|The History of Fire Dance
|Many different cultures throughout history have combined fire and dance.
Some Native American Tribes engaged in sacred dances that centered around a
fire, other cultures used fire walking as a way to prove their faith, honor holy
beings, and celebrate the changing of the seasons. Many Pagan holidays involve
the use of fire and ecstatic dance. Belly Dancers throughout history have used
candles as a way to give a fiery flare to their dance.
Fire and Dance have been used for sacred purposes, festivals, celebrations,
rituals, art, storytelling, theatrics, and healing in just about every culture since the
beginning of time.
There are many different ways to combine fire and dance.
One of the more common forms is Fire POI. POI originates from the Maori Tribes
of New Zealand. POI means ball on string. In some of the Maori tribes, men
would use POI to train for battle and the women used it to keep their wrists
supple for weaving and other activities. Poi is an excellent way to increase
flexibility, strength, and improve coordination in the wrists, hands and arms.
Fire Walking is common in Bulgaria, Hawaii and India. Now days Belly dancers use
fire fans, bowls, palms to accentuate their dance. Fire Staff and Fire Sword have
become increasingly popular combining traditional martial arts and color guard
moves with a burning staff or sword. In Hawaii the Fire Knife dance can be viewed
on a nightly basis.
Though amazing, caution must be taken as fire is dangerous and not for
everyone. Proper practice, instruction, and guidance must be adhered to in order
to keep yourself, your environment, and others safe and free of harm. Failure to
respect the potentially destructive and sacred energy of fire can leave you, the
environment, and/or the people around you hurt. For some, Fire Dance will be
more powerful when viewed as a spectator. Respect your feelings. Trust your