PLATTSBURGH — Illuminating dance and movement in the dark, synchronizing body movements and etching them in the air to leave a brief memory for the eye with lines of fire—that is the art of poi.
Kimberly LeClaire will be holding a four-week beginner’s course in the art of poi fire dancing at the ROTA Gallery, 50 Margaret Street, starting April 4.
The class will start with students learning the roots of the art. The students will learn how to make their own poi from blue jeans, wire and a chain and then the lesson escalates into movement and technique. During the last few lessons, students will learn about fire safety and in the last class the dance will take fire.
“We start with drills, left hand right hand, learn to spin in your own body zone and comfort space,” said LeClaire. “Once you break out of the box you can dance and bring the fire anyway you want.”
Each class is divided into the following structure: 25 minute warm ups, practice, performances, drills, review; 30 minute new move clinic, individual work, drills, practice; 5 minute homework assignments, review, and then cool down.
During each class new concepts will be introduced in the “new move clinic” which are then reinforced during the remainder of the class.
A portion of the class incorporates yoga to prepare the body for stretching and movements associated with the dance.
“It’s a serious shoulder, arm, wrist workout. We do a lot of squats, a lot of walking, twisting and the yoga is for all of that for stretching,” said LeClaire. “It’s a lot of twisting and moving, it’s fun and it’s lovely.”
In the fourth class, students will put their training all together and create a dance. A final class will take place in Chazy where students can ignite the dance and do it with live fire.