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Learn the Fire Hooping Basics

Updated on June 15, 2012

The Art of Fire Hooping

Hula hooping: it's not just for kids anymore! Take your hula hooping to a whole new level, with fire hooping! Fire hooping has become a popular new art around the U.S. This page explains the basics of how to fire hoop, shares hooping videos, safety tips, and more! Learn how to fire hoop and join the wonderful art of fire dancing!

Safety First

Here are some tips on how to be safe while fire hooping:

How to Be Safe While Fire Hooping

Take the right precautions...

-Always have a first aid kit with you when dealing with fire.

-Use kerosene, not gasoline or petroleum, which are dangerous to light on fire.

-Have a wet towel at the ready just in case your clothes (or you) catch fire.

-Do NOT touch the burning wicks! It's not necessary to touch them while fire hooping.

-Do not fire hoop under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or anything else. Bad idea when you're dealing with fire.

-Be aware of your surroundings, and make sure other people (and animals) are at a safe distance from the fire hoop.

-Do not fire hoop indoors. Go outside before using any kerosene or fire, and keep away from anything flammable.

-Do not light up near where you soaked your wicks in kerosene. Keep separate areas from where you have kerosene to where you actually spin the fire hoop.

-Make sure you shake the extra kerosene off of your hoops before you light it up. You don't want liquid sparks flying everywhere.

-Have a spotter nearby to make sure you stay safe. Think up a danger word beforehand, so that if your spot sees you catch on fire, they can yell it and you know to immediately stop. Using "Fire" is not a good idea because it will probably only confuse you, but a word like "Orange" can help alert you to any possible danger if your spotter yells it.

Free Fire Safety DVD
Free Fire Safety DVD

FREE Fire Safety DVD

A free video brought to you by professional fire spinners!

Before you start to spin, check out this FREE DVD on spinning fire safely in your backyard. Home of Poi, a group of professional fire spinners, brings you The Backyard Spinners' Guide to Fire for anyone who wishes to learn more about spinning fire. Please check it out, it is free and has wonderful tips, as well as the dangers you should know beforehand.

Check out more fire safety equipment at Home of Poi here.

Fire hooping: dangerous or safe?

There are some who are worried about the dangers of fire hooping: after all, it is fire, and fire can burn. Read responses from other users (and contribute your own) and learn if fire hooping is right for you.

Do you think fire hooping is a safe sport?

Learn how to Hula Hoop - Before you start with the fire hoop...

Make sure you know how to hula hoop (and do tricks) with a hoop that is not on fire! Take a look at these YouTube lessons on hula hooping and practice at home!

Important Note

Don't attempt tricks you haven't done before. Practice a lot with a regular hula hoop before you even attempt the fire hoop, and then make sure to try out new tricks with the regular hoop, then an unlit fire hoop. Safety comes first!

Let's Start At the Beginning

Before you try all your newly discovered hula hoop tricks on fire...

Start out practicing the hoop on fire by just turning clockwise and counter-clockwise. Get the feel of the hoop while it's on fire, and bring it up to your stomach and down to your knees. Don't attempt any tricks until you feel comfortable with the fire. It may take a few minutes, it may take a few days of practice (or longer) until you feel at ease enough to start up with tricks.

The Right Clothing for Fire

Before you start fire hooping, make sure you have the proper clothes. Always use natural fiber clothing, as synthetic fibers will burn and melt into your skin (yikes!). Tight clothing is best, because there is nothing loose to catch on fire. As odd as it sounds, the less clothes, the better; your hoop has a better grip on your skin than it does on clothing. Never forget to take the other proper safety precautions as well!

Give fire hooping a try?

Have you attempted fire hooping yet?

See results
The Incendiary Faerie Fire Hoops
The Incendiary Faerie Fire Hoops

My Own Fire Hooping Experience

The Thrill of Fire Hooping!

I've been hooping for a year now, and I've completely fallen in love with fire hooping. My friend (and fire hooping mentor) says that I've progressed so much, and I've already learned almost all of the tricks shown in the videos I've linked! I love fire hooping, and I recently bought a fire hoop for myself because it is so amazing! So here's a bit of my experience in fire hooping (so far).

A lot of people ask me the scariest part of fire hooping...and I have to say that it's the sound the fire makes. Yes, the fire itself is terrifying when you start out, but it's more the sound the fire makes as it whirls around your body! It's loud and quite unexpected the first time you fire hoop! Despite that, I love fire hooping, and eventually you do get used to the sound, thought the fire can still be quite scary. The only true way to treat the fire is to respect it; fear will only be an obstacle to your learning, but you must still respect the danger of what you are doing. Just remember that you always need to take the right safety precautions.

