In Hawaii, we eat the “POI”. In New Zealand, they swing it! “POI” is the Maori word for “ball” on a cord. Many years ago the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand used it to increase their flexibility and strength in their hands and arms as well as improving coordination. Today, the women dancers perform the Maori poi, a dance performed with balls attached to flax strings, swung rhythmically. Men used it for strength and coordination. Yes, the poi was also used as a weapon during a battle.



I love the grace of the long poi and the rhythmic beats of the short poi. But nothing beats the fire poi balls. They light up beautifully with a variety of geometric patterns.

Click on the first video below as our Polynesian Cultural Center alumni perform at the 50th Anniversary of the Center.


If you want to learn how to do the poi ball dance, we teach you at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Here’s a clip that can get you started. All you need now is a pair poi balls.





 PCC blogger, Bobby Akoi.  Originally from Keaukaha on the Big Island of Hawai’I,  his path took an unexpected turn to the little town of La’ie as student at Church College of Hawai’i.  Never in his wildest dreams did he think he’d be working at the #1 paid tourist attraction in the State of Hawaii.   Today he is the Director of Protocol & Community Relations for the Polynesian Cultural Center.  He is married to Hiromi and has 4 children.