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Guiding Principles
(updated 02.20.05)

The Temple of Poi community creates an environment which facilitates poi/hoop/staff/flow arts skill development while cultivating the individual style each person uniquely brings to their art form. Our work continually promotes expression and is the heart of our philosophy:

Express yourself fully and completely until and unless you take away someone else's ability to express themselves fully and completely.

The sentence, while simple, illustrates the consciousness, passion, energy, and integrity embodied by the Temple of Poi. First, we believe everyone has something to create and express in this world, even if the individuals do not yet know what that is. Expression can be anything including paintings, music, dance, performance, books, speeches, ideas, communities, families and countless other things. Our philosophy encourages each person to explore their own creativity and let it shine in the world. This is no small task given our busy lives full of obligations, family, friends and work.

And, regardless of the demands we experience, we believe Self expression is possible... for everyone.

The Temple of Poi philosophy continues, promoting responsible expression. Certainly there is the obvious implication in this statement that we endorse freedom and discourage force -- that one should offer their expression rather than forcing their expression on others. It is easy to remember a time in the middle of the 1900's where the idea of a superior race was being forced on others in Europe, resulting in World War II. The Temple of Poi guideline does not support an oppressive and forceful form of expression, as it is clearly irresponsible.

Looking further into our guideline speaks to a more subtle aspect of responsible expression. To foster an environment of freedom for everyone, we encourage each person to consider the whole environment in which they are expressing themselves, asking individuals to notice all the other people with whom they are interacting. That is, after considering what one wishes to express, the next step is to consider how it will impact the environment in which one might express it.

For example, imagine a group of dancers arriving at a location, setting up and performing. Part of their show including blasting their music loudly, so loudly that other people need to move somewhere else to continue a conversation they were already engaged in before the music was playing. These dancers were less responsible in their expression than we encourage. The Temple of Poi philosophy invites artists to create expression while encouraging everyone else to have the same experience: a Win-Win mentality.

We believe responsible Self expression is achieved by embracing flexibility and recognizing we always have a choice. As the dancers arrive at the location described above, they might consider these possibilities to support the conversationalists continuing their dialogue:

  • Perhaps the sound system could move elsewhere
  • Perhaps we can negotiate with the people already in the space, inviting them to watch the show, including them as audience members by offering them the gift of our performance.
  • Perhaps we can lower the volume so the conversation can transpire while the performance occurs.

Even if we do not prefer the choices, there are always options available.

With this philosophy in mind, we developed our school, community and events to empower individuals who energize the community, which ultimately sparks creativity and the ongoing advancement in the flow rEvolution.

 

 


 

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"You are a positive force for individual self-expression!"

~ J. Wilde; November, 2004

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