Often, I have thought that these legitimately should have been named Spinning Torches, but the search engine guys assure me this would not be a great move. *sigh*. Spinning Torches, you see them everywhere… now. In a way, this was one of the tools that launched Bearclaw.
I was in a troupe with people who danced with torches. But since only juggling torches had been available since club spinning ceased to be an olympic sport, they were forced to dance with tools not meant for the use they had in mind. Juggling torches are center weighted to give nice even spins, and they have a rubber grip to reduce the impact on the hand when catching. Nothing wrong with that… nothing until you want to spin them more than toss them.
Spinning torches have a smooth ball instead of a sticky rubber grip. This allows them to slide around the hand easily and extensively. The weight is off center, pushed farther out, to feel more like poi. You can still do light juggling with these (lets face it, if you can juggle pins, you can probably juggle bottles, golf clubs, or just about any appropriately shaped object), but there’s so much more.
Okay, so, I don’t “get” poi. Specifically I don’t understand why so many people in the fire community thing that you have to start with poi. I know where this came from. Years ago, when people wanted to get into fire when it was still underground and edgy, experienced performers gave people poi to discourage them, since so few people are wired for them. Now it’s like a college requisite: You must complete 3 semesters of poi to qualify for fans, swords, staves, double staves, or torches. *sigh*
I find torches to be MUCH easier to learn, easier to control, with an availability of moves that dramatically outmatch poi, yet they’re still considered something of the underclassmen of the fire world. Plus the durability of the design means you may never have to replace them (though, you’ll probably want bigger wicks at some point… :)
Take a look at the Bearclaw Fire Torches. Don’t just think of them for fire breathing, nor for juggling. They can do almost everything you see a poi spinner do and so much more. Unleash your expressiveness today.