While juggling our thoughts together under the super full moon this week, we pondered ways to better serve you and the rest of our community. We recognized how good it feels to give to others and nourish this beautiful tribe we are all a part of, to help it grow…but how?...Usually we don’t worry too much about the how per say, but more the who, why, and the what. The how tends to just reveal itself to us along the way…
Under this bright shining moon it did just that. We decided right then to start offering you more valuable information that will educate you, motivate you, and inspire you, why?...because we appreciate you, and we think it’s important for you to believe in the true magick that life has to offer!...and well, we can all use some nuggets of inspiration from time to time…From this point on, you can look forward to a monthly full moon blog; packed with stories, valuable tips, tricks, and tutorials!
So, let us rewind to spring time…we have a lot of catching up to do. This blog is about reflection, taking time to realize where we’ve been, where we are right now, and where we wish to go…and we suggest you do the same. Here is the story of our season and the ways it has brought us to where we are now. Our hope is that it inspires you in some way…We know it’s been a while since we’ve given you a reason to stop by. Mostly because we’ve been neglecting this cyber space and spending more time out in that real space…with you guys! Now that winter is approaching, we’ll probably want to hang out here more often, so let’s inspire each other to manifest our dreams!
Springtime Adventures: Reconnecting with the Community...
Spring is always so refreshing, when the best season for fire dancing is visible on the horizon and you just know how wonderfully busy you are about to be. Then suddenly you find yourself here like; oh shit that flew by, once again, and you actually kind of welcome that sweet decompression time…but in those first days of spring, we are pumped to do anything and everything, and travel anywhere to reconnect with community. Feeling starved of joyous jam sessions and skill shares. Coming from the middle of nowhere (literally) in northern NY, it’s hard to get that fix, especially through the winter. That longing itself led us on all of our adventures….
We visited multiple retreats around the north east beginning with Wombat (winter object manipulation bootcamp at Tufts) in Boston. This three day event featured lots of awesome workshops and a nice big burn field at night. Even though it was still a bit chilly, we heat up the nights with some huge fire balls! This retreat also wins the smallest stage title for the performance showcase, and we still have no idea how we actually pulled off our act! We were lucky enough to get to share sleepy space with the amazing Liz Knights and Dave Statik. Not only was it sweet for them to welcome us in their home, but we also got to share it with a beautiful soul Cael, and awesome Aussies Tim Goddard and Lou Myers! What better a weekend for all of these shenanigans than April 20th.
Onward we travelled to Vassar College in New York for the Monkey See Monkey Do juggling convention. (notice the trend of animal names, us flow artists are fond of our fellow animal spirits ;) Not only did this retreat spark a new determination within us to learn juggling, but we forged some real relationships here, and performed alongside some absolutely incredible talent in the showcase. Justin, Christina, and the rest of the Monkeys proved to be great hosts. Staying with them was a highlight of the spring, hanging out with all of the talented and silly circus folk was a genuine good time… especially that night we were all entertained for 2 hours straight by Jonathan Alvarez, four illuminated pod poi, no music, but plenty of sound effects!
Our next stop was WildFire Retreat in CT. This one holds a special place in our heart since it was what really sparked our interest in the fire arts and helped us pursue our dream of becoming professional fire dancers. We always try to go at least once or twice a year. This round was great! We performed a kick-ass Maleficent and Dragon routine, set up the Fire Magick Emporium booth, debuted our new mini hoops tech class, and had a lot of fun just hanging with our fellow freaks.
Only two days after WildFire we flew with all of our gear over snow capped mountains, and desert to reach California for Fire Drums! We were so kindly scooped up from the airport by Aileen Lawlor and Brecken Rivera and dropped off in the heart of San Francisco to enjoy our first day there. That city felt in perfect balance and the things we discovered there were awesome! From the fully decorated artistic alleyways, to the playgrounds, unique shops, and the best burritos we’ve ever had in our lives, we loved exploring. Then we got to gratefully spend time at the Vulcan. This place was extremely cool; full of artists of all kinds living in huge lofts, interconnected by intriguing hallways and garden courtyards. Visiting the many flow art lofts where DJ’s play and people practice all day was inspiring! The hospitality we were shown here from Noel Yee, and many others was very appreciated. The Vulcan is just one of those places you must check out as a dedicated flow artist, so much valuable creation and inspiration floods out of these walls constantly…it was nice to dwell within them.
Soon enough it was time to road trip up the coast of Cali to the secluded Redwood forest with Breken and Tiana Zoumer. We took our time, winding through beautiful country side, filled with anticipation as we felt ourselves getting closer to this place of true magick. Seriously though, the most magickal retreat we have been to, hands down. This experience is a must for any aspiring flow artist. The environment itself simply brought us to another state of being. Nestled in the depths of the forest made of the largest trees we have ever seen, with zero phone reception or connection to anything outside of our passion and those who share it. Everything about this place just felt “heady as fuck.”…we must have uttered those exact words at least 20 times throughout the weekend. From the food to the music, to the classes, to the vendors, to the performance showcase, to the burn field, ohh the glorious burn field!!...Around every corner and in every person was a sense of pure magick. Being able to teach and perform there was amazing and we felt deep gratitude. The best part was the burn field, it was incredible! Imagine 50 + fire dancers in one space artfully weaving a huge variety of props around each other, sharing space with such precision, balance, and beauty. All the dancers guided by enlightening music that played past dawn, and drums beat upon with mallets of fire. This was the most tribal and primal experience we have had so far. The people here were truly burning for no one but themselves, for nothing but the energy of it all, for nothing but the pure joy it evokes, and it made us fall in love with fire all over again.
Niagara Falls: Flow with Power...
