Fire Dancing: My Story

Recently, I seem to have developed an interesting relationship with fire. Normally, as with most people, this would constitute lighting small fires, working with new tools in the woods to start fires, and reading by candlelight. With me, my new found interest has resulted in setting myself on fire and finding it great.

How did this come about? What strange reasoning could I possibly be using? Is there a reason for this? Yes. Actually, this all stems from my lack of fear for fire.

Fire Sword DancingI visited Black Rock City for the first time in September, 2009. While there, I saw a culture that welcomed the flame. Thousands of fire spinners converge on the Burn every year and thousands of fire toys are lit up at all times throughout the visually stunning night. It’s a wonderful sight. After being enchanted by it, I wanted in.

June of 2010 I met a girl fire dancer who inspired me to become a fire performer. I got comfortable being around fire by becoming a Safety for one of the organized fire dancing groups in Denver. Being a Safety in this group had me sitting right in the center of 50+ fire dancers while they lit up and saw how close they could get to me. After the first few times of being a Safety, I learned to trust the art of fire dancing and the people who practice it.

3 weeks of practice led me to lighting my poi up for the first time on July 31st. I didn’t burn myself or singe any hair, which for a first time fire dancer, is pretty good. With practice, I became better and more comfortable playing with my new hobby.

During this time, I was surrounded by other fire spinners who burn themselves by accident a lot. My good friend Moloch is a walking billboard of how not to fire spin (seriously, the amount of scars on this kid are impressive). I would watch my friends singe themselves and get burned on a nightly basis. Burn cream is an essential that everyone carries. Everyone has little nics and scars from fire dancing. Everyone but me.

I’ve never burned myself. I have set myself on fire, at first by accident, then later slightly on purpose. Through all of these times I’ve never been burned. This has led to several incidents of me torching myself and continuing to dance through the flames.

I am now both a Fire Sword Dancer and a Fire Poi spinner. I am using this talent to perform and entertain at shows, venues, and festivals around the country (and soon, around the world). Check out the video below to see some of my fire sword dancing. I’ll be sure to post here about upcoming shows, performances, and festivals where I will be fire dancing.