Playing With Fire


Jazzy spinning fire.

By Katie McCarthy

When you have children, you may want to send them off to summer camp. You’ll expect them to come back with some great friends, dozens of memories, and a few great stories. From Jazzy Sinkoff’s performing arts camp this summer, she brought home all of these things, along with a new, less expected skill: spinning fire.

“It’s really scary the first time you try it; you’re actually holding fire!” Jazzy stated enthusiastically while talking about her new, unique hobby. “Don’t try this at home!” she added with a chuckle.

When Jazzy joined the Circus program at camp, she was quickly drawn to spinning fire. “My friends have done it before, and I’ve seen fire shows and thought they were really cool.” she added. “I wanted to try new things,  and it seemed exciting!”

Her first hands-on experience with fire was during a game called hot potato, in which you soak a tennis ball in gas, light it on fire, and toss it around to other people in the circle. “The first time it was thrown to me, I freaked out and dropped it,” Jazzy said.

To get started spinning fire, you basically start with learning tricks. “You learn the tricks on a weighted hula hoop with wicks, and then set it on fire,” Jazzy explained. “Then you just spin it. It’s scary the first time you light up [the hoop],” she admitted, “but once I got used to the feeling, it wasn’t scary anymore.”

Jazzy expressed that spinning fire isn’t too hard, only learning specific tricks is. “Mostly it’s hard to overcome the fear of fire, but once you get past it, it’s pretty easy.” As far as injuries go, she hasn’t actually had any. “I’ve only singed some hair on my hands,” she stated casually.

Jazzy enthusiastically expressed her love for performing: “It’s a lot of fun! You just have to be really careful.” When spinning fire, performers have to wear either cotton or denim clothing, and they have to wet their hair. “You freeze if its cold,” she said, “but it’s fun whenever the crowd cheers at a cool trick. It’s really satisfying.”

“She always brings her spinning things into gym and plays with them,” Lauren Weiss said. Jazzy laughed, “I bring hoops sometimes just to have something to do.”

“Jazzy’s actually teaching me how to spin poi!” Kim Lato added.  Jazzy explained that poi is a rope, with fire at both ends. “So far it’s fun, and I get really excited watching her,” Kim continued. “It looks really awesome. It’s different, and she makes me want to try it too!” she exclaimed.

Although she enjoys it, right now spinning fire is just a hobby for Jazzy. “If I improved, I could definitely see me making it a side job. I could spin for parties, maybe!”

Click the link below to watch Jazzy spin fire!