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Forums > Help! > Am I ready to spin fire poi??

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Enkeli


newbie
Location: Christchurch

Total posts: 10
Posted:I hope this isn't a repeat post, and sorry if it's in the wrong place!!

I'm a bit worried!! I recently got some fire poi and want to spin them as part of my end-of-year project on Circus which is in two weeks. (the project is a big year long thing we do at Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf schools and is very important for passing our steiner certificate). I've spun my comet poi for a while and can link several moves but not all that many (I'm not very quick at picking up new ones), and sometimes the poi hit me, but I rarely get tangled on the moves I know. How can I tell if it would be dangerous for me to spin fire poi? Also, does anyone have any tips for choreographing? At the moment I just stand there and spin them, can't think of any way to move apart from walking forward and back and turning round!!!


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ElectricBlue
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:Ususally if you have to ask then you are probably not ready.

Maybe you could ramp up your practicing a bit try practicing to music and moving around more. Maybe checking out some of the performance videos on the video forum could help you think of movements you can do while you spin.

If you do decide to do fire make sure you have a few lit practices before your show. That way you can decide if you are confident enough. All you have to do is light them and do some basic spins and you will know if you feel confident enough to keep going.

But never feel ashamed to say you are not ready for fire there is no point rushing it. Have you thought about the posibility of using some glow poi? Some of them look quite fantastic (almost better than fire) Have a look in the hop shop.


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Mako


Mako

member


Total posts: 53
Posted:Hi enkeli,

I agree with Blueberry - practised for a whole year with my fire poi without ever lighting them, I just didn't feel ready until then and didn't wasn't able (still aren't) to practise as much as I'd like.

And even then I just stood still and linked moves, I found that most moves begin with a standard forward swing when you're learning them so if you're a bit unsteady just do a couple of standard swing/split time to link the moves together to start with.
Glo poi look wicked though, but if you're set on the fire again Blueberry is right practise lit and I would recomend minimum to none on the hairspray/gel front (nothing like tempting fate!!)


If a tree falls in a forest with no one to witness it...do the other trees laugh?

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Mako


Mako

member


Total posts: 53
Posted:Oh yeah and avoid coloured contact lens, I was dressed as Medusa when I first did mine lit - I had snake eyes in and looked fab, couldn't see a thing!

If a tree falls in a forest with no one to witness it...do the other trees laugh?

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:I'm going to fly in the face of what'll probably be the rest of the advice you get here..

If you want to light up, go for it.

There are however, a number of conditions for that:
- Don't spin fire while alone. Have someone there with a fire blanket and make sure they know how to use it to put you out if you catch yourself on fire.
- Keep the fuel in a well sealed container, away from where you're going to be spinning and away from where you're going to spin off the excess fuel from the wicks.
- Don't use anything like petrol as fuel, it's far too explosive and generally dangerous.
- If you havn't done already, have a go with your fire poi unlit, they'll probably handle differently to your non-fire poi, so get used to them before you light up.
- Only do moves you're comfortable with, don't be tempted to try the last thing you've learnt, you're more likely to tangle them up.
- Wear appropriate clothing.
Synthetic fabric'll melt and stick to skin, so obviously don't wear that.
Natural fibres are better, but some still burn pretty well.
This is taken from one of HoP's fire safety articles
 Written by: Pele

We always say..."wear natural fibres and you won't get burned". Yup, that's what we say.
So I was thinking about this the other day and grabbed bunches of different kinds of fabrics, a candle and Whipping Boy and we headed onto my front porch. Then I found some others materials and continued the experiments...
Here is what we found when I held the fabrics directly over the flame, the equivalent to a move gone wrong....

[list]
Lightweight Cotton/Gauze: up in flames in three seconds
Middle Weight Cotton(like a cheap t-shirt, not really tightly woven): up in flames in 3seconds
Tight Woven Cotton (a nice t-shirt): up in flames in 6 seconds BUT once it was up in flames it was hell to put out..it just kept going. At first is smoldered to a little brown mark so we thought it wasn't going to go, then it burst into flames, literally! We did this a few times just to make certain.
Tight Woven Heavy Cotton (Like Khaki pants): left it there 10 seconds and it didn't go up in flames but after 10 it would've. That was the point at which the brown scorch mark was working through the material.
Denim (without frays): held it there for 10 seconds (if you're safety hasn't put you out by then you have big problems anyway). It left little black soot marks that wiped off.

Cotton Corduroy: Held it there 10 seconds. It scorched abit because of the loose fibers being raised up but once it made it past those it didn't go.
Wool (Light grade, loose weave): 10 seconds until scorch, much like the tight weave cotton.
Wool (heavy grade, like a blanket): Worked better than denim.
Flax (it tends to be light and airy, like a cotton): 3 seconds and it was history.
Silk (the shiny, light refined stuff): It lasted about 5 seconds before it frizzled into a tiny flame.
Raw Silk (the course, heavier one): This held up to a count of 8 seconds before it smoldered fiber by fiber...but it never really went poof.
Leather: It doesn't actually burn, it more curls up into this little black roll, and that was the edge of the light weight leather after about 20 seconds (I was really curious with this one). The center never went up.