When we returned from California it was time to switch gears into work mode. This summer we worked every weekend at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY. We put on fire and LED shows all weekend upon this landscaped concrete bridge leading to the biggest casino on the US side. We worked alongside great people including Joe the Cyr Wheel man, and gained some loyal fans of all ages! It was awesome to be able to visit one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the world every single weekend this summer, and even one smaller but special eternal flame waterfall. We had enough time there to actually explore and find the little nooks and vantage points to really appreciate the falls on another level. If you ever visit, be sure to go down to the Cave of the Winds and stand right in the power of this incredible wonder of Nature. Although there seems to be more attractions on the Canadian side, we realized that the US side really displays the most natural beauty and opportunities to get closer to the falls themselves. From our hotel, Canada was just a 20 minute walk. We went over a few times after midnight to check it out and found it to be like a twisted after hours Disney Land. There was a weird mix of sugar buzzed children and wasted 19 year olds running around the highly decorated and flashy streets. Haunted houses, mini golf, wax museums, all the things lined the streets, and of course over priced shitty food. It’s an experience, something to see for sure.
Return to Roots Gathering: Travel Full Circle...
In between our constant gigs, we took a few weekends off to submerge in the community again. We were really excited to teach and perform at Return to Roots Retreat in Pennsylvania, hosted by Meagan Ruppert and her talented team. There we reunited with many friends and made new ones. It was a great weekend of community, flow, learning, and burning. Some of the highlights of this weekend were the effigy burn and the powerful performance by Claire De Luxe and her troupe “Enchanted” complete with thunder and lightning, perfectly timed throughout the show! They literally summoned a huge storm that cancelled the remainder of the show including our performance. We didn’t even mind, because witnessing that magickal show was such a great experience itself… The effigy burn involved all of the fire dancers burning around this wooden lotus flower sculpture that was lit as our flames died out. It was rigged with all sorts of fireworks that set off in a consecutive order when lit. It burnt beautifully and opened up as if it were blooming at a precise moment in the burn. This was another very primal moment of the summer. After the spectacle was through and there was nothing but a giant bonfire left, all the people marched and danced around it in pure joy. This joy is what runs through the veins of the fire and flow arts community, it is evident at all of these gatherings and it is powerful! We are so grateful to be part of something so grand and genuine.
Live Free Fest - Our Fiery Festival of the Arts...
Only a week after Return to Roots, we found ourselves hosting our own event in Northern NY. Live Free Fest is the collaborative event that Isis hosts with her husband Jason on their land. This was the 6th year and it really felt like it came together in a balanced and beautiful way. This event is unique in its merging of two communities who both create with fire; fire dancers and glass blowers. Put them together, with great music and atmosphere and magick happens. This year attracted the most flow artists and glassblowers yet, and we put on our first full stage show featuring the flow arts. We were lucky enough to have such talent as Lux Luminous, Kevin Gao, Circus Dynamics, Ravenbanes FireCraft, and many more amazing performers. Live Free Fest is a time for Isis and Jason to merge their passions and communities to create a really special event that has incredible vibes of freedom and inspiration. They have been growing the venue for years and often dream about the various possibilities for more retreats there in the future. Nestled within 50,000 acres of forest upon the Tug Hill Plateau, the 46 acre piece of land is really gorgeous and has so much potential! Each year Live Free Fest is growing into the fantastically unique Fiery Festival of the Arts that brings people together to cherish the power of fire and all of the ways we can create with it!
Full Throttle Event: Jammin with Jackyl
As fall approached we had our first gig under a newly formed company called “The Troupe Entertainment.” It was quite interesting and put us a little out of our element. It was the first time we had performed for a biker crowd at a rock and roll show, with headliner Jackyl. Performing fire upon a makeshift hay wagon stage in broad daylight was not quite ideal, but we rocked it and sent out the badass energy that these people crave. We were not used to dancing to rock music and had no control over what was played, it was yet another test of our adaptability. This was also our first gig with our friend Vita Puma, playing the character of Grinder Girl! We did get to do one set in the dark so she could spray sparks all over the crowd as Jesse James played the chainsaw like an instrument. This was definitely a memorable gig. That’s the exciting part of our job, we never really know what to expect and we always have to go with the flow ;)
In late September came our last community retreat for the season, Fall WildFire. Back to the homeland we went but this time with a different group of old friends and new friends, and those who we inspired to join us there for their first time. We had an awesome time, and our classes went very well. The best part of this event for us (besides the plentiful and yummy meals) was the performance we debuted. The theme for this showcase was superheros, so we decided to do a hip hop style superhero routine involving highly technical partner fire fan work. We created this whole routine and practiced it in only a few sessions within a two week period. It was seriously miraculous that we pulled it off. We are excited about exploring more with partner fans, the possibilities are endless!!
Now here we are in October, the spookiest month of the year. We love being creepy and do it really well. We have decided to morph into our own versions of Jack and Sally of the Nightmare Before Christmas for the month. We are performing at the new Terror at the Track Spooktacular on the weekends at the Evans Mills Speedway. We are also open for Halloween weekend to perform at parties and other events. We cant wait to see what unfolds!
Through the winter we will be releasing monthly blogs that offer you valuable information, awesome pictures and stories! We will be growing our Emporium, crafting more magickal items for all of you, and growing the local community so it can explode in a weekly flow jam at the Thompson Park Pavilion next season. We would love to create a jam where we can burn and help others learn in the local area. World Hoop Day this past weekend inspired us to do this for you guys, we are so glad to see the community grow locally and beyond! Thanks so much for reflecting with us on our season, now lets hibernate a bit and nurture all the things through the winter so that we can grow together. Wishing you all much love and magick…until the next time the moon becomes a full circle.