How Can I Safely Practice Fire Dancing?

The art of fire dancing is beautiful to watch and fun to perform, but it’s important to take the proper precautions before doing it. Before you jump on stage, there are a few precautions you should know and follow carefully to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

Practicing Unlit

Basic moves are essential to perfecting before dancing with fire. Before picking up a flaming tool, be sure you are confident and fully prepared to handle any mishaps. Practice with tools similar to what you intend to perform with, but always start unlit. You will drop the baton, knock it against your body, or throw off your mark many times before you perfect a routine. Be sure you make those mistakes without a flame that could cause serious injury. Consider these tips when practicing:

  • Be extremely comfortable with fire
  • Slow down, concentrate on your movements
  • Practice, repeat and respond to mistakes or uncertain moves in your routine
  • Control your breathing

Have a Practice Buddy

(2 fire dancers together.jpg) Image archive

During practice or on the stage, you should always have someone with you who knows your routine as well as you. Your “assistant” should be comfortable with fire, know first aid and have fire safety equipment handy, such as a fire blanket, extinguisher and a first aid kit. This person will prove invaluable should something go unplanned. They can also assist you with staging the location of your dip, fueling and spin-off stations for safer prepping of your tools. 

Don’t keep your fuel exposed during performances, and do keep it at a safe distance, lid closed and closely monitored at all times. Every year, 2.4 million burn injuries requiring medical attention occur, according to the American Burn Association. Don’t let yourself or your assistant become one of them.

Select the Right Tools for Success

Before stepping onto the stage with your lit tool, be sure you have the right materials. That includes the kind of clothing you wear, the gear you use and the fuel used to ignite the flame. Safe clothing material includes natural fibers such as wool, cotton, and leather. Steer clear of synthetics like polyester and spandex. 

If you choose to use a baton, try a Kevlar wick to wrap around the ends of a metal rod. Keep your fuel/dipping stations covered to prevent flying sparks from landing in your bucket. Keep your stations well-marked and clear from you.

Overall, be sure to practice your routine until you are confident in every move, have your practice buddy ready for any necessary first aid needs, and be prepared with the right tools before lifting them up. It’s better to take precautions and be safe than to suffer the consequences of a preventable accident.

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