“I had never tried poi before. It was an incredibly fun class and it was a fun way to learn better coordination. [The instructor] definitely knew what she was teaching and really remained patient, but persistent when a student struggled and is probably just as excellent of a teacher when teaching advanced skills. I think I loved learning and gaining more coordination the best, but my favorite tricks are probably tied between the three beat weave, and the windmill. This is a wonderful class and teaches much more than just poi. It teaches coordination, spacial awareness, patience, and is also a nice workout.” 

“Step by step individualized teaching helped me at my personal skill level. It reduces stress for me and takes my mind off classes for a little while. [The instructor is] very competent. If I learned a skill quickly she always had something more advanced ready to try. It was enriching and helped me focus on non-academic self-improvement. [I liked] learning all directions and spins, breaking down barriers to spin freely. Would love a class just for poi, and also a day just for dancing with poi.” 

“I had never done poi before and now I have a beginner skill set of tricks. The energy was always very positive. It was a good and fun physical activity to do as a break from other studies. All tricks were new and interesting.”

“I knew nothing about how to perform poi before this class. It’s fun, she teaches in a way that once can learn at their own pace while still moving forward. [The instructor] explained moves and demonstrated as well as she showed how moves applied to advanced moves and technique. I’ve been learning quite a bit and find it enjoyable. [I liked] learning poi, ability to take own pace and not feel rushed.”

“I went from knowing nothing to knowing a lot of tricks. It was fun learning something new and exciting to do in my free time. [The instructor] had plenty of experience as well as methods to help learn new tricks. I had lots of fun learning a lot of new tricks. [I liked] learning weaves, I love how they look and feel! I’m excited to try fire poi!”

“Knew nothing, now I have a few moves. Something fun to do. [The instructor is] very knowledgeable. Shows different ways of doing things so I could get it. [I liked the] mind/body connection. Good teacher, upbeat and fun.”

- Greenfield and UWM Beginner Poi Class, Spring 2016

"Poi was awesome! Even doing simple planes is harder than I expected! People make it look so easy! Really getting the hang of planes for poi, I have a feeling knowing and getting these down will make more difficult practices a little easier. Butterfly is super fun! I think it's kind of cool how once you get the move, even just one time, you have it down after that...kind of like riding a bike. Flowers are cool! It makes me want to get some light up poi and take cool pictures. I have a 3 beat weave, but learning it backwards is a totally different process. FLOWOLOGY! I'll get it someday. :) These classes have been so wonderful, definitely the highlight of my week! I've been recommending the class to everyone! You are both awesome instructors, and I plan on taking more classes in the future! Thanks!!" 

"First day of poi I was really excited for, I think the building blocks are super important if you want to get good. I find some of the fundamental pieces pretty challenging. ... all the moves we've been working on work really well for transitions while I'm dancing around. Flowers were something we tried to learn months and months ago and never really got - I can totally do them now (without hurting myself, too!). Then we worked on reverse weaves and that's when I learned the importance of being able to do moves in all variations - because that's how you move around with them! And then taking the three beat and opening it up in to a flower-capable position was just great. ... it's been such a good learning experience. I was so happy to have actual instruction instead of trying to learn everything from YouTube!"

"Feel accomplished spinning the right forward and the left backwards and then switching. "Flow" really helps. ...I feel way ahead of anything I thought I could do. For some reason, the more difficult the moves the faster I notice myself improving. Spinning the poi in opposite directions seemed so difficult 2 weeks ago, but today it was like an almost natural thing. I signed up for the class to learn hooping not thinking I would even like poi at all. But to my surprise I do really like it and will definitely miss this half of class. The videos you showed us in class were awesome and inspiring. Poi is difficult, but possible. I want to thank you for a fun, awesome class. I've learned a lot I would have never tried and I feel we have all grown from our experiences in class."

"Today we did poi and I am not very good yet, but I finally (with much practice) got the trick down and it felt awesome. ... the class learned the different ways to approach this trick, which really helped me to choose which method worked best for me. We also learned to make flowers with 4 petals, it was easy, but when we started to do anti-spin, that's when the brain power had to start kicking in. The pictures she showed us in class of photo exposure while making flowers turned out super cool."

