Kate Riegle van West (Spin Poi)

is creating poi and health research and resources

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About

Hi. I'm Dr. Kate Riegle van West. I have been studying a ball on the end of a cord for over a decade. Yeah, a ball on a cord. Why? Because I think it can change the world. In a really big way.

A ball on a cord? What are you talking about?
I'm talking about something called poi. It's a ball, on a flexible cord, that you spin in circles around your body. People have been doing it for a long time, beginning with the Māori in New Zealand. Today there are lots of different types of poi, and it is practiced all over the world as a form of play, meditation, and performance. 

Okay, so why do you think poi can change the world?
Poi happens to combine a lot of special elements: it engages both the body and mind, it is rhythmic, accessible, and most importantly, fun! I was hooked from the moment I felt that thing orbiting around me...just spinning it in a circle was engaging but relaxing. And I'm not alone...people are falling in love with poi all over the world! I've actually been collecting stories about it. 

Sure, that all sounds fine and dandy, but is there any proof that poi can improve health?
There is now! I recently completed the first scientific research on poi, working between the Centre for Brain Research and the Dance Department at the University of Auckland. I measured the effects of poi on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults, and found significant improvements in grip strength, balance, and attention after just one month of poi practice. Check out the results for yourself:

 
And here's a peek at some of the work I've been doing with poi in aged care post PhD:

So what will my money help support?
I want to make a lifelong career out of poi and health. I want retirement villages to turn to poi like they turn to Tai Chi. I want schools to turn to poi like they turn to spelling bees and jumping jacks. I want scholars to turn to poi like they turn to the Rosetta Stone. I want to change the world with poi, and seeing as my research was the first scientific study ever conducted on poi and health, the field is wide open for a lifetimes worth of work. With the completion of my PhD, I am now in the early stages of starting my own poi/health business, which will help organizations and communities begin and grow their own poi programs. While I am keeping spending to a minimum, getting off the ground inevitably requires funding. I also have another poi project which I would love to continue work on, and even incorporate into my poi and health research: a digital musical instrument called the Orbitar. If poi alone can improve health, imagine poi which can be used to make sound and light compositions! The possibilities are endless, and so is my passion for this field.

What happens if I become your patron, and I want to change my donation amount or stop giving?
No problem! You can change the amount or stop giving any time you want, with no penalty.

I'm almost convinced that I want to help you, but I need a little more reassurance that you're awesome (and qualified, capable, blah blah blah).
Can do!
And I want to do a lot more! I have an unquenchable thirst to create and innovate. From studying a ball on a cord to playing crazy brass music, I am always striving to push the boundaries and my own capabilities. A little financial support will go a long way, as money has always been the biggest limiting factor in my endeavors.

And just in case I haven't won you over yet, here is a picture of my cat Spider peacefully dreaming of world poi domination.



thank you
thank you
THANK YOU
for reading, for considering, and for
possibly (hopefully) (you know you want to) supporting.

xoxo Kate
www.spinpoi.com
Goals
$77 of $550 per month
Kate can focus more on poi, and less on making ends meet! 
Figuring out how to pay rent and feed myself each month is the biggest obstacle in the way of my poi/health endeavors. With your support I can focus my full attention on: creating resources to help people start their own poi programs, providing training to health care professionals around poi as a therapeutic intervention, conducting further rigorous research on poi and health, publishing academic articles, responding to messages from people all over the world who have questions around poi and health related things, and continuing my personal growth and exploration around poi as Maori taonga.  *HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF AND GRATITUDE*
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 98 exclusive posts
194
Images
4
Links
23
Writings
15
Videos
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 98 exclusive posts
194
Images
4
Links
23
Writings
15
Videos

Recent posts by Kate Riegle van West (Spin Poi)

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