If you’re thinking about finding yourself inside a fire hoop for the first time, you’re probably wondering if it is dangerous. Rebecca explains, “Look, you’re playing with fire, in which case, there will always be an element of danger. Some of the dangers include, hair catching on fire, wearing synthetic clothing and having it melt to your skin, the hoop falling and catching the ground on fire, placing your hand in the wrong spot and burning it on metal, depending on the style hoop… It is better to learn from a saftey obssessed group the right way…. then to play with a group that is lax in their practices. It is always then, when ‘accidents’ happen.”
Caroleeena agrees, “Your clothes can also tangle on a wick and ignite. I’ve also seen wicks tangle in accessories like belts, necklaces and bracelets. The other accidents that can happen come not from the hoop but from the handling of fuel. Fuel buckets can catch fire. Fuel can transfer to people. Learning fuel safety is as important as learning how to use a fire hoop. I encourage people to acquire a lot of flight time before rushing into a fire hoop, at least a year of a lot of hours. This is not so much because of safety but because I think hoopers with significant hoop skills make better fire hoopers. I think a lot of hoopers rush into a fire hoop way too soon. That’s just my opinion but I think a lot of people get excited about fire hooping and rush into it and then their learning stalls out with their regular hoop and their fire hooping is not as good as it could be either because they rushed into it before acquiring lots of basic hoop skills. Then they level out at both for a long time. This can be pretty discouraging and I think it’s also one of the reasons we see fire hoopers doing the same moves over and over.”
No doubt you’ve read our Fire Hooping Safety article, but that’s just the beginning. Two great places for more information are the North American Fire Arts Association, the Fire Hooping Tribe and Fire Arts Education and Equipment Tribe.
With all of this in mind, what tricks are good for new fire hoopers? Lady Spin says, “What I recommend is that when your burn is almost done and your flame is low, then try some off the body moves. Since we don’t have standard names for moves that everyone knows, it’s hard for me to suggest specific moves. But here goes:
-Poi (figure 8’s side to side)
-Lasso (floating hoop up & down)
-Behind the back! (bending forward)
-Wheel (illusion that the hoop is turning in a stationary position in front of you)
-Jumps!! (try when the flame is low)
-Galaxy spin (elbow covers a must for this one! Hoop’s off your body & u twist the hoop while spinning it around your center)
-Hoop in hand & drop into a backbend! (keep up the yoga classes for that one) and with that said, you can take almost any pose with the hoop in your hand….. and then there’s foot hooping!! (I think the most dangerous move while laying on your back)!”
There are more tricks for new hoopers suggested here.