"The first day I wasn't sure what to expect, the positive attitude of the teachers got me excited about the class. I wasn't sure what poi was but the teachers made it sound really exciting so I can't wait to start. I felt brain dead from doing homework all day. I was having trouble with the move, but by the end of class I got the moves!"

-UWM Beginner Poi Class, Winter 2015
"I had zero to no (poi skills) on entering the class, now I am way closer to my goal of poi dancing goddess of righteousness and fierceness. (The classes) are challenging, engaging, and kept me challenged in independent practice throughout my week. Any challenges i faced, any questions i had were answered without hesitation and promptly. to say i was happy with the classes is an understatement. (It was worth) every penny and more. I am FINALLY being my authentic self (which is a big step for me) thanks to Poi. I liked the challenge to try something news in front of new people. ...Thank you for this gift."

"I had no poi skills, now I have many! The teacher definitely knew her stuff. It was reasonably priced for all the skills I learned. I liked becoming more physically coordinated. Had a blast!"

"I never did poi, learned a lot! Good exercise, fun instructor, good people. The teacher is very talented and friendly. It was worth it to learn something fun and new. I liked learning new things, meeting new people, strengthening arms."

"I was a first time attendee, and didn't know any moves at all, so I learned a lot. The teacher is able to teach a move several ways until you can do it. Learned a lot in 5 sessions. I liked the body movements and exercise it provided my shoulders and upper back."

"It was very relaxing. I liked how you used different examples to describe movements. I liked the hour of relaxing and just paying attention to poi!"

"It was fun and good exercise. Learning something new is always good for the brain. Every week we learned several different movements...the instructor knew all of the movements perfectly and gave us good tips...I liked that I could buy the poi at a very reasonable cost."

"...I enjoyed the movements, combinations, and the different uses of the different parts of the arms. The teacher is patient, encourage and (has) her own dexterity of the poi. I liked the reminders of how the brain and the muscles coordinate with each other. I liked the fellowship."

"Instruction is positive energy! Great exercise for the arms and waist."

"In many ways, I got to use my dead left arm more. The teacher was very good and I had fun. The teacher was very competent and worked well with us. I would take this class again."

-Easy As Poi Class, Beginner Poi Class, April/May 2015

"I did not have any poi skills before, now I can do poi! Very nice instructions, very clear. [The instructor] knows terms and history, too. Very good at her skills, beautiful to watch. Wonderful exercise! Great for upper arms. Also good for upper waist area. I love the right brain, left brain challenge."

"[The class was] a lot of fun, great challenge for me. [Learned] many new variations. [The instructor is] very talented. I'd like to try the next set of classes with music to learn to keep a rhythm."

"I never did this before. It is a challenge. [The instructor] really knows her stuff. [The best thing about the class was] learning something new."

"[Advanced my poi skills] by showing different movements. Nice teacher, very excellent. Cost kept down. [The best thing about the class was] the teacher. Worthwhile."

-Easy As Poi Class, February/March 2015

"I had never even tried poi and now I feel that I have a basic knowledge of basic moves. I felt challenged yet when I achieved a move, it was rewarding. We all learned at different paces and she was able to break down moves and find a way for us all to learn. The instructor was very helpful and knowledgeable. Thanks for the great experience and I look forward to learn more poi in the future."

"I like the movement and being able to spin orbs around myself at the same time, just makes it more fun and yet relaxing. [Marilyn] seemed able to know many ways to teach the same moves and could demonstrate them all readily and expertly. I learned a lot for a very fair price."

"You took the time to make sure technique was correct. [Marilyn] explains moves in various ways."

"I had not ever even heard of poi before the day of class. It challenged my brain as much as my body. [Marilyn] is a veteran of many Burning Man events, and much more.The mental and physical test [was the best part of the series]."

"Beginner class, learned lots of moves. [Classes were] interactive, individualized at times. Reasonable [price] for beginner class. New moves each day, fast moving [was the best part of the series]. Great teacher, very knowledgeable."

