Fire Dancers Johannesburg
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If you are new to the fire dancing,
spinning, twirling and performance
community/communities, you may find some
confusion when people discuss these
terms. While many people may not draw
distinctions between the art of fire
twirling, spinning, dancing and
performance, Temple of Poi sees each of
these as their own unique pursuit. This
article endeavours to explain some
subtle differences Temple of Poi notes
between these different ways of
approaching the art form. By
understanding these differences, artists
will also notice ways in which they can
improve their style and incorporate
elements of all aspects of the fire arts
as fire dancers, spinners, twirlers and
The most important thing to note about
how we use the terms fire performance,
spinning, twirling and dancing is that
we are using the terms to differentiate
between various skills one can acquire
while using tools. We are not saying
that one focus is better than another,
but rather, that they are all different.
Everything we write below articulates
our opinions about these
words/styles/names and is not intended
to be taken as the only opinion on the
What is Fire Dancing?
Fire dancing is the art of dancing with
fire tools. Fire dancing often finds the
artist self-identifying as someone who
enjoys body movement and a "dancer" even
when they are not spinning flow tools.
Fire dancers perform with more turns and
traversing a lot of space, adding a lot
of body movement to the performance,
often preferring to dance to music (or
drums) than perform in silence. They may
focus on the subtlety matching movement
of the body and poi to the rhythm and
flow of the music and on particular
combination/sequence with split-second
transitions that are smooth and
seemingly easy. Their mastery of flowing
self-expression through dance may be
lost on less educated crowds who simply
see their performance as making it look
easy and fun. Fire dancing focuses on
creating a visual experience to match
the auditory journey, focusing on self
expression over technical skills.
What is Fire Spinning?
Fire spinning is the art of using tools
to create patterns of fire around the
body. Fire spinning often finds the
artist self-identifying as "technical"
and someone who enjoys "tricks"/"tricky
moves." This may include moves whose
complexity can not be distinguished by
the common viewer as different than less
complicated versions of the same move.
As such, technical subtleties are often
lost on less educated audiences. Fire
spinners often spin at a consistent
speed using fewer turns and less body
movement in the performance. Fire
spinners often find music irrelevant to
the performance and will spin the same
thing in silence as they might to music.
Fire spinning often focuses on
performing as many tricks as possible
during each set, giving preference to
technical skill over self expression.
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