Tutsday: Timing and Direction for Flow Artists & Fire Spinners

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Flow Artists, when using two props at the same time, us the terms timing and direction to refer to the relationship that the props have to one another and the visual aesthetic that they create. In short, timing and direction describe the four fundamental ways to spin your props. When spinning two props, the timing refers to the position of the prop at the moment that one passes the bottom of its circle. The two basic timings used are together time and split time. For example, when both poi are spinning and both poi pass an imaginary point on the ground at the same time, this is together time. When the poi are spinning and each poi passes the bottom at different times and is offset by 180 degrees, this is called, split time.  A good analogy is a drummer hitting a drum at the same time with both hands or hitting the drum alternately.

Direction refers to the relative direction that two props have with one another. We are not talking about spinning one prop which is clock wise or counter clockwise. We are talking about the relationship of two props’ direction. The two basic directions are the same and opposite. When both props are spinning the same way like wheels rolling together, this is called, same direction. When both pros are spinning opposite direction, it is consequently called, opposite direction. With two timings and two directions, there are four standard timing direction combinations: tog-same, tog-opp, split-same, and split-opp. 

Be aware that with an advanced pattern, your hands can move in a different timing and direction than your props move. Remember that the concept of timing and direction assumes a few basic principles in order to accurately describe the spinning relationship.

  1. There are two spinning objects, not more or less
  2. The objects spin at the same speed
  3. The starting position of the props is either together, or 180 degrees opposite

Taking the time to practice these patterns without your props will help you to gain a deeper understanding of these patterns. Timing and direction is a useful concept because it helps spinners of all disciplines learn more quickly and communicate better about their patterns. Learning these timing ad directions will greatly improve your spinning.

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