Flow What?

By: Maddie Tykeson

 

The masters of flow seem to defy gravity, creating a magical show.

Flow art is a unique way to connect physically with music. When you flow, there is a physical interpretation for sound, almost like sign language for music.

These arts become both a meditation and a dance, and like most art requires practice. 

There are many types of flow art, and they are all worth exploring. The most common flow toys include staffs, poi, hoops, fans, darts, orbits, and gloves.

Flow art uses these tools as an extension of the body. There is a meditation found in the connection of the movement of your body, and the momentum of the flow toy. 

When starting to learn a flow art, LED or practice flow toys are much more comfortable than fire.

If you’ve ever been to a luau, you probably have seen fire staffing and fire poi spun by seasoned professionals.

Staffs:

Staffs are usually almost as tall as the user, sometimes with fringe near where the wick sits on either end.

They are exciting, especially when thrown in the air, landing around shoulders and twirling around the back in one fluid movement. 

Please only ever spin fire when you are comfortable with your craft and in a safe place. 

Spinning Poi:

Poi are made from circular or cube wick, or LED balls, connected by a cord to a hand hold, one in each hand.

Spinning poi can become like a magic act lit up in the dark, darting in intricate circles and suspended at seemingly impossible moments. 

Hula Hoops:

Hoops are hula hoops with LED lights or wicks for fire.

Hoops are imaginative, circling close to the body, thrown, or shimmied around body parts such as arms, legs, and necks. 

Fans:

Fans are almost like candelabras resting in the hands, a ring with a thin, fan-like frame containing wicks at the end of each point.

Fans enhance the form, elongating dance movements, and creating a mystical look. 

Darts:

Darts are unique, almost weapon-like flow toys created by an oblong wick at the end of a very long cord.

Darts can be thrown, pulled back, and wrapped around the user. 

Orbits:

Orbits are a clover shaped light pulled by the tension of the string that holds it, creating wild and exciting patterns.

Orbits, like gloves, need less space than most flow toys. 

Gloves:

Gloves are the most familiar of the flow arts in the rave community.

There is an intimacy to gloving, and that lends itself well to small spaces and crowds. 

 

Being able to connect others to music through flow art is a wonderful feeling.

There is a thrill in both connecting with music on a technical level, and communicating that connection with others.

Just like dancing, there is no perfect way to flow, it is always how you express yourself.

Whether you're flowing at a festival or just enjoying the music in your own way, be sure to check out the cute rave outfits here at Rave Bae Couture! 💚

 

About the author: Maddie Tykeson

Hi, I'm Maddie, I've  been a member of the rave community since 2014. In that time, I have explored many flow arts, such as poi, staff, dart and gloving. Poi and gloving stuck a lot more for me. I love to see people express their art, in both LED and fire form. Say hi if you find me at the next party! 

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