Moral of the story is that not *all* natural fibers are acceptable to spin in. The lighter the fabric and the looser the weave, the faster it goes up.



Basically, remember it's fire and don't be stupid - it'll burn you if you let it.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Total posts: 3597
Posted: Written by: TheBovrilMonkey


Basically, remember it's fire and don't be stupid - it'll burn you if you let it.



and it will burn if you dont let it, and you WILL get burned.


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Not necessarily - I've been spinning fire since september 2001 and although I've had plenty of arm hair singed off, I've only been burnt once.
That was to be expected though, since at the time I was doing arm wraps without sleeves.

In fact, I think spinning with that mindset probably makes it more likely that you'll get burnt.
If you don't deliberately hit yourself with the wicks it's quite possible to stay unburnt. You just have to make sure you're prepared just in case something goes wrong.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Total posts: 3597
Posted:I'm sticking with my previous statment until i meet 2 spinners who have not been burned. Spinning with that mindset IS the prepared-ness you need i think, if you are always expecting the wick to come at you, you develope a stronger feel for the prop, can feel when something is ary (note that im talking strictly contact staff as thats all ive done on fire) and are able to either fix the problem or dodge out of the way.

Heh is you ever see me practise, im often slapping the staff away from my body when a move goes wrong and im in peril. ubblol


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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squid
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

squid

sanguine
Location: sur

Total posts: 382
Posted: Written by: Enkeli


I hope this isn't a repeat post, and sorry if it's in the wrong place!!

I'm a bit worried!! I recently got some fire poi and want to spin them as part of my end-of-year project on Circus which is in two weeks. (the project is a big year long thing we do at Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf schools and is very important for passing our steiner certificate). I've spun my comet poi for a while and can link several moves but not all that many (I'm not very quick at picking up new ones), and sometimes the poi hit me, but I rarely get tangled on the moves I know. How can I tell if it would be dangerous for me to spin fire poi? Also, does anyone have any tips for choreographing? At the moment I just stand there and spin them, can't think of any way to move apart from walking forward and back and turning round!!!



I dont blame you for being worried. I would be more concerned if you werent. However, even with as much preparedness as you can think of, the first time you ever light up, you will probably forget half of the moves and choreography you were planning on.

Try doing it according the Bovril's advice. But I would also advise you to light up first in the daytime, and just become familiar with it. You cant expect to jump into routines that you do with socks with the same familiarity, when its blazing and smoking and generally barking all around you.

It will come, but I wouldn't rush it just to make it in time for your event. You will want to stick with it for longer than that one thing, so why not ease yourself into it. It would be sad if you had an accident on the first try and were scared away from it for good.

btw: its not a bad thing to be scared of fire. Its not a teddy bear, after all. Its beautiful, but has a nasty temperment.


"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester

Total posts: 1365
Posted:It really bugs me when people say that you WILL get burned when fire spinning. I've been spinning fire for 5 years now, and not once have I burned myself, and I've only singed hairs about 5 or 6 times.

How? I stay within my limits when I spin fire. I don't do wraps with fire. I don't do moves that I'm not confident with fire.

I know many spinners who are the same and have never burned themselves.

You can choose to be sensible and lower the risk of hurting yourself. Or you can choose not to be.

Anyway, back on topic.

I'm assuming you don't know any spinners in your area, if you do, then they'd be the ones to do your first burn with. Otherwise, take the precautions bov mentioned.

I'd just add, if you're nervous, start before it gets dark as mentioned previously.

Be prepared for how loud the poi are, and how they feel different in the way they move when they are lit. Get used to spinning them by your sides for a while first before trying any moves. Be prepared when you do try any moves, as your brain will go into overdrive, trying to think out each minute movement and all of a sudden the simple figure of 8 move you have perfect seems really hard!

Fire spinning becomes a lot easier as a beginner if you learn how to stall the poi, and gain control for this. It means you can stop the poi a lot easier when you want and need to and don't get stuck in a move (which can sometimes happen when you first start). It also makes it a lot easier to change the plains of the poi (eg from a weave to a butterfly) in a controlled and safer way. Plus it looks better than bending plains.

Go for it, be safe and enjoy it! Your first fire spins are the biggest adrenaline rush!


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Rusto
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

Rusto

member
Location: Gold Coast, Qld

Total posts: 47
Posted:When I purchased my first set of Poi (burning ones), had never used them previously, opened the package, swung them around abit and mad2 copped a nasty hit to the head. It deterred me from lighting them for nearly twelve months, I did however continue to swing them around and watcht the lessons on HOP, pracising with one at a time lit helped me to gain confidence, I find having some music banging away whilst you practice helps with rythm and depending on the music, slow you down a bit. Hope all goes well weavesmiley biggrin

Crime does not pay ... as well as politics.
A bowl of soup with some one you love is better than steak with some one you hate. Proverbs 15, 17

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crowley2
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

crowley2

official hop cutie
Location: Uk, Essex, Clacton

Total posts: 272
Posted:my advice would be to spin just one lit with the right clothes on and someone watching see how you feel about the fire and experince it do a wrap see wot you can do then when you are wo comfortable go on to two

i just picked up fire poi and started spinning them as a beginer and i found it exzilarating that it made me want to practice more with my normal poi so i could get better with the fire


The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry pratchett

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