Hey all you fabulous spinners !

I was just wondering for those of you with fire fans did you start spinning regular non-flammable fans or did you just practice with non lit fire fans. I always thought they were a little lame quite honestly but then youtubed it one day and I must say, my face melted off, it was so amazing and I need to learn how to do it ! So for anyone who has Fire Fans did you jump right in or work with regular fans first ?

Cheers !

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Squee! I just started spinning fire fans in January, and I have fallen madly in love with them. I've never spun any other kind of fan, or anything other than hoops really. I've just been spinning them unlit, and am hoping to light up for the first time next week.

Do you have a background in minis or poi? A lot of the moves can be translated to the fire fans. I've been leafing through a book on poi, and its been really helpful in figuring out some of the fan movements.

Check out these two tutorials, one is grip transitions, and the other is exploring the various planes you can move the fans through.

I checked your profile and noticed you are in Edmonton! Drop me a line if you're ever in Calgary and we can play!
I recommend learning WITHOUT fire! Imagine if you tried to learn hooping with a fire hoop. Imagine how it would limit your being willing to try new things, to test boundaries, to risk dropping your tool or touching yourself with it. (I also discourage people from rushing straight from learning to hoop to fire hooping. I find it leads to pretty unimaginative hooping and can stunt learning in both areas.)

There are lots of beautiful fans and many people in many cultures dance with fans. Fans are utilized in flamenco, korean, japanese, burlesque, polynesian, tibetan, bellydance and many other kinds of dance. Fans have been used in dance for thousands of years. If you google "Language of the Fan" you'll find the many meanings communicated with fans. It's fascinating. I really really really recommend studying all these sources for your fan influences if you want to "dance" with fans and not just fling them around. I find poi spinners who spin fans like they're poi, well, not very interesting. They're not poi. They're fans. Fans are beautiful on their own. They don't require fire or spinning. If you pick them up without fire, then you'll have a lot more opportunities to dance with them and you'll be more creative and have better flow when you finally move on to fire. At least that's been my experience.
I think i will do this. i have some cheap fans from a friends wedding that i could play/practice with. i never though of practicing with fans. (lol thats kinda silly)
I put fans of my list of props to learn after finding this

that guy is ridiculous.  favorite'd.

i know, he is fricken awesome

Oh I wouldn't try lit fire fans, I was just wondering if people usually had a background with like silk fans before moving on to fire fans, but I have really been looking at tutorials and reading articles about fan and it's definitely something I find myself very intrigued with, so thank you all for you responses ! Now I have to figure out where to order mine from
That is the question! There are so many kinds of fire fans out there. I think they fall into two categories -- the kind that collapse and the kind that don't. The collapsible ones are really cool for doing moves from many of the dances I mention above, moves where fans open and close. Those guys are pretty expensive and mine, which were made by Sage, are so long they prohibit a lot of spinning moves like buzzsaws. I want another pair, that is smaller but still collapsible with pretty sturdy tines (rather than just wire) for manhandling a bit more. In flamenco they tear those fans up! I don't know if I can find those or not though so I may get a pair of fixed staves or some like the ones in the videos above. It's hard to choose. Again, they make different effects that can be utilized different ways. I am loving these "zipper" moves that I think may look better with 4 or 5 individual wicks but who knows? If you know anybody with any fans, get them to let you play with them unlit before committing to buying. Fire fans are forever.

In the meantime, get some fans at the store (church lady stores always have pretty fans) and go ahead and start working on your armwork and hand work. You might just fall in love with regular fans. I sure have! Even if you don't open and close your fire fans, you still move you arms and hands the same way -- Outside Circles and Inside Circles. (Gosh just thinking about it made me get up and play with my fans for a minute. Fun! And that's the other thing about regular cloth or paper fans ... you can just have them around pick them up and use them sometimes. They fit in purses and backpacks easy as pie.)

Let us know which ones you get and how you like them!
For sure ! I ordered some silk fans online and I'm super excited to get them, I also had the chance to play with a girls flags and absolutely loved the interactions that were possible with them, ie letting the material flow on you and around other people. I've been reading some articles on tribe.net and those have been helpful as far as hearing what people like and don't like about fans. I do have a few questions though such as whether as a beginner you would want lighter or heavier founds and what people thingk about the D handles as opposed to the circle handles. I really like the look of these ones http://www.firetoys.co.uk/juggling/pyro_pixies_fire_fans.html but i'm not sure how appropriate they would be for a beginner but I like the versatility of the grips
I think those grips would be really limiting. I like a grip that comes down to as small a circle as possible, preferably a circle I can palm and then I either manage the hoop from the top tine or from the circle in my palm. That one seems like it would work completely different from most regular fans. I'm not sure you could do true flamenco moves with them or the polynesian stuff either. That circle looks kinda deep for spins too. I don't put my fingers between the tines either because I find it hard to move in and out smoothly so maybe that's why I'm not so keen on this design which looks like it's made for fingers between the tines. Other people may use their fans differently though. I'll be interested to hear what you think if you get them.
I searched for "fan dance" on youtube today and have been boggled by the beautiful, expressive dances I discovered. I love how so many of these fan dancers seem to incorporate storytelling into their art. It seems more about the emotion/feeling of the dance, instead of the focus on technical performance I perceive among many fire performers.
I know! Here are some of my favorites:
Bastet Fusion Fan Dance (fans start @4 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Uo5VthVLQY&feature=PlayList&... (<--She has a tribe on Tribe.net with the same name and lots of vids)

Chinese Group Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eqsJSJCZao&feature=PlayList&...

Flamenco (one fan & this is also my flamenco teachers company): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P77H12w8BJg&feature=PlayList&...

Vietnamese: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgSrJRLMQvE&feature=PlayList&...

Chinese (from the Tao Li Cup National Dance Competition, an incredible dance performance!) with a single fan:

and another from that same competition using two in very unique and beautiful ways:

Here are some of my favorite fire fan dances:
Geisha Fire Fan Dance at Burningman 2007 with collapsible fans:

Echo at the Santouka Fire Festival in Japan (this is ALL about the dance!):

Grimm tears me up. Moonwalking!?!:

Jumpsuit Promo (Chris Rovo and co. Fans come in at about 2 min):

For learning a variety of fan moves:
Memories Fan Tech Blog:


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