Ben Drexler

Ben Drexler

Poi Spinner


I've got great benefits, I've got a great salary-but here's this other thing, and when I'm doing this other thing, I'm not just really happy...I'm extremely happy.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Ben Drexler

Highlight
Themes: RiskValues
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00:40
Ben Drexler HighlightInterview Highlight
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08:47
InterviewThe Interview
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02:06
Mistakes Are Some of the Greatest ThingsWeb Exclusive
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01:05
Definition of HappinessWeb Exclusive
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01:05
Leaving Your HometownWeb Exclusive
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01:24
No Death Bed RegretsInterview Excerpt
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00:32
Fire SpinningInterview Excerpt
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01:41
Leaving Career In Human RightsInterview Excerpt
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00:41
Discovering His PassionInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
In college, saw the film Hotel Rwanda and became an activist; worked to end genocide in Darfur.
Moved to Washington D.C. to work for the Genocide Intervention Network.
Became disillusioned by the internal politics at the organizations he worked for; decided to take his own trip to Kenya.
Had begun poi spinning after discovering it at Burning Man; taught the art of poi/fire dancing on his trip to Africa.
Felt more fulfilled teaching in Kenya for one month than he'd felt in two years working at the Network.
Started teaching poi spinning classes in Washington D.C., posting tutorials online.
Rather than wondering if he was making a difference, he now had people seeking him out to say he'd changed their lives.
Says spinning poi brings him so much joy because it's a form of meditation; there are no worries about immediate gains-you just spin.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
American History (United States)
University of Colorado Boulder
Career

Career

Poi Spinner

I spread the love of poi and flow arts through in-person and online education, performance, and prop manufacturing.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Politics
Politics
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

I post instructional videos online and teach classes to help people learn the art of poi spinning. I also work to develop new props and spinning mechanisms, which I then demo at festivals and events.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Stay curious and never be afraid to try something new!

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Sadly, there is no educational path for poi spinning or the flow arts currently. Those of us who are making a living in it all do so independently by creating the means necessary to do so. In the future, there's a good chance this art will be more integrated into circus schools. Just start practicing!

Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"There is no way you can make a living doing this. "

At the time, no one was making a living spinning poi. It just wasn't done. It wasn't until I started having people coming up to me at festivals etc. and telling me that everything they know they learned from the videos I was posting, that I realized this is something that I could be doing all the time and not just as a hobby.