Golden has a number of poi artists. This year, the Snow King MasqueParade featured a handful of people, many of whom are a part of the A-Muse Troupe, who performed with fire poi in Spirit Square. Keri Sculland/Star Photo

Poi workshop comes to Golden

By Sarah Wegelin

The Art of Poi with Nick Woolsey comes to Golden, B.C. this fall. Poi is a performance art that involves swinging tethered weights through a variety of rythmical and geometric patterns.

The event, hosted by the A-Muse Troupe and funded by Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) under its arts and culture mentoring and master classes grant, will bring poi artists together from the surrounding area to learn from the world-renowned flow artist and poi teacher of www.playpoi.com. The workshop, being held this October at the Golden Civic Centre, will build skills among participants from intermediate to advanced capacity under the mentorship of Woolsey during the three-day poi intensive.

Woolsey is known for his phenomenal poi practice and teaching skills. His goal as a teacher is to provide a space that helps people evolve and grow. Experienced with Tai Chi, yoga, and dance, Woolsey shares his knowledge of poi through videos on his website (www.playpoi.com), and YouTube channel as well as during in-person annual 10-day retreats held at Leviathon on Lesquiti Island in B.C., in Costa Rica, and other events throughout Europe. He explains the weekend intensive is a “pretty great package.”

“It will be a lot to pack into two days,” Woolsey explains. The Art of Poi with Nick Woolsey will consist of an evening orientation and jam session followed by two full-days of workshops that include four one-and-a-half to two-hour training sessions, lectures and discussions about performance and professionalism, play, and sharing time. During the workshop Woolsey will touch on theory related to poi and the geometry of flowers created during spinning. The weekend will end with participant presentations.

Since first learning the art of poi in the spring of 2001, Woolsey threw himself into the practice. Poi is described on playpoi.com as an ancient dance of the Maori people of Aotearoa.

Members of A-Muse Troupe, a local flow-arts group are thankful to the CKCA for the grant and are excited to welcome Woolsey to the community to host this event.

“Often we have to travel outside of the community to receive training like this. As we grow as artists within our troupe it feels great to continue our learning together here in Golden with community members. It also gives us an opportunity to meet other artists in our community and beyond,” explains Christina Spence, member of the troupe.

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