Alien Jon is one of the world’s most amazing poi spinners. He has has contributed much to the art form with his videos and poi animations. There are only a few people in the world who understand poi as thoroughly as Jon. He masterminded the animations that Nick has started using in his poi-flower tutorials.

In recent years, Jon has become co-owner and designer of fiber optic flow props at BuyFiberFlies.com. We recommend checking it out!


Michael “G” Chesney began poi spinning in England shortly after his brother took it up. He claims he gained most of his poi skills practicing in his little living room, watching television, and being very careful with his planes because otherwise he would break things.

Regardless of his unusual training methodology, G became one of the best poi spinners ever, and his reputation spread through the UK. When Nick asked him, “Hey, want to come play poi in Bali this winter?” G said “yes,” and that began several years of Nick and G hosting retreats and getting up to all kinds of poi shenanigans together.

G is living back in England with a full-time job these days. He is missed.


Banyan Gallagher was an international fire-dance performer for over eight years. He performed all over the world, alongside some of the greatest performance troupes and musical acts including Cirque du Soleil.

He’s an equally talented Yoga instructor, and he’s been our teacher at many poi retreats.

Ultimately his passion for yoga eclipsed his passion for performance, and he’s now a full time yoga teacher, living in California and leading retreats around the world. If you want to deepen your yoga practice, check out his website!


Süri is a longtime friend who’s a very talented circus performer, poi artist, and photographer. She brings fun wherever she goes, and we’re always happy to have her around!

She’s a great partner in the making people happy plan! As member of Spark Circus and in her own projects, she works to bring the power of laughter and play to the people who need it most.

Check out her flickr for some of her awesomely fun photography, her vimeo for videos of her exploits, and watch for her work here at playpoi.com!


Burning Dan was a great friend and co-adventurer with Nick and Playpoi. He came to visit at the old Poi Studio long ago, and joined us for adventures each year afterwards. Much of the playful, curious, and loving spirit of Playpoi came from the presence of Dan.

While he’s no longer with us, you’ll see him around the site in videos and photo albums, and his spirit will always be a part of us. Check out his legacy at flowtemple and hitrecord!

And if anybody ever offers you tiger-balm to put on your nipples, just say yes!


Karen NG was our video accomplice and good friend in Bali and Singapore for several years.

By day, Karen Ng is a videographer who has been behind the camera ever since she was tall enough to reach for one.  By night, she’s Mezzé Flame, playful entertainer and fire manipulator specializing in levitating wands.

Check out her Bal!Hai video series for behind the scenes retreat fire spinning action!


Pali is from Indianapolis and was often on location with us from ’08 to ’10. Now she calls Boulder home, and reportedly is lovin’ it.

She’s the creator of Spin to This as well as a major ally in projects like Flow Arts Network and Flow Maps, and is at the front lines of flow arts social networking, working to make it highly connective, usable, and supportive of creative play.


Thom Thumb is a performer, teacher, event organizer, actor, and writer. He’s come to play with us at retreats and worked with Alien Jon in teaching partner poi.  He’s taught movement arts at all kinds of festivals around the world, performed with many amazing artists, and he recently landed a role as a clown in the upcoming motion picture Water For Elephants!

He loves partner play and creating with others. An organizer of the Play Immersion festival, his focus is on poi play as a joyful meditation, and he is on a permanent mission to bring the silly. We welcome him to the team as an ambassador of play!


Alex Grunenfelder has been involved in the design sciences since he was a small child, where he engineered elaborate schemes to bend and twist the minds of his fellow schoolmates. He has since decided to use his powers for good, not evil, and has founded such organizations as the Garudaroom, which conducts research into peaceful enjoyment.

He’s our main design guy and has been Nick’s best friend since grade 3.  He can do the weave and basic turns.


Jaguar Mary is a hoop dancer, filmmaker, internet artist, healer, Conscious Creator, Shapeshifter, and Earthwalker from Washington, DC. She’s worked with us on a number of Playpoi video projects including our second DVD, Adventures in Poi: Moves.

Indeed a possessor of many talents, she has been studying dance and movement for over 25 years, her short films have shown at film venues throughout the world, and she has recently launched a series of global retreats called Sacred Circularities.


Also many other people! We meet many people as we travel around the world, and we just have to share these beautiful, smiling faces. If you don’t see your own face here, it’s not because we don’t love you!