Hot Mama, Doreen Peña, is in the business of making people lose weight. Aside from the healthy drinks she promotes, she encourages others to keep fit through exercise. Her personal choice of exercise would be spinning poi, of course!
Name: Doreen Peña
PZ Fire Spinning Name and why?: Since I am fondly called “HOT MAMA” even before I started spinning poi, I thought it is just fitting for me to use it as my fire name. But that wasn’t the case, since I am in the business of making people lose weight, one of my crazy PZ friends baptized me with the fire name “FAT BURNER” and that name kinda stuck already. However, I wouldn’t want to be called on stage with that fire name…it sounds funny hahaha
How/When/Why did you start spinning poi? Actually back in August 2007, my friend Oli Khosiking was already asking me to join him attend poi classes but since it conflicts with my Hip Hop class, I never got to try it until after I saw sensei Ramir Recinto did a POI demo at Fitness First. I thought to myself, “Wow, I want to spin like that too!” and I remember telling Oli I will only attend poi classes if Ramir is my instructor. My first class was at Bel-Air Makati in January 16, 2008. Since then, I haven’t stopped learning and loving the art and the passion of spinning poi.
Favorite Moves: My ultimate favorite move is the Straight Jacket-leg bounce-Butterfly Crossers combo. But each performance I would always include Buzz Saw because it never fails to make crowd go wild. For them, there is this element of danger by doing a Buzz Saw and that reaction makes me high thus making thus one of my favorite moves. Recently I just learned spiral wraps and it’s growing on me too.
Favorite place to spin poi and why: Nothing beats spinning at the beach. There is a certain something about spinning at the beach that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe it is because everything is just so laid back, time is slow and it’s like you’re in another world, away from your corporate self.
Performances you’ve done: I’ve done a lot of performances in such a short period of time. I have lots of memorable gigs and top of my list would be Fiesta Brazileira in 2009, Tron in 2010 and recently the ETC gig in Boracay, April 29, 2011
Reasons why you love poi: I just love poi because it gives me the opportunity to express myself, who I am and what I can do. I also believe poi is an equalizer. It gives everyone/anyone the chance of expressing themselves with this art form – dancer or not. They say it is an advantage to learn poi if you’re a dancer. I beg to disagree. I know a lot of people who are not great dancers and yet they are great poi spinners. The difference is in the passion to learn and master this art form. Most memorable poi experience: I don’t know if this is the most memorable for me but this was just so recent that it’s on top of my head right now. That would be my ETC Party Gras gig in Boracay with Paolo Soler. I was asked by the floor director to spin with bikini top and Thai pants which was more appropriate in a beach setting. Since I wouldn’t want labelled as a “pa-sexy” spinner, I tried to do as much technical moves as I can. At the back of my head, I was contemplating if I will do spiral wraps because whenever I do it, I would just mess it up. I told Paolo I was nervous but being the senior spinner that he is, he encouraged me so I felt better. But then I felt a bit of pressure when he said I should do some new moves. I really want to make the crowd go wild and give Solar entertainment their money’s worth, so I did a buzz saw but it failed me, I guess people are now sick of it, so I did an anti-spin buzz saw, cranks, anti-spin flowers, 5-beat weave, body stalls, still no there were no ooohs and aaahs. I even did my fave Jacket-leg bounce-Butterfly Crossers combo but I think I heard crickets instead. I did an under-the-leg move and I got a few claps. So finally I mustered the guts to do spiral wraps, as usual I kinda messed up my first attempt but when I relaxed a bit, I finally made it and then there were the ooohs and aaaahs that I was looking for. Tough crowd! But I felt great after! After the performance, people were like “Ang galing mo Ate!” (Ate???! Haha!) But I loved it. I felt the love from the crowd so all is good.
How will Poi save the planet? When you are doing something you love to do like spinning poi, that love shines through each performance to everyone in the room. I guess Poi will help save the planet by spreading that love and when love is overflowing, what could go wrong?