-Summer 2014

"I had stalled in my skills and this gave me new drills to advance my spinning. The instructor helped me see areas to improve and the talks after class about fire requirements and other events was useful. She demonstrated all the skill she was teaching along with advanced moves that the basics could evolve into. Great time for spinning. [I liked best] getting a great connection to the MKE spinning community."

"Consistent instruction and review at beginning of class [advanced my poi skills]. Even though it was difficult, it was very relaxing. [The instructor was] really good at explaining technique and adapting technique to student. Can't beat the Rec Dept. prices. See you next session!"

"I didn't know anything at all when I began and I've definitely improved. I learned something new each week. [The instructor] explained things well. [I liked best] learning moves that could fit together. I really enjoyed myself! Thank you!"

"I liked the small size of the class. Also, it is a good arm and shoulder workout, which I need. [The instructor] was patient and pleasant. I always like things cheaper, but it was a fair price. [I liked best] learning a new skill. I would take it again."

-Winter 2013 / Spring 2014

"One on one instruction immensely helpful vs. video."

"Marilyn has sparkling personality."

"Talented poi spinner, very adept at teaching."

"The instructor is ammaazzziiinng!"


"Started with no experience, feel like I learned some great skills!"

"Always felt comfortable to ask questions and she paid attention to group and individual needs."

"Knowledgeable and good teacher."

"Great value for a relaxing, safe environment to learn a new skill."

"Teacher very good at teaching -- patient and knows what she's talking about."

"Thanks for keeping fun recreation affordable! Just moved to Milwaukee - great experience."

"Learned many moves and coordination."

"Showed what the moves can look like when you advance and transition."

"[I liked] learning moves and what I was doing wrong in trying to figure out correct way to accomplish the right form."

"Very happy - Thank you."

-Fall 2013
"I didn't know how to do anything before; now I can do a lot. It was a good workout and I was able to learn my own way. It was cheap and I got to learn while having fun. I liked that when needed, I had individualized attention."

"I made new friends, laughed, danced, and learned. Win/win! [The instructor] knew multiple ways to teach every move, which is nice because not everybody learns the same way. For such a small price I learned new moves for parties, shows, and fun. It also improved flow while hooping. You're awesome. Stay beautiful. Happy spinning!"

"I had never spun before. The instructor made things fun. She knew how to do everything she showed us. It was quite reasonably priced. [The best thing about the series was] the relaxed atmosphere."

"Marilyn made it fun - good exercise, too! [She was] encouraging, very knowledgeable. Absolutely the best deal in town. She covered a large amount of moves for a beginners class. Lots to practice now."

"It was awesome! SOO fun! [She] can teach people how to do it, break down the moves so you can understand."

"I was a novice and learned a great deal. Loved the movement. Poi made me feel better. I want to take more classes."

"Creative and great fun. I will encourage others to join. I was able to do things I never thought I could."

"I have a new baby and no time to practice, but it provided me with time to relax and smile, even when it was difficult."

"She always had new ideas on different ways to do something so I could 'get it.'"

"It was worth more than I paid."

"It made me feel more confident about my ability to do poi moves I would have thought were impossible before."

"I came into poi not knowing a thing - and left confident enough to perform in front of people!"

"The instructor was very helpful and a blast to be around, as well as a comfortable and fun atmosphere - I looked forward to every lesson."

"She did a very good job explaining moves with helpful examples - she spent equal time on both of us and was good at helping where specifically needed."

"I loved everything - favorite part would probably be when the class was finishing up and we would do a jam session using all the new moves we learned. I love the idea of Flowology - I use it for more than just poi. Looking forward to Poi 2!!"

"In the beginning I knew nothing. Now I have learned several moves and how to string them together."

"It's fun, good exercise, too! [I enjoyed] doing something different and seeing my skills advance."

"She knew all her moves and taught them in a variety of ways so we could both be successful. She was fun to work with."

