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Forums > Other Toys > Atempdefinitive Fire Fan List of moves

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starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:Well somebody hard to start it wink This just a list/classification of fan moves and families. Not a comprehensive list, as I've had more martial arts and eastern performance exposure than I have from something like burlesque, for example. Also, most of the moves I described(with the exception of flicks) are described using a fixed fan with a full 180 degree sweep. One more thing, this isn't an attempt to technoclassify the art, nor will you hear any theorems about super string theory or quantum mechanics. Fans are best left up to your own interpretation of how to dance with them. These aren't exactly a tool you can stand in one place with.

**heh, doing this over the period of a few days, bear with me eh..Also, any and all ideas, thought or criticism appreciated.



Used to describe split time, same direction spins using both fans.

Regular weave: similiar to a 2 beat weave using poi, forward or reverse. It's easier to work your way up to this move, especially in reverse, figure out how your wrist needs to turn one hand at a time.

Straight Arm Weave: As each arm pulls back from weave(ie your bottom hand forwards, hand on top in reverse), let it swing your arm straight, continue until your arm is back in front of you, then pull that arm in as your wrists are beginning to cross when they move to the other side. You can also repeat on the other side, alternate from side to side, stagger, use it to setup for a piruoette, butterfly kick, you get the point, it's a good way to build momentum.

Windmills: Same hand movement as poi windmill, 2 beats on each side. These can be separated as well, looks very nice.

Corkscrews: Horizontal version of the windmill, can be separated, and using some fan designs, you can acheive a fully straight arm separated corkscrew


Yep, they deserve their own family. Used to describe movements where the body does a complete 360 rotation.

Vertical Pirouettes:

Straight arm: Both arms are straight up/down respectively, arms exactly 180 degrees apart, ie one hand at 12 pointed up and one hand at 6 pointing down. Can be done forwards or reverse. Easiest setup for this is from the straight arm weave, tho it can be done from a freeze, butterfly, etc. Most are done with the torso upright, arms rotating at shoulders as the body rotates to the right or left. Also to note is that the turn usually happens when the fans are at 12 and 6 o'clock.

Non straight arm: Two types of these I can classify, one where the fans leads outside(arms tucked), and one where the fan is insde(fan is tucked, usually the elbow leads).

Horizontal Pirouettes:

Straight Arm: Both arms are straight out to sides, fans flat(horizontal), body spins left or right.

Non Straight Arm: Again, two types of classifications, fans outside, and fans inside.


Used to describe same or split time moves where the fans are spinning in opposite directions from each other.

Regular butterfly: Very similiar to poi butterfly, with the exception that the fans cross behind the body or the hands, and generally are separated. Basically each hand is doing a figure 8 in the opposite direction of the other hand.

Horizontal Butterfly: Horizontal version of above, extremely beautiful move.

Mexican: Can be done from forwards or reverse. Same movement as regular butterfly, except your hands are alternating front to back. Can be done split time as well.

Horizontal Mexican: Horizontal version of move above, so each hand is altarnating from top to bottom.


Used to describe same time, same direction moves with fans.

Parallell Figure 8: Can be done straight arm or short arm

Parallel Fountain: Both fans do 1 forwards figure 8, body turns 90 degrees, both fans go behind the head, then the body turns again 90 degrees into a reverse figure 8.

**note: interesting variation of parallel moves is to keep one arm straight, the other short.


Used to describe moves where the arms pull apart, then close together, similiar to a butterfly flapping it's wings.

Horizontal flutter: Arms come from straight out at the sides(palms out), fans held perpindicular to the ground in wall plane, both move forward at the same time, and meet together in front of you, then back apart(kind of like clapping your hands).

Vertical Flutter: One arm straight up, one arm straight down, palms out. Arms come together, then back apart.

** important note: this is just describing the mechanics of flutters, I can't really describe the finesse that must be done with these moves, but I'll try. Flutters are a movement of control, they must be done with absolute control to look right. From the descriptions you might think that these movements stem from the arm movements themselves but it's really the wrist movements that make these moves. For example as you pull forward your wrists pull back 30 degrees, and as you pull back your wrists pull forward 30 degrees(or so). Look at a bird flapping it's wings and you'll get what I'm talking about, it's not pounding the air into submission, but curling it's wings around it.


Flicks - Folding fans




Weave to Butterfly

Butterfly to Weave

Plane Changes

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Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 29th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2895

besides the moves in the library, does any body have any advice for basic exercises for warming up/plane control/etc. with fans?

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:carpal tunnel. i'm serious!

twirling mostly metal equipment puts great force on your wrist muscles, so please stretch your wrist and forearm muscles before and after to reduce the risk of injury.

carpal tunnel = serious business.

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 29th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2895
Posted:Agreed: I've already got close since getting tennis elbow and tendonitis (in left and right arms respectively) after a particularly frantic few weeks of capoeira and spinning - since then I see a chiropractor regularly and ALWAYS stretch before spinning: there are some useful threads on here:

and there's one more that's even better than those two but I can't find it at the moment

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 29th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2895
Posted:found a bit of more advice on stretching

and one just on hands and wrists grin

With the folding fans, I don't find the weight a problem for my wrists but rather my thumbs, which can get sore from having to 'pinch' the the first spine in order to be able to flick it open easily

In terms of moves, the best inspiration I'm finding comes from watching vids based on kung fu and chinese dance

so far what I've got is somewhere in between clubswinging (with the fans closed) throws (from closed to open) and then of course just poncing about with them open.

things I'm trying to explore/practise:

open the fans one spine at a time, fluidly to create an S from a single flame: Currently this requires a level of control over opening the fans that i haven't got yet: however in my mind I can see a lot of potential for 'liquid' style moves which 'wiggle' from one location to the next.

locks: locking the spines of the fans together in order to be able to manipulate them with one hand: although I think this may work better with 'fixed' fans

5 beat weaves: like with double staffs where the staffs rotate across the body parallel to each other, done with the fans pointing in opposite directions so as to create a 'spinning wheel' during the transition

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

Page: 12

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