Forums > Help! > 1st burn of the night jitters

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SterlingspiderBRONZE Member
Senator by day, Sith Lord by night.
128 posts
Location: Suffolk, New York, USA

I've been burning for over a year now, but I always suck on the first burn or two of the night. Anyone else have problems with this? How did you get over it (if you even did)?

If I get a chance to burn more then a couple of times the adrenaline slows down and I stop tweaking and start dancing, but of course this takes a while (and everyone's always watching when you botch). tongue

I always make sure to warm up well with unlit poi or staff for a while, which helps a bit, but I still get all twitchy and end up pushing myself really hard for a couple of burns, which I know really tires me out.

Is it just a matter of burning 'till it's natural? (which I could certainly deal with wink )

"If the human brain were simple enough for us to understand, we would be too simple to understand it"
-Emerson M Pugh

vanizeSILVER Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,899 posts
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

yeah, it always takes me a couple burns to get into the groove - even after 4 years and countless performances. Interesting thing though - once I do get into that state of mind, my social behaviour changes quite a bit and I find it is difficult to socialize except with other fire people until I come down from it. There have even been times when I have supposely met very lovely women while I am in that state and later, when I meet them again I don't remember them - which is strange, because out of all the things I tend to forget, I always remember attractive women! well, except when I'm preoccupied with the fire thing... weavesmiley


Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

ado-pGOLD Member
Pirate Ninja
3,882 posts
Location: Galway/Ireland


I know what you mean also, it takes ame about four burns to get into a groove. one that starts i'll go all night no bother. What i've also found is that the more nervous i am the more mistakes i make which just makes it worse.

These days i've taken to paying close attention to my breathing whn i start, conciously relaxing myself, even closing my eyes helps, even if i'm buskin.

Love is the law.

503 posts
Location: bristol

yeah, i get something very similar. particularly, i find i have almost no problem dropping straight into the groove when i'm on my own, and have my own music - but as soon as there's someone else watching it all goes pear-shaped. i get nervous, feel under pressure to try stuff which i haven't yet perfected, worry about it going wrong, etc etc.

i have two solutions to this problem. well, they're both sides of the same coin, i suppose. the first is to start off by doing a couple of the simplest things that you know, so for the first couple of burns you're doing, say, 2/3bt weaves forwards and backwards, and just don't even think about doing anything else until you've warmed up and got into the rhythm. the other thing, which i've only just started doing, and which makes a huge difference to my whole spinning style, is to take a couple of moves and slow them right down. the aim is to make it as slow and as controlled as possible, and *then*, when you've hit the flow, you can speed it up. it's always easier to get into a groove slowly at first.


ture na sig

CodySILVER Member
That guy from Reno
556 posts
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

For the first time ever at burningman my first burn was great. I have always had the same problem with jitters. You want to be perfect and impress everyone. It's taken me 6 years to get here though. What helped was I arived to a burn circle at the culdron (burningman) and watched everyone else first. I was their safety. I noticed everyone elses first burn jitters and it helped me calm my self. I wasn't alone. So even though I had new stuff to perform in front of a crowd of international burners, I just went out and had fun. And It paid off too, the crowd loved me and I executed everything perfectly. If you can learn this lesson earlier than I did it really helps. biggrin

Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

StoneGOLD Member
Stream Entrant
2,829 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Yeah, me too.

I just accept it, and know that Im just shaking out the cobwebs , and things will get better as the night progresses.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

6 posts
Location: Cornwall, England

Welll I know how that feels. Mind, ive only had one serious burn.... and that was last night. My heart was pounding when it lit, but after a while i just lifted right up....

...Ive never had such a high!

I am the Stampy.
Master of FireStaff

.... if Master means Beginner, then that wasnt lying ^_^

The Real Fryed FishGod's illgitament son
1,489 posts
Location: state of confusion

<----------same prob, but i found that spinin' with the poi not lit for about an hour before you lite helps warm you up (no pun intended) and loosen up the joints in your body...........warm up like any other "sport" ya know

You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it.
Some times you need the help of others more than anything else
But you have to let them close enough to help......
People want to be needed, I found that out too

grasshoppahBRONZE Member
HoP is teh suxor.
425 posts
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA

is that why you wear spandex and do stretching exercises fish brains?

but you do look wonderful in spandex!

Once in a while you get shown the light
in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

SpitFireGOLD Member
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
2,723 posts
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada

I have the same problem, which stinks for those shows where I only get one spin. Blah.

I learned to adjust, and ground before performing, which helps. Taking a moment or two to just breath can help a great deal. . . though I still prefer my later spins in a night.

Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

bluecatgeek, level 1
5,300 posts
Location: everywhere

funnily enough, my first burn is often the best, closely followed by the second, and then kind of plateua slightly lower for a while before feeling inspired again later on.

it helps i think that for two years i had maybe three or four nights a week burning, with up to 30 burns on at least one or two each week.

this has now stopped due to lung problems so i wouln't recommend it.

breatehing and warming up are my two bestest bits of advice on it.

and finally... have your first burn a little bit away from the crowd so you don't feel as much like your being closely scrutinized. this'll help massively if you're a bit nervous.


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

DurbsBRONZE Member
Classically British
5,688 posts
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

I'd agree with Rob - my first is usually the best - it's the one when you get rid of all that pent-up "God I need to spin fire" energy that's been nagging you since the last time smile

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

22 posts
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

I always find the first burn of the night to be very disappointing. Yeah, I've got all that pent up energy that Durbs is talking about, but what do I do with it? I suck with it, that's what I do.

Second burn; that's the ticket! biggrin

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