- Spring 2013 Poi 1 Class
"A lot of the things I wouldn’t have got on my own were taught. It’s a good chance to get out and do cool stuff on a Monday. (The instructor is the) best spinner I know."

"Instructor was fun and encouraging."

"Before the class I didn’t know anything about poi and now I know a lot of the basics. I learned a lot of different techniques in a short amount of time. (The instructor) knew both the basic and the advanced moves so the class was always interesting. Starting to learn poi on my own would have been very difficult and having an experienced instructor made it easier."

"Prior to this class I couldn’t perform any poi move besides an overhand butterfly. I’ve learned quite a few tricks and still have plenty to work on mastering. It was taught at a quick pace which initially seemed daunting, but if left me with a sense of accomplishment. (The instructor) consistently showed a ton of variations with every move, speaking to her poi skills. Her teaching was very clear and easy to follow. This class was fairly inexpensive and provided me with hours of things to do outside of class. I’m excited this class is taught in conjunction with the Fire Safety Class."

"I had a basic knowledge, but still learned new things. (The instructor had) high skill level, patient, good teaching skills. Learned a ton of stuff and was inspired to practice on my own. Positive attitudes everywhere."

"Knew nothing at the start – now know all moves taught in class. Had fun and learned poi! (The instructor) could always show examples and helped people individually if they struggled. Learned a good foundation of skills so now I can learn at home or in next class. Fun times :)"

"I really enjoyed myself and Flowology is helpful for things outside of poi."

"Music and cheerful instructions were definitely the most positive points of my weeks. (The instructor was competent) and humble. More than worth it – great deal. I drove from Kenosha and it was still worth it. (Best thing about the series) the Sweeps and Mexican Waves and one-on-one time where Marilyn helped me understand how to feel the moves. The tidbits where M. gave me some new ways to think about or feel the moves led to breakthroughs for me. Language works!"

- Fall 2012 Poi 1 Class
"Learned a lot of variations to moves I’ve at least seen before. (The instructor is) awesome. She made sure people were at least trying new things. I learned a lot. No pressure environment."

"I improved with each class and learned new things. Instructor was great. Able to explain and demonstrate each move and I was in class with great people. (Best thing about the series) the end when we put it all together. Plus I liked the instructor and people I was in class with. Great class! Thank you."

"This is my second time through the class and now I can do almost all of the moves that were covered both hands, both directions. Marilyn not only knew all the moves but was able to demonstrate/explain them so that *I* could pick them up. It would be worth it at twice the price! (Best thing about the series) the challenge and meeting the challenge."

- Fall Staff 1 Class
"Learning new moves and different directions – inspiring. You are patient and thorough. Works with everyone present as individuals. I’m interested in continuing learning the Art of Poi!"

"I knew zero moves when I began, now I can do at least 5-7 confidently! It was fun to spin things, plus Marilyn is supportive and has a good sense of humor! She knew many moves and how to slow down and teach those moves to others. No wasted time! (The best thing about the series was) learning new moves and then setting them to music. Thanks, Marilyn! you are a great teacher!"

"The class was a good workout and fun. She broke down the steps into easier ones. (The best thing about the series was) spinning to music. Thanks for offering such a unique class!!"

" I didn’t have any (skills) when I started. I’m totally impressed! How many ways can you say great … fantastic, awesome. She’s patient, calm and always smiling and enthusiastic! (The best thing about the series was) Marilyn’s teaching style! Great class, I would recommend it."

- Summer 2012 Poi 1 Class

"I learned many new things each session. Marilyn has a great attitude and wonderful patience."
"She knew what she was teaching. [The best thing about the series was] learning to put dance with the new moves."

"I am so glad [You Are spHERE] is here!"

"It was relaxed and fun and I got to learn a cool new hobby."

"She was able to demonstrate moves and break them down for me and able to see what I was doing wrong and correct it."

"I felt it was a very good deal."

"...I had a good time most days, but especially when there was time after class to chat and play around to music."

"[The best thing about the series was] the encouragement. It was motivating."

