Hey there people! I'm a Tassie girl living on the Gold Coast. I make my money working in hospitality, but if I could I'd spend all my time writing!
Published October 3rd 2012
Mum said 'don't play with fire' - it's time to rebel
Have you ever watched someone twirl balls of fire about their head to the beat of jungle drums, and wished you could do something that cool? Well guess what, you can. Fire Twirling Extraordinaire Josie runs classes in Maher Hall, Burleigh Heads Tuesdays at 6pm. If you want to be able to do something that cool, Josie is your woman.
Fire twirling is rather a sexy sport. There's something quite primeval and mystical about it. Man harnessing the element of fire and manipulating it for his own entertainment. The best display I have ever seen was on the beach at The Full Moon Party in Koh Phan Ghan. Two Thai men, corded muscles wrapped tightly about their bones like rope, whirled and spun and twisted the flames around their bodies, mesmerising an entire beach of glow-painted revellers. They hurled the flaming balls to each other, through the air over our heads like comets, never missing or faltering. You will probably never be able to do that.
You will, however, feel by the end of the class that this is definitely something you could learn if you practised. In a surprisingly fast time, one hour to be precise, you will possess exotic skills you never thought would be yours. Josie told me I had picked it up well, which made me feel all proud in an embarrassingly juvenile way, like a child who has been given a gold star at school. I am certain she was just being nice, and in her head was thinking 'what a klutz.'
You don't get to play with the fire straight away. Which is fortunate, because you would almost certainly burn your face off. The art of fire twirling is acquired by practicing with what looks like two footy socks with two hacky-sacks stuffed down the toes. They're called poi, and they are stretchy and difficult to control and they hit you in the face when you're trying new moves. But the feeling when you do get them under control is extraordinarily satisfying. By the end of the night you will be performing a variety of what feel like intricate moves to you, but are really just the basics, including forwards and backwards turns and the rather intriguingly named 'One Handed Butterfly.'
Practising with poi is good for your arms. Why would you choose to lift weights among sweaty, grunting crowds of people when you can tone up twirling fire? What sounds better – "Honey, I'm just off to the gym," or "Honey, I'm just off to tame the elements with my bare hands and swing them around my head in a primeval and mystical fashion."
This could be you
You will be all the rage at parties when you nonchalantly extract fire twirlers from your bag, light them up with a dramatic whoosh, and commence swinging them around with the precision of a laser and the grace of a panther. Everyone will want to talk to you after that. The kids will love you. You can give attractive people of the opposite sex a 'lesson' and chat them up. People will begin insisting you get your fire out at every social gathering you attend, and will quite possibly start referring to you as 'Lord of the Flame.' Jealous people will refer to you as 'That Show Off.'
So if you want something a bit different and interesting in your life, get your matches out and get into it. They also do Hen's nights and parties.