by GlitterGirl, July 16, 2006
Not all mentors are created equal. Some serve us by helping us
get unstuck in our minds about some perspective we're stuck with.
Some help us understand how to be more self expressed in our artistry.
Some inspire us to just keep trying. Some offer technical distinctions
which illuminate previously elusive concepts.
The idea, then, is to find the mentor for you who will help you
most in the area in which you need assistance .
In Fall of 2003, I was blessed with meeting Nick
Woolsey. Getting to know Nick was a fabulous gift for me.
For one, his skills are amazing -- watching him can sometimes
make me forget to calculate what move in what direction he might
be doing in the moment -- that's saying a lot.
Nick is one of the best poi spinners (not dancers, not dance
performance artists, not performers, but spinners!!!) I've ever
been blessed to witness. As a technician, Nick is dedicated and
it is reflected in his Zen-like presentation of evenness, flow
and clean lines. His style is perfection in motion, even in moments
where, if it were possible, you can see something that is .0001%
"off" -- Ha. His ability to wield his poi with ease
and exactness inspired me on a multitude of levels to step up
my own practice, and here I am, nearly 3 years later, massively
improved for it.
Nick also taught me about the mountain. During our times together,
my experience of Nick was that he noticed the place he was climbing
up the mountain and all the ways in which he could improve on
his journey. I commend that -- it inspires and reminds me of all
the ways I am still a beginner with poi when I notice how far
away the peak of the mountain really is.
Nick also taught me that looking down the mountain is equally
important -- hence the 3rd principle of the Flowology Mindset(TM)
--- self-to-self comparison through time. As I witnessed his growth,
I found a place to witness my own, and this was an amazing gift.
Suddenly, instead of only seeing the things I hadn't yet accomplished
in poi, I could also embrace all the things I had
When we first met, what struck me most about how we differ is
that in as much as Nick's style focuses on precision and exactness
on a technical level, mine focuses on expression and creativity
in motion. Both styles are beautiful, though each style will resonate
differently with audiences. By opening to the beauty of his style,
my sense of aesthetics shifted in that I moved towards incorporating
many more wallplane moves, what I would describe as the cornerstone
of his style back then.
You might be wondering why I share this, so I'll share. Mentors
are valuable. As my mother told me when I was a child, everyone
has something to teach you, even if it is what you don't want
to do or be. As an educator, I believe it is important for me
to encourage the students and community members of Temple of Poi
to consider multiple mentors who can help them acquire varies
skills, vision, ideas, practices, drills and concepts. I encourage
this not because the concepts I teach are "wrong" --
rather, because every idea can help expand your understanding
of your practice.
At Temple of Poi, we help you understand poi from the basics
onward using a very specific and structured curriculum. We focus
on cultivating artistic self expression and performance presence
using ever increasing complexity. We embrace fast paced yet approachable
choreography. We help you evolve your practice and understand
complex techniques, offering drills and troubleshooting to help
assist in your poi evolution.
And, if you're looking for additional mentoring which is more
focused on technique and precision, I encourage you to work with