Partner Poi 101: The 4-Beat Weave (Beginner Tutorial)

Partner Poi 101: The 4-Beat Weave (Beginner Tutorial)

This video series was sponsored by Flowtoys.
The 4-beat weave is the foundational trick
for all other interlocking partner poi.
Drex here from helping you
bring the joy of flow to your world and I’m
here with my friend Tashi to show you how
to do the 4-beat partner weave
Before we dive in, however, I just want to
give a quick shout out to the friends of the
Big thanks to Dark Monk, Flowtoys, Pyroterra
Lighttoys, LMF Props, Spinballs, and Ultrapoi
for helping to make the videos on this channel
You can learn more about all these amazing
companies and the work they’re doing to
support flow artists like yourself by checking
out the links down in the description of this
Tashi: This is the first partner trick most
people learn!
You and your partner are going to weave together
with just one hand.
Drex: Because it’s important, we’re going
to do a quick review of communication.
We’ll be counting down our entry every time
by saying here, next, now so we’re both
clear on our timing.
Sound good, Tashi?
Tashi: Sounds good.
Drex: We call this trick a 4-beat because
each individual partner will perform 4 downbeats
in the course of this trick.
This trick has a pretty gentle learning curve–I’ve
been able to teach it to complete strangers
in less than ten minutes.
Tashi: You’ll also learn a lot that will
come in handy for other tricks later in this
The first thing both you and your partner
will need to do is get used to the arm movement
in this trick.
Practice without the poi to start.
Drex: Have each partner perform a 3-beat weave
with their hand going both forwards and reverse
to get a rough idea of how this will feel.
You’re going to want to spin your arm twice
when it is across your body and once on its
native side.
You’ll also want to orient your body so
that your hand is going back and forth in
front of and behind you in wall plane rather
than side to side in wheel plane.
Tashi: When that feels comfortable, walk through
it with your partner.
Drex: First let’s pick whose arm is going
forward and whose arm is going reverse.
Being as how I’m taller I’m going to go
forward for reasons that we’ll get into
To perform this weave, each of us will have
to catch and push the other’s arm between
our bodies, a motion I usually call hooking
or pushing.
Tashi: Both Drex and I are right-handed so
we want to learn this with our right hands
We start facing each other and I’ll take
a step to my left.
Drex: If you or your partner or both are left-handed,
you can take that step to the right instead.
Tashi: I’ll start with my arm pointed straight
out in front of me.
Drex: And I’m going to swing my arm around
over hers, sweeping both our arms between
our bodies till they are in front of me and
behind Tashi.
It’s now my job to hang out here until she
comes around to catch me.
Tashi: I’ll swing my arm around like I’m
doing the backstroke and catch Drex’s arm
from underneath.
Then, I’ll push both our arms over in front
of us and leave my arm waiting for Drex’s
Drex: I’m going to swing my arm around behind
me like I’m doing the crawl stroke and catch
Tashi’s arm from above and the cycle continues.
I wait for her to push me from under, she
waits for me to push her from over.
I wait for her to push me from under, she
waits for me to push her from over.
Tashi: Now let’s try it with poi!!
Drex: The one last piece of the puzzle is
to perform one extra beat when your arm is
on its native side and you’re waiting for
your partner to catch you.
This means you’ll get in 2 beats with the
poi on each side.
Now let’s try that together!
Tashi: I’ll start by sticking my arm straight
out with the poi.
Drex: And I’m going to sweep my arm and
poi over on top of her arm and push both our
arms to the other side of our bodies.
I’ll spin a beat with my poi while Tashi
reaches around.
Tashi: I’ll reach around my poi like I’m
doing the backstroke and swing it under Drex’s
Then, I’ll push both of our arms over to
the other side.
Drex: I’ll drop my hand down and around
behind me like I’m doing the crawl stroke
and reach them both up and over top of Tashi’s
hand while she hangs out and adds a beat with
her poi.
So each partner has the same rhythm for this:
push your partner’s hand through, hang out
for a beat, let your partner push your hand
through, swing back around.
Tashi: Your poi might get tangled as you do
this trick.
Or they might not match up very well.
This happens a lot when someone speeds up
or slows down too much.
Count the beats as you do the move and it
can help fix this.
Drex: As you and your partner get more comfortable
doing this move, you should be able to work
in tandem together and neither of you should
have to push very hard.
Tashi: This should feel more like a dance
rather than arm wrestling.
Once you get it down, neither person should
feel like they’re leading.
Drex: So now I want to introduce you to a
variation of this move that switches up the
game plan just a bit.
Currently we switch off who is doing the “pushing”
on each side, but you can actually make it
so that the same person is always pushing.
Tashi: If the person doing the forward weave
is always pushing, they will always push the
move below the wrists.
But if you have the person doing the reverse
weave always pushing, they will always push
above the wrists.
Drex: I’m a much bigger fan of having the
person doing the forward weave always pushing
and this has kind of become the norm among
people I do partner poi with.
We call it the downstream rule.
Tashi: Sometimes the poi can look like river
rapids as they spin.
The rapids go in a downstream direction and
so do the poi.
Drex: In addition to making it easy to know
what your weaves are going to look like with
any partner, this rule keeps the move at a
low, manageable spot if there happens to be
a big height difference between you and your
Tashi and I are going to be using the downstream
rule throughout this series and we highly
recommend that you do the same.
It’s going to save a lot of confusion later
Tashi: Make sure each partner practices being
downstream and upstream with each hand.
It’s always better to have more options.
Drex: It takes a little bit more work at the
wrist, but you can also do these weaves with
both of you facing in the same direction.
Tashi: This will also help down the road,
so make sure to practice it facing each way.
Here is that 4-beat from a few different angles
so you can get a better view of it.
Drex: And now let’s take those 4-beats and
try to string them together!
Tashi: If you learned this with both hands,
you can switch which hand is doing the weave.
Drex: Wait for the moment right before you
push your partner’s hand or they’re about
to push yours and simply swap out which hand
in place.
Pretty cool, right?
Valentine’s Day is coming up!
Would you like to get into partner poi with
a special someone?
The awesome folx at Flowtoys are offering
a special deal on 2 sets of podpoi for people
wanting to take the plunge and there is still
time to get them in by February 14!
Use the code “partnerflow” at
for an 11% discount on 2 pairs of partner
poi to get your journey started.
Thanks so much to Flowtoys for sponsoring
this series!
Tashi: We want to see you doing partner poi!
Post yourself doing this trick to Instagram
with the hashtag #drexfactorpoi so we can
check out your work.
Drex: Next week, we’ll cover partner 3-beat
To make sure you see it when it drops, please
make sure you subscribe and hit the notification
bell so you don’t miss any of the videos
in this series.
Before I set you all loose, I also just want
to put out a massive thank you to my wonderful
supporters on Patreon.
They are the reason this video and all the
videos on this channel exist.
If you would like to support the work I do,
please head on over to
and sign up.
You’ll get early access to all my content–including
future videos in this series, as well as a
vote in what topics I tackle in the future.
Thank you in advance!

3 thoughts on “Partner Poi 101: The 4-Beat Weave (Beginner Tutorial)”

  1. Thanks to Flowtoys for sponsoring this video series! Use the code "partnerflow" to get 11% off two sets of podpoi for you and your partner at You've still got time to get them by Valentine's Day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,