Ben first was introduced to the practice of tinikling at the age of nine. He learned how to perform the dance during elementary school when a friend of his who had recently moved to the United States of America from the Philippines taught him after school. Ben learned how to practice tinikling from his friend and began to take serious interest in the dance and continued to show interest for about three years. He says he performed the dance at his elementary schools talent show during his fifth-grade year.
According to Ben, tinikling is a dance/game similar to jump roping wherein there are at least three participants– sometimes more. There are two people sitting opposite from one another who are both holding onto opposite ends of two long poles, which can be made of plastic tubing or bamboo. He said they used plastic because there isnt exactly a large surplus of bamboo in the United States. Then he said that the people on the ends hit the poles on the ground in unison and then bring the poles together in the middle, while the third person jumps in and out of the poles in a fashion similar to jump-roping. Ben says that after one masters the basics of jumping in and out, it is fairly easy to implement other sorts of movement such as acrobatics for example. He claims that he is able to do cartwheels through the poles while tinikling, a skill, which took him a few painful practice runs to perfect.
Ben is currently a student at the University of Mississippi and studies Philosophy and Creative Writing. He grew up in Marietta, Georgia and attended a public elementary school there where he first came into contact with the practice of tinikling. He is a third-generation American with family backgrounds coming from Europe: Sweden and Scotland.
Variations of Tinikling are also present on a variety of websites such as the following:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinikling. April 14, 2007. 9:30PM.