309 posts
Location: Tampa, Fl

question for all of you. this is not technically a MOVE, but for myself, i find that it helps define HOW i move.

surface area. what do you prefer?
do you wear shoes, socks, barefoot, normally?

for myself, i can not wear shoes... i just cant. i have been playing with poi, and i just cant do the shoe thing. even when the weather gets cold as it is, i still wear sandals to work, and the shoes come off when i practice outside. its crazy, but when i perform in clubs, i refuse to wear shoes. i feel that if i wear shoes, i will be more dangerous because its more unnatural and i wont flow as well. proven fact actually...

as for surface area, our group normally goes to the beach. sand. hmmm, dont know about it anymore. i think i can only do the sand thing with the proper clothing now.

concrete i do not prefer because it hurts my feet and toes when i bounce too much!!!

i dance on a pier at the beach sometimes, all wooden planks, and it is awesome, great support, doesnt hurt bare feet, plenty bouncy sort of, great for spring action! on wood, i just want to bounce around and go in circles.

as for grass, i noticed that my style is different depending on the type of grass. thin tiny grass which just makes the earth green and not much else i dont like.
but, the thick spongy (we call st. augustine) stuff that sticks way up and makes you scratchy when you roll around in it, that stuff is awesome
in a bit of shade, and sometimes sun, that is my favorite to groove in, under trees, as if the dryads are whispering songs and gnomes 'neath the trees are pounding out enchanted rhythms from ages ago

tables ok. carpet not really, poi in the water, not unless have no clothes on so they dont get wet and bother me to take them off

any preferences??? notice a difference in style?


531 posts

This is probably an issue of personal preference.I have swung barefoot,with sneakers,steel toed boots,sandals and have never noticed a difference in the way I swing becuz of what's on my feet.Not saying you're wrong but what feels a particular way to one person maybe different to another.

2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx

i usually dance in my socks. they even keep you from slipping if there's fuel on the dance floor. lurvely. preferably near big trees filled with lovely faeries and a river. surface affects my style when i improv dance, which is often. for a show i do my thing regardless of the floor. i like spinning turns, so grass gets ripped a buddhist i usu. try to find a dirt area. on grass i usually stick to belly dancing or liquid, where the feet are relatively immobile.
PLAYA (burning man desert floor) is the best firedancing/dancing surface ever. there's something about it, dancing on the playa-it is perfect for spins, soft enough to do rolls on, and springy enough to do awesome foot sweeps that hop up into spins and pirhouettes. can't wait to go there again.

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

250 posts
Location: Upland, CA., USA

Interesting question. Thanks for the tip about socks on slippery club floors, arashi.
Of course I love the Playa, but I can't get my fire sai to stick in the ground ten out of ten times. I like to throw them and then light my sticks off them. (The wicking is on one of the horns.) Only sand or good grass will let me try that.
I usually wear my lightweight docs when I spin. I used to wear heavy combat boots but they slowed me down too much. In the Los Angeles area, we usually end up on asphalt, which tears up my back when I hit the deck.
But something I just noticed while spinning at Saturnalia's mountaintop party was the importance of a level surface. Our spinning area had a gentle slope to it. I was really getting dizzy. I talked about it with Devon and he was getting dizzy, too.
We decided it had to do with the slope.


CharlesCharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Shoes - I prefer shoes with as little sole as possible, and preferably cheap ones from The Warehouse, as you can feel yourself throught them a lot. Even if they need replacing frequently...

almost all my gigs are on concrete and practices are on concrete thought.

As for level surfaces, it's easier if you make yourself aware of what direction the slop is doing and try to travel up and down the slope instead of sideways.

Spins can get you disorientated, so learning a jump spin where each foot lands in the same place, 180 degrees away from each other will lessen the disorientation a lot.

It is a hard trick to learn though, but great for all dancers, acrobats and firies...

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