The scariest part of hooping is the whooshing sound the fire makes!

Great Music to Hoop To

Keep up the beat with great songs that put you in the mood for fire hooping!

The Fundamentals

A few tricks you can try on fire...

The Lift Up

If you've learned it with the regular hoop, it's easy enough to do on fire. The lift-up is when you are spinning the hoop around your waist, then use your hand to pull it up over your body and lasso it over your head while the hoop is still spinning.

To start off, figure out which hand will bring the hoop up (if you hoop to the right, your left hand will do it. If you hoop to the left, your right hand will). Practice hula hooping with your hand behind your back, palm facing out so that the hoop will hit your hand every certain amount of beats. Count out the beats for every time it touches your hand. To lift the hoop over your head, close your hand around the hoop at a beat, and lift your arm straight into the air, with a slight rotating motion in the direction of the hoop. It's easier to watch videos and see how to do it, then practice.

The Shimmy

The shimmy is when you bring the hula hoop around your neck while it is still spinning. It's slightly trickier and a lot scarier when it is on fire, so practice a lot on a regular hoop first.

Begin by hula hooping at your waist, like usual. To get the hoop up to your neck, you have to bring your arms to your sides, so start off with one arm. Wait until the hoop is at it's widest point, and move your arm down so it is pressed to your side. Practice hooping with that one arm at your side, until you can continue to hoop without it slipping. Then, practice with both your arms, sliding them in when the hoop leaves a gap. To get the hoop up to your neck, shimmy your arms up and down (almost like a penguin), until the hoop starts moving up to your shoulders, then up to your neck.

Trick Tutorials By A Professional

SaFire is one of the great fire hoopers out there! Learn from her tutorial videos how to do some awesome tricks!

My Local Fire Hoopers - A few shots I took from a local fire hoopers (and myself!)

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Fire Hoop Videos

Take a look at these beginners and pros, and their fire hooping!

More Fire Hooping Links

Check out these hula hooping/fire hooping sites for more practice, tutorials, and fire hoops for you to buy yourself!

Fire Hoops on eBay!

Buy your own fire hoop for a discounted price, on eBay! Just remember, fire hoops are pricey, so be sure you are willing to put lots of time and effort into fire hooping before you go out and buy one!

Fire Twirling: Art of Poi

Fire hooping not your thing? Check out other incendiary arts, like poi!

Share your comments! - Leave some feedback!

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    • MissRubyStars profile image

      MissRubyStars 4 years ago

      The pictures and videos inspire me to try this!

    • lyttlehalfpint profile image

      lyttlehalfpint 6 years ago from Canada

      Cool lens and a hot new way to exercise, pun intended!

    • profile image

      HoopingWorld 6 years ago

      A flash mob of Hula hoopers take over a busy Toronto intersection for a great cause. Swiss

      Natural took to the streets and raised $9000 as a proud supporter of Breakfast for Learning.

      Learn More "Hello" by Martin Solveig & Dragonette Courtesy of Warner Music Canada Co.

    • laki2lav profile image

      laki2lav 6 years ago

      Cool lens - I was always wondering how they do that.

    • sulcatamandy profile image

      Mandy 6 years ago from Montana

      Hello Fellow Burner! Love the lens! where are you from?

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I've never heard of this before. Hula hooping, yes, but hula hoops on fire? Who knew? Really interesting lens. *Blessed by a Squid Angel*

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      That video really sold it for me! blessed by an angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I featured this lens on my new wedding theme lens :)

    • Rita-K profile image

      Rita-K 7 years ago

      You are going to make a great movie have a very impressive writing ability and fearlessness! Great Lens!

    • BetsiGoutal1 profile image

      BetsiGoutal1 7 years ago

      Gosh all those great pictures and videos make me miss the summer days of watching my friend hoop and spin. :)

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Wow! I want to start fire hooping!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 7 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I used to be awesome with the hula hoop. I haven't tried for a long time, but the hoops you see in stores seem really cheap now. Maybe I need one of those weighted ones.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago


    • wilddove6 profile image

      wilddove6 8 years ago

      Wow! Cool!

      Never heard of this, but it looks daring!

      Nice lens on the subject!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      My dear -- this is quite a unique topic as I do believe yours is the first lens I've seen for firehooping. Sounds like a "hot" sport! ;)