LANSING, Mich. — For some people, dancing is a way to have fun and work up a sweat. But one Lansing flow arts troupe likes things a little hotter.
An all-female fire performance troupe called Flames 'N Dames is bringing the heat to mid-Michigan, and they want everyone to feel the thrill that they had when they first saw fire dancing.
“We take flow props which are hula hoops with fire wicks on them or have like a dragon staff," Nat Spinz said. "We light the wicks on fire and we dance with them.”
And their dance moves are pretty lit. The artists behind the moves are Spinz, Paige Marie, and Anna Faye. They have all been dancing for years but officially became a group in September.
Nat Spinz says she was at the Detroit Fire Collective when she got to experience fire dancing for the first time.
“It was a girl from there. Her name is Maggie, and she was spinning a hula hoop," Spinz said. "I was just amazed me how she was able to move through that hula hoop in and out of it without burning herself."
That made her want to try it out, she said, and was the next logical step for her in her performance career.
Paige Marie said she admired fire dance long before she got involved with it.
"I always thought it was something that I could never do myself," Marie said. "When I started with the flow community and going to local flow jams and realizing... this is something I actually can do."
Anna Faye has been dancing for a very long time. She started hoop dancing about five or six years ago and practiced for at least three years before picking up any fire.
“I always feel like I’ve just taken a spiritual bath," Faye said. "For me, Fire dancing has been really healing."
The group's performances are usually around 45 minutes long and alternate around each performer.
"Each burn is around three to four minutes depending on the prop and how long we soak it in the fuel," Marie said.
If you're wondering if it gets hot, the answer is yes.
“It can get really hot especially with the newer props. That’s why you have to keep moving," Marie said. "The faster you move the less it is getting close to your skin."
But they wear proper clothing and have safety protocols.
“We have fire safety meetings where we go over what’s safe to wear," Spinz said.
They also go over what kind of fuel they should use and how to safely put out a fire if there is an emergency. You can also count on them having at least one or two safeties on hand with a wet towel or wool blanket.
The women in Flames N Dames say not to try any of their tricks at home.
"It can be very dangerous. We’ve been doing this for years, so we know what we are doing. But yeah, just be safe," Marie said.
The artists all say the experience is mind-blowing.
“Everyone has different reactions and I love kids and I love our well-lived community and they just seem to enjoy our presence,” Faye said.
“Being able to make someone feel something is such an amazing feeling and I think that’s super important in the artistic community.”
The Flames N Dames has been doing socially distanced performances, so audiences are safer from COVID-19. They have the Charlotte Fire Flow Jams series coming up next month.
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