I am obsessed with Russian Fire Fans
Why I spin Russian fire fans and practice the flow arts.
I confess I am over obsessed with Russian fire fans! If I had the money I could honestly guess that my tiny home would be filled to the brim with fire fans. I’d have LED fans, day props, more things I could spin on fire... there would be no wall space. As it stands I treat myself to a new flow arts prop on special occasions. I have a problem with collecting flowarts props but then they are my hobby.
Fire fans are a type of flow arts prop and my favourite of the props if you haven’t guessed already. It wasn’t my first prop but I always gravitate to them as they require a lot of practice and well... they have the most fire of all my fire props (maybe a little too much). Learning fire fans can be pretty difficult and so even through many of the moves are similar to hula hooping they really do encourage you to go back to the basics and to learn most tricks on both sides of your body.
I took up the flowarts because after graduating from University I started to get really bored with traditional social activities (in city life). I found that drinking/ going out culture just really wasn’t my thing plus I was a horrendously aweful dancer which at the time had been described as “like a swaying tree”. So I brought my first hula hoop and practiced awkwardly until I could get a trick down. Hours and hours of practice later and I had a book of tricks. I practiced everyday... I even practiced on my work breaks. I took those things everywhere! I think for that time when I was a little confused, didn’t have much direction in life and was pretty socially awkward; the flow arts really helped to get me through those stresses and mould me into someone who is just more capable of dealing with social situations even if I did become known as the hula hoop girl.
Two years ago after some positive life changes I brought myself a pair of actual Russian fire fans (don’t go with those factory made clanging things with painted handles). They were handmade in Russia by an Etsy seller called Uncle Druulian and are pretty solid and well made. My metal fans with copper rings are much more aesthetically pleasing and portable than a plastic hoop. For festivals I usually take a plastic day prop with me rather than the burnable version. I am a little terrified of someone being like “you can’t have these here” and having to collect them from some property box somewhere after an event even if my intent was just to use them with their wick covers on (I may be paranoid there you obviously can’t actually use fire props on fire in public events without the right insurance and permissions so I don’t take fire props with me to a festival. I don’t want to lose them and there are day and LED props that you can buy). I mainly use fire fans because they feel amazing to spin and dance with. It still took me over a year before I would burn them.
Practicing fans has helped me to become more confident, encourages me to keep fit and actually dance at an event rather than sway like a tree. Right now in Covid-19 lockdown it is also helping me to exercise as I can practice whilst social distancing by only needing small spaces to spin. Getting a good pair of fans may be expensive but after that there are many resources available to learn practice fan moves and so practicing in your back garden is free. I don’t regret getting hooked on fans. I love fan props and you will find me regularly blogging about fire fans and the flow arts on my main blog. You can learn Russian fire fan spinning technique through YouTube and Instagram tutorials. I would not recommend spinning with fire without the presence of a professional and proper fire safety equipment.