FAQ: What’s the best fuel to use for fire arts?
While there isn’t a quick and easy answer for this (which is what most folks who ask this question are looking for, including me when I first started spinning fire poi), the best advice I can offer is to find someone in your area who is experienced with fire dancing. Talk with him/her about his preferences, and ask lots of questions. There’s nothing like a real discussion; personally, I don’t like to tell others what I use unless I know they’re skilled enough to actually light up. So instead, I’d like to offer some questions that you may want to ask.
- First, do your homework. There’s plenty of information about fuels already online, which is one reason I’m not getting into specifics here. Read about what’s common, what’s recommended, and what’s available in your area.
- Different fire tools have different uses – compare your tool of choice with your mentor to make sure you’re comparing apples with apples.
- Ask about the pros and cons of his choice(s). This is where the black and white answer turns gray. Every fire artist you talk to can probably offer a slightly different opinion on the benefits of certain fuels and the downsides. As mentioned in #2, this varies also with the specific use of the tool – I can’t stress this enough. Eating fire is practically a different sport than spinning fire poi, for example.
- Arrange time to have your mentor be with you so that you can light up and experiment for yourself. This is not only for fuel choice, but also for safety in general. Never, ever, evah, light up by yourself, no matter what.
- Continue the conversation. Whenever you meet a new fire artist, talk with him about what he uses and tell him what you like, too. I learn something new every time I meet another fire dancer.