Tin Can Studio is a dance studio where mysterious and wonderful classes are taught.  Fire dancing, aerial arts, hooping, and belly dance, among other things.  

When I first started taking classes, at Tin Can Studio, it wasn’t Tin Can Studio at all, it was Kendra Hayes teaching Belly Dancing classes out of her home.  Kendra is an absolutely amazing instructor, and a beautiful dancer.  I recommend that all of you immediately go pick a class from Tin Can Studio’s repertoire and take it, because you really can’t go wrong.

The new space, in South Seattle, is lovely.  Breezy and bright inside, but with a homey feel to it too.  Its decor speaks of comfort.  Every instructor I have had the pleasure to interact with has been open, kind, and welcoming – all important things when you may be trying out an art you’ve never heard of, much less tried.

This particular class that I am taking now, is poi dancing, and the instructor is Tierany Seriflame.  She teaches us brain twisting poi moves with humor and an unreal amount of patience.  Here is a video of her performing with her poi dance troupe, Ignition.

So a little background.  Poi originated in New Zealand.  It evolved from the Maori’s swinging weapons and is now practiced as a form of dance.  I am really not qualified to tell you anything more about its history than that.  What I feel I am more than qualified to tell you about though, is how it will teach you humility in the blink of an hour.  I left my first class feeling like I’d just escaped a labyrinth.  I didn’t know right from left or up from down anymore.  My already poor sense of direction had been more than challenged. 

If you’ve ever tried juggling, you know how difficult it is to move your two hands independently of each other.  I’ll be swinging away, thinking I’m spinning my sock poi (nope… no fire up in here just yet) in two different directions, then, like magic, suddenly my left hand has switched to imitating my right, and I’m doing everything wrong.  It’s like my arms have minds of their own… or perhaps that they have no minds at all and are completely beyond my control.  At one point, I actually exclaimed “I’m doing it!  I’m doing it!” and promptly whacked myself in the face.

In my first class, I was extremely frustrated, but already by the second class, I was feeling more confident.  It turns out one of the tricks to getting the poi to go in the general direction you want, is to not try to force them there.  You kind of just have to subtly suggest that they move somewhere and let the momentum carry them.  At the end of the hour I left with tired arms and an aching brain, but I feel good about trying this new thing.  I think it’s good for my mind to try to think in different ways.

More to come… I signed up for the whole class series!

Flammably yours,

C