- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Learn the Art of Dancing with Fire
Put safety first
Fire dancing is, and always will be, one of the most dangerous things that someone can undertake. If you are thinking about learning a fire art as a hobby, then don't. It cannot be stressed enough that this is not something that may be self taught. Some have set their faces alight and others have been in hospital due to a (fire) breathe that has gone wrong. If you aren't willing to pay the price, then please do not attempt this. Finally, treat the fire with respect, Most accidents of 'professionals' are due to them losing focus for just a second. If this has not put you off then please continue to read below and find someone that is willing to teach you.
Choose your weapon.
Here are a multitude of different fire dancing technique and tools. Poi- This Maori traditional dancing tool/ training weapon consist of a pair of wicks that are attached to the end of chains. These are then weaved around the body. Stick/Staff- This consists of a stave generally of metal or wood. This is then either manipulated around the body (known as contact staff) or is spun around the person. Fire Fans- Taking inspiration from the more traditional fan dancing styles, these are much heavier generally consisting of a metal flame with wicks placed at regular points. Fire Fingers- These are individual rings that the performer wears, generally used as a set of ten, they each have a metal taper with a small wick at the end. Torch- this is generally combined with fire breathing or fire eating. The torch can vary from a thin wooden taper suitable for fire eating to a larger, heavier metal torch more suited for fire breathing. Sword- These are usually based around Japanese sword designs and are generally used in short, choreographed fights. Investigate what will be right for you. For example, if you are interested in staff spinning then you will need a stave that is the right height for you, but even this has a level of personal preference. Purchase your first practice tool. This may, in fact, not be even capable of being lit, as almost all styles have plastic or rubberised versions that are ideal for practice
Next practice your base move. For Poi spinning, it is what is called a three beat weave. For staff, it is the figure of eight.
Find a trainer
If you have managed to master the appropriate base move and you still wish to continue, it is time to find someone that can help you with your training. For learning moves someone that is willing to watch you and compare to several online websites will do. To learn fire related techniques you MUST find an experienced fire dancer, whilst they do not necessarily need to come from the same discipline as you are studying this would be a distinct advantage.
Having learned a core of techniques that you can perform time and time again, without mistakes, you are ready to introduce fire to your routine. The first thing to do is prepare yourself, get your fuel your fuel dump, a wiping cloth and fire damping equipment(water, fire extinguisher, fire blanket) and an experienced fire performer to assist you. Finally make sure that you yourself are not wearing any flammable materials (to clarify this means nothing that will catch fire). Prepare and ignite one wick. Gently wave your hand through the flame, this is to prepare you for the heat that will occur so you do not disorientate yourself.
Still not put off Move on from just interacting with the flame, start with your base move with all of the wicks lit
Continue doing this until you are completely comfortable with the fire passing that close to your body. Move on to the next move you have perfected , and repeat until comfortable do this for all moves you have perfected.
Keep practicing and improving your skills
Yes you are however, there is still much to learn, repeat the steps listed above, practicing a move with either a practice set or your tool unlit first until comfortable then progress to working it into your routine with the lit tools.