Dancing with Fire

For the first time since starting at the company, I did not go to Las Vegas for the annual sales meeting…. and instead of being there to enjoy the musical renderings of Bon Jovi (which was the big surprise band this year) so I could ultimately write an entry on NSM#4, I was back in San Francisco taking a poi fire dancing class at the Temple of Poi.  Now although it may sound disappointing, it really wasn’t that bad.  It is hard to compare a live intimate concert with Bon Jovi and 4000 of your co-workers to an evening learning to fire dance with poi….. but I actually enjoyed trying something different.

I had no idea what it was all about, but my friend LC had signed up for it and asked if I wanted to join her in a fire dancing class.  Being that I’m always interested in a new experience, I thought, “What the heck?! It sounds fun!”  The Temple of Poi is located in a pretty old, non-descript building with a tacky pink and green neon sign shining at the entrance.

Truth be told, but I had no idea what Poi Fire Dancing was until I got there.  Poi is an art form involving moves with weighted objects on the end of a rope/chain/cord around the body of the artist. The weighted objects include fire wicking, glowsticks, lights, beanbags and containers with water in them.  I realized that this wasn’t as foreign to me as I thought, because I had seen something like this done with sticks at a Cirque du Soleil show, but more specifically, I saw some lady in Sorrento do a show out on the streets with fire on a rope.

Anyways, for the first class, we learned a handful of moves with weighted beanbags attached to the end of a string. There was the butterfly, corkscrew, and weave. I could go and try to explain them all, but it would be boring without really seeing it.  It was kind of fun once you could get a hang of the movements and you could swing the poi without banging them into yourself. It ended up being a lot funner than I thought…. so much so that I decided to sign up for the beginner series.  I don’t know if I will be ready at the end to dance with real fire, but I will maybe consider dancing with fake candles or something. Haha! I’ll have to take some pictures and/or videos next time in order to really be able to convey the true sight of poi fire dancing.

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