Fire Mecca staff answer many questions on a regular basis. Below
are answers to commonly asked questions. If you do not find an answer
to your question here, please reach out to us in one of the many ways
listed on our customer service page.
Fire Dancing Newbie Questions
What are "poi"?
Poi originated with the Maori of New Zealand, who used
the art of poi in exercise. Even today, people worldwide
use poi to improve their power, agility, and grace. Poi
refers to the poi art form, as well as to the equipment,
and it is both singular and plural (one poi, two poi, etc.).
The original poi was, essentially, a ball on a flexible
rope “leash” (incidentally, poi means “ball” in Maori).
Today, poi dancers use a huge variety of poi leashes, ranging
from thin poi cords to heavy poi chains. While balls of
many kinds are still in use, modern poi dancers also use
a variety of fire poi, LED poi, and practice poi attachments.
What safety precautions should I take when learning
to fire dance?
Safety is incredibly important in fire dancing. The absolute
positive first step towards learning to fire dance safely
is practice unlit. A lot. At Fire Mecca we recommend looking
for a local group of spinners who can teach you the ins
and outs of fire dancing. We also offer a wide range of
instructional DVDs to help you learn.
That aside, before you light up for the first time, make
sure that the environment is suited for it: Minimal dry
brush or other flammable items, minimal wind, and plenty
of space. Ensure you have proper safety equipment on hand,
such as a fire extinguisher and water. Have someone, preferably
an experienced spinner, standing by with something like
a fire blanket or a damp cotton (very important) towel,
ready to extinguish you should the unthinkable happen. If
you have long hair, ensure it is tied back. Make sure you're
also wearing natural fiber clothing.
Even with all these safety precautions, fire dancing
is dangerous still. These precautions only reduce the likelyhood
of serious injury in the unfortunate event that something
does go wrong.
How long should my poi be?
This is based off of personal preference, some really
like short poi, others love long poi. A good way to gt a
starting point for a begginner is to stand with your arm
relaxed at your side and measure from your knuckles to your
ankle. On most people this ends up between 21 and 28 inches.
LED Newbie Questions
I am this tall, how long should my staff be?
Personal height has very little to do with how long a
staff should be*, generally speaking the style of spinning
you intend to do will influence it more. If you're looking
for extremely high-speed spinning with a lot of throws and
using your staff essentially as an extended baton, 3 to
4 feet should suit you. If you're looking to do contact
staff, 4.5 or 5 foot is good. If you're looking for mor
of a combative style with massive arcs, 5+ feet is what
you will probably want.
*A new spinner will not want a staff that is longer than
they are tall.
What are good products for someone looking to get
started in LED performance art?
Here at Fire Mecca we offer a wide range of LED equipment
to suit your needs.
- For a staff spinner, the BlazeLink Contact LED Glow
Staff is a great option. It's durable and light weight,
and doesn't flex like many LED staffs will.
- For a poi spinner, you can't go wrong with a simple
pair of LED Glow Poi. They're a nice inexpensive option
that are great for a beginner, but still look nice enough
for a professional to us.
- For a hooper, we offer the Nova LED hoop, a durable
medium weight hoop that's heavy enough to learn on,
but light enough to really play with. It features a
built in rechargable battery, and includes the wall
- We also offer a wide range of instructional DVDs
to help you learn.
Are Kevlar fire wicks reusable, or can I use them
only once? If they are reusable, how long until I need to replace
They are reusable. How long will they last? That question
is one that we cannot give a 'simple' answer. Our default
answer is "about a year", however that is not a guarantee.
The exact lifespan depends on how frequently you burn them,
what type of fuel you use, how much you practice with your
fire prop, how you store your fire prop, how you extinguish
your fire prop, etc. Our experience shows that with heavy
use and abuse, wicks can become unsafe for use within 3
months, however with regular use and proper care wicks can
last several years.
General care tips to prolong the lifespan of your wicks:
- Don't practice with your wicks- drops, scuffs, etc.
all cause minimal damage to your wicks, that will build
up over time.
- Keep your wicks covered- not only will this protect
your home or car from getting full of soot, it will
also protect your wicks from being knocked around as
much, and from harmful UV rays.
- Store your wicks indoors in a clean, dry environment.
- Extinguish your wicks with a fire blanket or damp
cotton towel once most of the fuel has been consumed-
Near the end of the burn, the flames will start trying
to consume the Kevlar, which will degrade it over time.
Do I need to do anything special when I am using
my wicks for the first time?
While some may tell you otherwise nothing special needs
to be done when using wicks for the first time. It is just
important that wicks be soaked thoroughly before use. "Prepping"
or "curing" wicks is not necessary. We have heard a lot
of tales of things you need to do the first time "to make
your poi last longer". In our experience, none of these
actually work. However, they're also not likely to do any
damage to your poi.
What is the difference between the K1 and K2 wicks?
The weave and Kevlar/Fiberglass blend. K1 is a linear
weave with minimal fiberglass content. K2 is a box weave,
with slightly higher fiberglass content. In performance
the difference is minimal. Subjective observation has shown
K1 to have a slightly better lifespan than K2, except for
in rolled wick applications where K2 appears to have a better
What is the difference between Aramid Core and Fiberglass
core rope wicks?
Aramid Core is a slightly more durable, denser rope.
It is ideal for applications where the rope will flex a
lot in use, such as fire whips or fire snakes. Fiberglass
Core is a softer, more malleable rope. It is ideal for applications
where you need to tie the rope very tightly, but it will
not be moving once tied, such as in Monkey Fist poi.
How do I know how much aerial fabric to purchase?
For aerial practice you will want to measure from your
connection point to the floor and multiply that by 2 and
add a minimum of 1 to 2 yards for tying. It is better to
have your fabric be a little too long than too short. You
can trim down your fabric as needed but it is unsafe to
splice the fabric.
How can I find out if my order has shipped?
You should receive an automated email in 1-3 business
days after placing your order informing you that your order
has been shipped. If you do not, you can log in to your
account, then click your name (between 'shopping cart' and
'log out'), at the top of the screen you will see a link
that says 'Order/Billing history', click that and it will
show you a list of every order you have made on that account,
as well as it's present status.
Do you ship to...?
Fire Mecca offers worldwide shipping. You can find the
cost of shipping by adding your selection to your shopping
cart and clicking "Checkout Now", you will see your shipping
options and the cost. Your order will not be placed until
you click the "Place Order" button.