The History of Trance Dancing and the Use of Poi for Enhancement

The History of Trance Dancing and the Use of Poi for Enhancement

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Category: Arts
Subcategory: Dance
Words: 1325
Pages: 6
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From an outsider’s perspective, trance dancing in the rave scene may appear a questionable cauldron of chemicals, squelching soundboards and sweaty bodies but upon closer examination, trance dancing has a therapeutic effect upon the body and mind, provides opportunities for social bonding, and has served as a vehicle for divine experiences through time immemorial. Trance dancing with poi provides additional movement-enhancing benefits, as well as the unquantifiable joy of feeling lost in the moment and sharing happiness with a crowd through an expressive display of light.Defining the ModalityPoi are any set of weighted objects attached to tethers that are spun during a dance (What Is Poi, 2016). Dancing with poi can also be referred to as one’s ‘flow,’ and flowing is any seamless integration of poi techniques that creates an ever-shifting display of geometrical patterns (What is Poi, 2016). Poi today is found often at concerts, festivals, and other music events.Poi come in a variety of forms fire poi, made from kevlar wicks, attached to chains or a special flame-resistant technora tether LED poi, with weights that offer a variety of flashing color patterns of light for the spinner and contact poi, which are simple, solid-color weighted poi, best for daytime spinning (Types of Poi, 2009). Glowsticks are a more commonly recognized form of poi, but require a different technique for use due to their extreme light weight (Types of Poi, 2009). History and Bases for PracticeThe joys of trance dancing date back to tribal times, when dancing was used for communication (Brown, 2014). Throughout history, dance was originally reserved for strictly religious purposes, as a series of ritualized movements with symbolic and esthetic value (Brown, 2014). Trance dancing, in many cultures, was a vehicle for religious experience (Spencer, 1985). Some groups, such as the Sufi Dervishes and Protestant Shakers, danced to experience a state of divine within themselves (Brown, 2014).Dancing with poi originally belonged to the Maori of New Zealand. Poi was used as…
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