A Brief Intro To Fire Dancing

Fire dancing is fascinating and dangerous which only adds to it's attractions for many people. This form of dance - and it includes candle dances - finds expression in some countries in the world.

It was during the period of the mid-1990's to early 2000 that this art form exploded on the continent. Before that, it had been associated with little known ethnic traditions and the circus. Now it incorporates influences from all around the globe.

Performances are held at places such as rock concerts raves, night clubs, beach parties, camping festivals and cabarets. Interest and knowledge have been disseminated by the internet.


Fire dancing is known by some names such as"fire spinning","fire performance", "fire twirling," ", or "fire manipulation". All forms involve manipulating objects which are on fire. Some forms of the art have similarities to juggling or baton twirling. Fire dancing and rhythmic gymnastics have links.

One of the most popular categories is Fire Poi. Poi is a Maori word. Fire Poi consists of a ball with a wick at the end of a chain which the performers swing around their bodies. Usually, one poi is held in each hand, and they are rotated to make a circular trail of fire around the dancer. The performance is accompanied by music.All equipment involves an object which contains a wick which is soaked in fuel and lighted.

Other forms of apparatus used in this type of dancing include Fire Hoops, Batons, Fire Sticks, Fire Meteors, Torches, Fans and Finger Wands; the list goes on increasing as new ideas are introduced.

Fire, music, and movement are a very heady combination. We fear fire yet we are fascinated by it. Someone who appears to control it inspires awe. We all know that it is dangerous to play with fire, but we still want to.

A performer known as the Naked Fire Goddess applies the flames to her bare skin. Although she says "it burns a bit there's no marks or anything" I fear that she is damaging her skin whether she knows it or not.

There are those who practice this art for deeply spiritual reasons such as meditation. They say that it gives them a feeling of closeness to the Planet and the Cosmos. These individuals are performing for themselves. People in wheelchairs are known to participate in Poi.

Another group is paid performer whose aim is to entertain an audience.

There are some different Fire dancing categories.

In Traditional Fire Shows it is usual for performers to wear Polynesian style costumes. Standard Modern Style involves elaborate makeup and scanty costumes. Fire Theater is often part of a large stage show such as a rock concert. Fire Fetish shows are extremely sexually provocative with costumes designed to enhance this effect.These shows are also performed for an audience. Erotic Fire Shows include sexually arousing movement, suggestive music and very brief costumes. Often a solo dancer performs for a couple. Ritual Fire shows bring occult elements to the performance. The idea is to highlight and strengthen the ritual.
Needless to say, anyone wanting to take part in Fire dancing needs to be taught the basic moves without the use of fire. Also always bear safety in mind.


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