- Spring 2012 Poi 1 Class
"A lot of the moves focused around straight planes and focusing on spinning straight. I need much practice with that."

"There were a lot of new tricks taught to basic moves we already know, challenging us." "She was good at explaining step by step if we were confused. Look forward to more!"

"I learned new moves, how to transition between moves, which was really helpful."

"Lots of fun, good pace and learned enough in class to be able to practice at home."

"She was very good at breaking the moves down into simpler parts and making them achievable."

"[The best thing about the series was there were] lots of combinations and how to do variations on basic techniques."

"It's been really fun and I hope to take more classes again in the future."

- Spring 2012 Intermediate 1 Class
The instructor:

"...looks good, is encouraging, incredibly cheerful and always positive."
"...explains things clearly and tells of her past struggles of learning poi."
"...beyond competent, you really know your stuff and were able to focus on everyone."
"...patient, repeated and tried different techniques/terminology to teach each move."
"...can do everything - amazing!"
"...was able to break things down in more ways than one if needed and able to show how it should look like. Was able to provide accurate, personal criticism as well."

"My transitions flow much smoother. I got to meet new friends. I liked the positive vibe best."
"Good challenge for body/brain/fun. Want to get a better mastery of the tricks."
"You were very encouraging and everyone was at my level, so there was little intimidation."
"You are a wonderful teacher and I appreciate the positive outlook."
"Really great people, all ages, all levels of skill. Interesting to see everybody's flow toys and ideas. Also like the challenge of doing all tricks with both hands in all planes/directions - good brain food and great for my shoulders."
"I like the flow family the best!"
"Super fun! I've been wanting to take this class for years but was intimidated thinking it'd be all young hipsters. :)"
"Very interactive and easy to follow instruction. Always a bonus to learn and practice to music, too."
"I can envision myself continuing on a a long way and making this a serious hobby and I can't wait!"
"A very well structured course. I learn a lot with new things each week...it's always low stress and chill."
"You're so willing/excited to learn from your students new things they invent - very empowering for us!"
"Nice to have a routine to reinforce/remember certain transitions. Always love the stress on doing both sides (left-right)."
"She is a skilled teacher...provided a thorough foundation of poi in a very accessible way..."
"She is extremely motivational during lessons, and if you can't get a certain technique to work one way, she keeps explaining it in other ways until you're sure to get it."
"I recommend the series to anybody who wants a brain workout; I actually feel more cognitively sharp from practicing the various elements of poi."
"Marilyn's classes are terrific. Her approach is conceptual instead of piecemeal."
"After only six classes, my wife and I find that we are competent poi dancers."
"The classes taught patience, dedication, patience, and not to take myself too seriously. For that I'm grateful."
"... like a great teacher, she is always willing to go off on a tangent if it will help us learn and increase our enthusiasm."
"I feel like the classes are a great value!"

