Roping is a form of dance (in a rather liberal sense), popular with the (Stereotype alert!) Raver crowd, using a pair of glowsticks on strings and spinning them around using centrifugal force to make rather pretty patterns of light.

History Roping comes from the art of poi, from the New Zealand peoples of Maori, which involved flaming wicks attached to chains. I don’t like screaming flaming death as an avoidable issue, so I don’t like the traditional approach of fire. Poi is an exercise as well as an art, and I stay rather toned from roping a few hours here or there.

Disclaimer Roping is a very coordination intensive activity. Lapses in concentration can give you rather large welts and such. Pay attention!

Directions Roping is very easy to start, but you are never done learning. There are always new things to learn, new techniques. To start with, try things like you would do with jump rope. Two big circles running in the same direction on each side of your body look cool, and when you have that down, try crossing over in front of your body. It makes a big X in front of you. Beyond that, it is pretty hard to describe with text, and ASCII depictions are just not my forte. /msg me if you have questions about a specific move. Other than that, just watch other people roping and try to see what they are doing. If people ask me to demonstrate a move to them, I am more than happy to oblige.

Roping is an interpretive thing. Take your own style. Try something creative, it might work, it might not. You will never know until you try. Your own tricks give you your style, and set you apart from the crowd. Others may give you ideas, but you must innovate!

Roping is a fun way to dance, and exercise. I have met many, very interesting people, in many different places just because of roping. Meeting complete strangers with a common interest doesn’t happen very often, but people always come up to me while roping wanting to show me a trick, or wanting me to show them one. Complete stranger take my picture, and sometimes they find their way into mainstream publications. I was once even in the Atlanta Constitution during a 3-day music festival downtown. It’s a fun way to meet new people, if nothing else, and sets you apart from others by a rather interesting skill that you can show off any time you have access to a pair of shoestrings and glowsticks. Happy Spinning!

See also Fire Spinning

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