeash, performing Poi flowers should be very easy on your shoulders and require less force than the other sets. Another great advantage is the glowsticks allow you to pick separate color modes and flash patterns on either side so you can really customize your light show. The ease of use and additional color customization will allow you to create more vibrant poi flowers.

VORTEX POI

Within the Vortex Poi set, you’ll be able to spin your (extremely bright) LEDs in two unique ways for an awesome 2 in 1 type benefit! The first method is the classic poi leash setup with the Vortex LED case on the end of the soft UltraLeash cord. The second method (our personal favorite) has the Vortex LED Case projecting light inside of non-stretch fabric socks that puts out a spectacular light show. Both methods include swivels and we find that the length of the socks is a perfect sweet spot for most spinners. These poi are considered midweight to heavy and also the case is not as soft as the Orb Poi, so they may not be the best for beginners. Advanced spinners, on the other hand, should enjoy using the Vortex Poi for poi flowers, especially in Sock Poi form for a truly amazing light display.

STEP 2: MASTER THE BASICS

If you’re new to poi spinning, poi flowers are going to be especially difficult to perform successfully. They require a high degree of motor control and muscle memory, which is best honed by practicing simpler techniques first.

Some of the best moves to practice as a beginner are reel turns, butterflies, windmills, stalls (specifically down stalls and bottom stalls), and weaves. These basic spins will teach you essential skills for growing as a flow artist, including plane control and transitions. If you consider yourself a more casual spinner, please don’t skip these moves. Even newbies will find far greater enjoyment in poi spinning if they take the time to practice the fundamentals and build a solid foundation to stand on.

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of poi spinning, or you’re at least able to perform basic moves consistently, you can finally proceed to the advanced techniques that all your practicing has been leading up to...

STEP 3: PRACTICE POI FLOWERS

At this stage, you should have considerably more control over your poi set than when you first began. If you don’t, we encourage you to review the previous two steps. However, if you now feel confident in your abilities, read on.

The best way to start performing poi flowers is to divide and conquer. Break the technique down to its individual elements and practice those until you feel comfortable enough to combine them. Below, we’ve divided a simplified version of the full technique into three digestible chunks.

  1. Create a large circle: Begin by laying a foundation. Practice spinning a single poi in a large circle around your body using your dominant hand. Do this until you can keep the poi spinning on a flat plane. In other words, make sure that your poi isn’t drifting closer to or further away from your body while you're spinning it. An easy way to practice this is by standing in front of a wall, or pretending there is a wall in front of you as you spin.
  2. Create four small circles: Now, let’s add to the foundation you built. While spinning your poi in a large circle, lock your arm at the bottom of the circular path and allow momentum to carry the poi around your hand to form a small loop. Then, just before your poi reaches the bottom of the loop, swing your arm back into the path of the larger circle you were creating prior. You’ll likely need to help gravity initiate the loop by rotating your wrist a bit while your arm is locked into position. Practice this in four directions: Down, up, left, and right.
  3. Create a four petal poi flower: Combine what you’ve practiced up to this point into one coherent move. The goal is to spin your poi in a large circle while stopping at the (quadrants) bottom, right side, top, and left side of that circle, allowing the poi to loop around your hand before returning to its original circular path.

For visual reference, check out DrexFactor’s 5-part tutorial series for learning poi flowers. The three steps we just covered are detailed in Part 1. These three steps will start you on the path to performing poi flowers, but there is still more to learn. With patience and persistence, you can eventually master this outstanding technique.

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful! Poi flowers are one of our favorite moves to perform, and with practice, they could become one of your favorites too.


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