An outsider told me he has seen "fire dancing" at Gasworks asked if that's the correct term and is that the same thing as what I do.. My response below:
Fire dancing is indeed the correct term, not to be confused with fire performing though.. the majority of people spinning fire at Gasworks are hobbyists or amateur performers without a lot of theater or professional dance experience. They just like playing with fire and embrace the rather quasi hippie concept of flow arts which is actually a very real and cool thing and it's a great community of people! However the difference between them and me is that I have a degree in theater, have taken years of dance classes, gymnastics, cheerleading/ choreography, have an extensive resume of staged shows, have actually been in 3 different circuses opposed to embracing it as a trend and style of dress yet work a full time day job, and I actually carry an open flame permit issued by the fire marshal, and insurance coverage to safely & legally perform with fire in public venues...
It is my career. I am the circus. Those are my monkeys.
Above is me performing in 1999 in San Francisco at the Maritime Hall with a band called Galaxxy Chamber who opened for Genitorturers and below is me on stage at the Historic Everett Theatre in 2010 playing the lead female role of the Demoness in the heavy metal now called fantasy rock opera, Aeterno Elementum by Arakus Productions. I had a literal absolute nervous breakdown just before this show opened because we were unable to have the smoke detectors deactivated in order to do a fully lit entire run through dress rehearsal with an inexperienced cast of 40-50 people backstage to an otherwise empty house and it was so unbelievably terrifying I went into a full on disassociative fugue like a trauma victim leaving only my well developed mistress of all that is beastly and primal character to defend me while I grappled the situation. In retrospect I still can't believe I did it but I was head over heels in love and the crisis of conscious was utterly and irrefutably mine alone, the show must go on....
There is a massively fundamental difference between performing indoors, on stage, and in public opposed to outdoors behind a large designated perimeter line. That is a matter of safety. When you are outdoors your only public concern is keeping any would be unaware smokers from wandering near the fumes of your fuel cans because the vapors could ignite and catch any open containers on fire including small 1 gallon cans which could potentially explode sending shards of aluminum shrapnel into the badly burned wounds but other than that *minor* concern the responsibility of the performer and their safety technician lies only to themselves and each other. Basically there's no need for a signed waiver because it's blatantly obvious each fire dancer accepts that they are voluntarily risking their own life and can hold no one other than themselves accountable for any and all possible bodily harm that occurs to them due to the choice of playing with fire. Remember mama told you to never play with fire because fire burns ya, right? It does and it will if you continue to do it it's just a matter of time. Anyone who claims to be so good at it that they are above the level of being burned is the true mark of an amateur and also a danger because within that air of arrogance is precisely where the accidents occur. When you think you're so good that you can get away with cutting corners or breaking an occasional rule since nothing bad has ever happened before you now presume nothing is ever going to. Danger Ranger!! If it's outdoors at Spinurn you suffer a great deal of embarrassment and perhaps a loss of clothing and even a hefty ambulance/hospital bill. You'll live and thanks in part to your friends and in the case of your clothes being synthetic material you're lucky it's exceptionally well ventilated outdoors.
Now let's talk about the scenario of performing in a packed nightclub with a sprinkler system or a full theater with deactivated smoke detectors or no fire systems in place and some possible scenarios including a catastrophe that occurred the consequences of which we are all still to this day paying for those of us who pursue this career (if you can call less than $10 grand a year a career) and those who own the property whom you are now required to get written permission from before doing fire indoors.