- Fall 2011 Poi 1 Class
"Awesome, way cool! Love you!"
"I feel much more comfortable with poi and I know I am learning the correct way."
"Fun and for all experience levels, I loved that you kept challenging me!"
"I loved how quickly the classes moved and all the jams at the end!"
"She was excellent at explaining different stepping stones to learn the steps."
"Great vibe and how exciting it was to learn new things. Great energy all around!"
"Great atmosphere and you really encouraged asking questions."
"The demonstrations of what not to do [is what I liked best]."
"Very impressed - you lived up to the hype."
"The one-on-one attention and the way you find different learning methods for different students [is what I liked best]."
- Spring 2011 Poi 1 Class
"[Marilyn] knew how to spin poi as well as a variety of methods to teach each skill."
"[I liked] individual attention working through techniques."
"I was happy to learn at least one trick on the first day."
"[Marilyn] had time for everybody, knew answers for every question."
"It was fun and I learned more than I thought I would."
"No clock watching in this class - class was too short!"
"Bargain for the experience. "
- September 2010 Poi 1 Class
"It's been an amazing learning experience that was really easy to stick to because the progress was evident every week."
"It made me more confident in my poi skills, and gave me something fun and exciting to learn and experience."
"Marilyn was fun and always was there to help us when we felt stuck."
"Marilyn is the best at poi that I have seen, safety conscious and able to break down moves."
"The opportunity to work one on one with specific 'trouble spots' is appreciated."
"Marilyn breaks things down any way you might need to get a move."
"Love it! It's a workout, creative & fun. And it's a really fun bunch of people."
"Marilyn is very patient and willing to spend extra time with students."
"I liked going over basics in the beginning and then throwing in little extras. Also our solo time at the end of class was fun to see everyone else's styles."
"Can't wait for more poi!"
"You assist in control and inspire new moves and help me break mental boundaries."
"Marilyn is a passionate poi instructor giving joy and shedding light on an art she loves."
"Marilyn is definitely knowledgeable, helpful and persistent. Always looking for ways to challenge the students."
"I always wanted to learn fire poi and never imagined I would have the opportunity. It's been so much fun and looks cool - so double bonus."
"Marilyn knew a lot, was super patient and gave great feedback. She was encouraging and passionate about spinning."
"It was a steal - I would have paid twice the price."
"It's been amazing. Really glad I took the class."
"Marilyn took the time to go over individually our weaknesses so we would get better."
- April 2010 Poi 1 Class
"I knew nothing when I started and am very excited and happy with the moves I am now able to do."
- K. Frymark, August 2009
"Marilyn is awesome! She told me I can do this!!! She showed me different ways to do a move if I didn't understand. She took everything seriously, but with a lot of fun."
- K. Frymark, August 2009
"The self confidence it is giving me, and also the freedom of expression is what I like best about the series."
- K. Frymark, August 2009
"Love the class, instructor was awesome. I was able to make significant progress in 6 weeks. Will certainly take it again."
"Marilyn is a marvelous and enthusiastic teacher that shares her joy with you as you learn. She really creates a safe learning environment."
"Great teacher! Fun class! Unique!"
"I like the self-to-self comparisons and not saying 'I can't.' "
"Loved it, can't wait for the next class!"
- Milwaukee Recreation Department Students, Fall 2009

"I always looked forward to my lessons! Marilyn's upbeat attitude and energy always got me in a dancing mood even after a bad day."
- R. Burlingame, July 2009

"Definitely (worth what I paid)! Sometimes I felt like I should be paying more."
- R. Burlingame, July 2009

"Marilyn is great at breaking poi moves down into basic drills, anyone can learn. I've always had a problem with bilateral coordination on my left side, Marilyn's poi classes helped me more than any other exercise I have tried."
- R. Burlingame, July 2009

"I never thought I'd want to learn fire dancing, but after seeing Marilyn and others doing it - I had to learn! Taking classes with Marilyn has definitely made my life much more interesting."
- R. Burlingame, July 2009

"I like that Marilyn "forced" me to dance with the poi - I love dancing, but have always been shy. You Are spHERE cracked me out my shell."
- R. Burlingame, July 2009

"Wow I can't even believe how much I feel so confident with my poi performance now - and with things I never thought I would ever be able to do! I just kept a positive mindset and Marilyn's expertise helped it happen."
- KT Freund, June 2009
"Not only was it a great workout, but it was a pick-me-up in the middle of my busy weeks. Poi class was 100% for my body, spirit and mind - and it helped all three!"
- KT Freund, June 2009

"I have never met a more competent instructor. Marilyn not only knows her "stuff," but she is well-trained in safety and encouragement as well! She always coaxes me to go the extra mile, and I'm a better performer for it."
- KT Freund, June 2009

"I always feel I am getting 50% more than what I expect. I am amazed at how much Marilyn can encourage me to do in just a short hour!"
- KT Freund, June 2009

"I really appreciate your patience and ability to find new ways to break down the movements untll something makes sense in my body. Thank you."
- A. Giordano, June 2009
"Marilyn's classes took my poi skills from knowing 2 moves to performance confidence in less than 2 months. I had tried to learn from videos before and I learned more in 1 lesson from Marilyn than from weeks of practicing from videos!"
- KT Freund, June 2009

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