As a child i was never safety conscious and i mean not what so ever, To be honest not much has changed, I’m older, apparently wiser and still a bit of a jack ass which is probably the reason i hastily bit the bullet and tried my hand at fire spinning…
Like most first timers i didn’t know what the hell I was doing so I simply grabbed some cheap flammable white spirit, dipped my toys, sparked them, then spun them around and at that particular moment in time it was good enough…. Now a few months down the line, only having them on fire a few times and being restricted by only knowing some basic moves, I decided it would definitely be beneficial to me and my readers if i found a get together of some more experienced flame heads and attended simply to learn by watching them, luckily enough for me i found one with relative ease and even better it wasn’t too far away.
You’ve got to understand that this website is not so much about what i know but more about what im learning as time goes by, so anyways on arrival at this gathering i was greeted by the organisers, a group of performers who go by the name firepoise, they are based around northern Ireland and aswell as throwing the odd workshops they perform at all kinds of events - you can go to their website to find out more, anyways i was given the option to flame up or just spin some practice poi, naturally i brought along my own equip so i was definitely going to have a play.
Dipping my wicks in a large bucket of paraffin i then proceeded to light and spin my poi, without hesitation one of the organisers requested that i used the spin bucket which is basically just a little bucket you place your poi in and then spin around first to help remove any excess fuel, something i had never done before, it then dawned on me how extremely safety conscious these guys were.
Looking around the place i noticed not only spin bucket’s but damp towels, fire extinguishers and blankets and even a first aid kit, something ill admit at the time i foolishly thought was a bit excessive for such a small workshop of people, i like most people had the thought of “it’s not going to happen to me” something thank god hasn’t happened yet!
The workshop its self was more than enjoyable, but a welcomed learning curve with the girls even performing one of their new routines for an upcoming event which was really very impressive and i think more so as you could see the pure enjoyment on their faces. any who a few days later i got talking to a spinner from germany and he gave me a few links of fire performing gone wrong, and boom it hit me maybe not the first video as the guy was spinning and didn’t realise his hat was on fire which yes i may have chuckled at, just to note – The guy was fine and no harm was done, he quickly put it out as soon as he noticed it a few minutes later but im guessing his hat wasnt so lucky.
After seeing a few more videos it really did dawn on me how dangerous the fire arts really can be, not only to your self but those around you, some of these video’s shown both amazing and professional performers who admittedly just had some bad luck with accidents they could not of foreseen, but the majority just showed me a lack in any kind of safety precautions which could have effectively dealt with some of these situations much faster, a perfect example of this is the video below of a girl performing in Russia although not an actual spinning mistake the wind changed direction and in a panic she runs into the crowd.
Hearing these types of story’s and even seeing some of the video’s, although not actually discouraging me has definitely brought home the realisation that yes, fire is dangerous and it doesn’t matter how good you think you are or whether you think it’s not going to happen to you, shit does happen and this is something you should always have in the back of your mind because essentially you are playing with fire so you should expect to be burned.
Looking back over some of the first few times i spun my fire toys im ashamed to say i really did not give it a thought and especially with one occasion in mind i didn’t only put myself in real danger but those around me, im not going to get into that one as it would probably result in a few performers i know back handing me, but anyways i am happy to be able to say now that even when spinning in my back yard i am taking every precaution possible just in case the worse does indeed happen.
For any of you other back yard party trick spinners i suggest you not take my word for it, but take the time to look into it your self, you can find plenty of videos and articles on this subject all over the web, a good place to start is watching this video!
I will continue to post on this site as i learn myself and hopefully be able to bring it all back with me for you guys to read – so stay tuned you can be sure there’s much more to come on this subject.