Fire Dance Chiefs
Chief Robbie Warren, Otter Woman Standing
I participated in my first Medicine Dance in 2001. I had never heard of such a thing and was a little skeptical about it, but I decided to stay open. Before the 24 hour ceremony was over, I knew I had found my spiritual path.
I have been a part of many Dances with different intentions from healing, visioning, releasing, meditating, and remembering. When I danced the Women’s Web of Life Dance in 2009, my life was forever changed. I was given the vision for the Fire Dance during that ceremony. It was a beautiful vision and it felt so powerful that I was frightened and didn’t speak of it for 3 years.
As I came to understand the intention of the Fire Dance, I knew this was not a gift for me to hold, but a gift for all the people. It has been my honor to bring the Fire Dance around the world. As the Visionary of the Dance, it is my responsibility and my joy to be the guardian of the Medicine of the Dance and to ensure it grows and continues around the planet.
As a Chief of the Fire Dance I am constantly reminded how fragile and powerful we are as humans. We have come to this planet to create change and to bring healing. Each and every person who has danced or been a part of the crew has blessed me and brought many lessons to me. I am humbled to hold this space and to be witness to the incredible strength and courage and compassion and love expressed throughout the Dance.
The Fires bring transformation and healing through the alchemy of the ceremony. They become living beings that work with us and teach each of us what we most need to learn…..that we matter. Everything we do, whether small or grand, matters and has a direct effect on the vibration of the planet. We are powerful beyond measure. We are filled with grace and compassion and we are all connected. We are One.
I am blessed to overflowing with gratitude to be a part of the ancient medicine of the Fire Dance.
Chief Brett Almond
Hi. I am Brett Almond. I am from England. And I am pleased to meet you!
I have been taking part in dance ceremony since I danced a Corn Dance with Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) in 1993. From this point I have danced Drum Dances, Sun Moon Dances and then from 2004 I have gone onto dance, crew and “Chief” For the One Dances in countries such as Israel, Germany, USA, Norway, Egypt, Ireland and others. I have danced and crewed with the Fire Dance since 2014. As you may have gathered from all that I love to dance in this way!
I am honored Robbie has asked me to Chief the Fire Dance. I am due to Chief my first Fire Dance in Iceland in 2018. I hope you can be there.
I love the Fire Dance as it takes me back and back and back to a very ancient place within myself. I believe the energy of fire is at the very core of our creation. And dancing with the five fires of the Fire Dance, along with the drumming, fasting, the sacred herbs like sage and sweetgrass, and the freedom to openly express myself in any given moment takes me back to a point where I can explore all dimensions of creation outwardly and inwardly. But having said that, is there actually a difference?
The fire energy purifies and clears parts within me that I no longer need and helps me reclaim parts of me that I somehow lost contact with along the way. Sometimes I know what these things are that I have let go of, and sometimes I don’t. I often come away from a Fire Dance, and I observe myself talking to someone or doing something, and I feel, wow, I am different and I have laid another burden down. And with each thing I lay down I feel lighter and consequently closer to Spirit and closer to my authentic self.
The Fire Dance is not religious. There are people from many different faiths, or no faith that dance this dance. But I would say it is tribal and it is loving and exciting. If you haven’t been to a Fire Dance before, you will be welcomed. You may choose to dance or you may choose to be on the crew.
I believe the “Chiefs” job is to oversee the creation of a place of energetic safety for those that dance so they can do whatever it is they came to do. It is place that words become secondary. And our own experience of it is everything.
Maybe you are new to the Fire Dance and are wondering if you should attend. If that is the case, I would suggest you go in your heart, and ask, and then go with your first reaction. If it is yes, I am really happy, and I look forward to meeting you sometime soon!
Chief Mary Standing Otter
Hello, Dear Friends
I am Mary Standing Otter. I am from Michigan in the USA and I am honored to join this Fire Family as Chief.
I have trained and practiced The Medicine Way for 30 years in Healing and Ceremony. I am a Sacred Medicine Pipe Carrier and a Purification (Sweat) Lodge Chief. I have learned from the healing lineages of the Americas, South Africa, West Africa, and Europe.
I was first introduced to Robbie and The Fire Dance in South Africa, where we were both teaching at the same venue. I was invited to sit as a Wisdom Keeper for the Dance. Though Robbie and I came from different lineages, and the Fire Dance was different than other Dances I have been a part of, the power of this Dance was evident. I quickly learned that the Fire Dance was a place where we transcend our differences with ease. It is a Dance for everyone.
The Fire Dance comes from such an ancient and primal place that it unites us all as human beings walking a Path of Healing. I experience this Dance as a place where our hearts can catch fire and light us up from the inside.
The dancing, the fires, the drums, the earth, the stars, the sun and moon and rain all call us home to our most simple Self; the Self that knows the power and peace of true surrender.
This is a place out of time where you can let go of all distraction. Your connection to the elements can be rekindled and fed. You may even remember who you truly are.
The warmth and light of the Fires, the beat of the drums and the solidity of our mother the earth all work together to take us out of our busy minds and remind our spirit of its natural desire and ability to cleanse, to fly and to be free.
I have taken part in many Dances in different countries. I look forward to many more. I am honored to be helping this Dance travel around the world and extending this global community. If you hear the Call of the Fire Dance, I invite you to join us. You are welcome here.
With Love and Many Bright Blessings,
Mary Standing Otter
Chief Vaughan Harris
Heya, I am Vaughan Harris from South Africa.
In 2010, I attended my first dance known as For the One. Truthfully, even though parts of my soul recognized the magical essence of this Medicine Dance, my logical mind took time to process it all. At this dance I met Robbie and subsequently we became good friends. During a visit in 2011, Robbie mentioned her Fire Dance vision which I couldn’t exactly picture due to my lack of experience. However, I knew that if she were to bring the dance into reality that I would support it.
Robbie brought the Fire Dance to South Africa in October 2012, I immediately said “Yes” and was asked to Chief the Drums. I still couldn’t grasp why I was drawn to be there but I knew that this work was not only good for my growth but also the growth of others. This Dance has taught me what it means to serve and this service then teaches one the essence of humility, which is an ongoing process. With the Fire Dance as a vehicle, I have witnessed that true service to others and oneself manifests indescribable magic.
In 2016, I was called by Robbie to become Chief of the Fire Dance in South Africa which completely surprised me. After the initial shock of the request I said “Yes”. Robbie had brought to my attention that massive changes would take place in my life, these were initially very intense yet I have never looked back. My life, my spirit journey and my character have gone through the most amazing shifts and changes, changes that are ongoing and beyond imagining.
I have had the privilege to Chief three Fire Dances in South Africa and the privilege of holding space for a community in the process, what an honor it has been. With the Fire Dance now having a permanent presence in SA, the Dance community is expanding and because of this growth I hope that other Medicine Dances will begin to visit our part of the world.
In truth there are no words to describe what this Medicine means to me. I have witnessed deep and profound shifts in those that attend the Fire Dance, especially when attended regularly. I’ve seen changes with regards to career, family relations and romantic relationships but I see the most profound growth within each person’s relationship with themselves. This is open-soul surgery which requires some level of bravery: all profound inner change requires courage, it’s not easy but it’s simple. As we grow, change and shed we start to recognize our incredible divinity. As we then walk into our world, everything we touch begins to change which emanates out into our entire planet.
If you feel the Call of the Fire Dance then don’t hesitate to make contact, stay in your heart space and know that you will be held in the warm embrace of unconditional love by this community.