Grips, relations, and theory of fan spinning

What are all those different grips?

In Russian fan school

In Russian fan community, as of 2020, there are only two grips: open and closed. Open grip means that hand comes into the ring from the side behind the fan to the side of the audience. Closed grip means the opposite. Hand comes the ring from to audience side to the performer's side. A particular way of holding or spinning fan is considered unimportant. All other grips are used so rarely that they are considered as more special tricks for particular moves. The tutorial below explains those grips in detail:

In Western fan school

However, in Western fan school, there are different names and conventions, such as reverse grip, thumb grip, finger grip, clamp grip, etc. These terms seem to vary from teacher to teacher. Examples of some naming conventions can be found in this video and in this document

What are the “relations”?

In general, relations, such as X, O, I, S etc., define the position of fans in space relative to each other. For example, when fans placed with handles next to each other, their wicks resemble the letter O, or placed with wicks next to each other, the wicks resemble the letter X.

In Russian fan school

Initially, in Russian fan school, relations are used as modes in which a move as a whole can be executed. That is, if some flower starts in X-relation, it is X-relation flower, regardless of whether that relation is kept throughout the flower. Accordingly, each move has several different modes, or relations, depending on with which relation we start the move. This idea helps to discover new fan moves from the basic move. This idea is originally introduced in this video and also explained in this video and the theory tutorial above.

In Western fan school

However, in the Western fan school, the idea or relations is reduced to simply the relative orientation of the fans at any given moment. In other words, a move can start in one relation, proceed to another relation, and so on. Examples can be found in this video.

What is timing?

There are two different timings, same time (also called together time) and split time. Examples can be found in the theory video above.

What are the different directions?

There are two different directions:

  • Same direction - when both fans rotate in the same direction, for example, clockwise.
  • Opposite direction - when fans rotate in different directions, for example, one clockwise and the other counterclockwise.

Speaking about each fan separately, people often indicate the direction by saying “thumb is leading” or “little finger is leading”, because standard “forward” and “backward” terminology is not very convenient for fans, due to different grips. Examples can be found in the theory video above.

What is spin and antispin?

A move (mainly flowers) is called spin (or in-spin) whenever the direction of fan rotation is the same as the direction of arm rotation. For example, both move clockwise. Conversely, the move is called antispin whenever directions of the fan and the arm rotations are different. The theory tutorial above covers this concept.