Should I Dance or Crew? How do I decide?
If you come to the Fire Dance you will either be a dancer or a crew member. Typically there might be twice as many crew members as dancers, but this can vary from dance to dance.
The dance takes place in an “arbor”, which is a designated large circular space. The dancers will camp in the Arbor from the Friday afternoon and will stay within this area unless going to the bathroom. Also within this circle are five fires that will burn from Friday to Sunday. The energy builds throughout the weekend. When the drums are playing the Fire Dancers will dance. There is plenty of rest in this dance also. The rest is as important as the dancing as it allows you to ground what you are bringing in. And at night you sleep.
The dancers will fast from food and water from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning. As your sugar and salt levels lower, the fires burn, your body moves in whatever way comes to you, the drums play and you go on a journey to the deepest and the highest parts of yourself. What you no longer need is burnt away and new awareness comes in.
Some say that we decide to dance before we are born. So when you hear about the dance you may just know in your heart you are meant to be there. In order to dance you do not need to have any prior training. You can jump straight in. You will be watched over the entire time as there is a whole team of people ready to be there for you.
The “crew” consist of Dance Guardians, Drummers, Fire Keepers, Fire Mothers and Fathers, Wisdom Keepers, Kitchen Crew and the Chief. And they are all there to create a safe ceremonial place for you to dance. A more detailed explanation of each role is at the end of this document. The “Chief” will work in tune with the dance and listen to guidance when appointing people to a certain positions within the crew.
If you arrive at the dance site and you suddenly realize you are meant to dance, this is okay if there are places left in the arbor. If you think this is a possibility for you it is helpful to bring the items that you might need to dance, “just in case”.
This dance is open to everyone of all faiths and beliefs.