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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 5 years ago

Go with the flow: New trend uses hula hoops, fire for medidation


The 386 Flow Arts Community group meets the first Saturday of every month, under the Halifax River Bridge.


You’ve heard the expression, “go with the flow.” That’s what a group of people do every first Saturday of the month, as they practice “flow arts” under the east end of the Halifax River Bridge.

In flow arts, individuals practice object manipulation with hula hoops, poi (tethered weights), juggling balls and a variety of staffs and other objects.

“It’s meditation,” said Ben Smith, 28, at Saturday's workshop. “I’m able to quiet my inner dialogue. A flow is when you get into a stage where it’s just you and the object.”

He added that any activity that requires concentration can be a flow art, such as golf.

“It enriches your life,” Smith said. “It’s kinetic art more than anything.”

Tony Ynot, 27, said flow arts are beneficial in many ways, including getting exercise and increasing flexibility and coordination. He also likes to inspire young people.

“Practicing a flow art will keep them off the streets,” he said. “And it’s better than playing video games all day.”

Ynot performs as a fire twirler at the Ocean Deck, in Daytona Beach. He uses a “fire dragon,” a staff with fiery spokes on each end, and he is currently building a wheel that will blaze with fire. Many of the props, especially the staffs, are used in fire twirling, which adds to the performance aspect, especially at night when the fire makes designs around the performer.

Brad Bishop, 22, called flow a performance art.

“It’s visually stimulating,” he said.

But these monthly meetings are also about socializing, for Joe Boquet, the group's main organizer.

“We try to have a positive social effect,” he said. “A lot of people just go out clubbing, and we want to give them an alternative. We have beach cleanups and fundraisers.”

Boquet had seen flow arts in other cities but never locally. So he decided to get a group started in his hometown. He and other organizers have been building the group for the past several months through social media.

All are welcome.

“Anything can be a prop,” he said. “Even a yo-yo. A guitar is a prop.”

Another organizer, Jacy Figueroa, hopes to not only increase membership but also get involved with cultural events at The Casements.

“We want to bring people together,” she said. “It’s all about peacefulness. It’s good vibes and good people.”

Community togetherness is what it's all about, Kaitlyn Rihm, another member, added.

“We teach and learn from each other,” she said.

Search for "386 Flow Arts Community" on Facebook to join the group, which currently has about 600 fans.

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