These materials are designed to be used in conjunction with in-class instruction, which includes safety training and further break down of movements. The authors assume no liability for your use of this material.

TORCHES

TAXIM/MAYA

Basic Cue: Center, Start move purposefully/ slightly exaggerated to right w/ arms in basic taxim or maya position.

Variations:

    • Basic arms raise/ lower from rest through second up to 5th



      .
    • As arms raise over 2nd



      position, move into releve´ – when they lower back to 2nd



      position go back to flat.
    • Travel: cue by turning body and leading w/ arm
    • Turn: cue with head turn – gradual turn –  lead passes around formation for timing of move/turn until it returns to original position.
    • Levels: cue by briefly raising on toes just before starting to lower – then cue to rise by briefly lowering slightly farther just before starting to rise. Move slowly.

    Alterations for Torches:

    Standard Cue and Technique:

      • Keep palms facing ground throughout move.   Arms are more exaggerated and with some timing alterations, tracing/leading  the movement of the hips.

      Variations:

        • Arms: Hipwork will disappear (at least in low lighting common during fire performances) and be deemphasized if arms are raised above hip (or at most waist) level.  Because of this,you will want to keep higher arm variations to a minimum.
        • Turn: cue is still w/ a head turn, due to limited visibility during fire performances, you can also add a verbal cue of yeeeaaahh (not required during torches – but will be a required cue for gradual turns if you move onto staff) and be sure to turn very slowly.

        Considerations for Torches:

          • Be sure to keep hands far enough away from body to not let the flame get close to your clothing.
          • During higher flame, be sure to either move very slowly, or adjust the angles of your hands and arms to accommodate the flame throughout the movement.

          CIRCLE PIVOT WALK

          Basic Cue: Body twists slightly towards stage right (Left side towards audience – head still facing over left shoulder), right leg bends up on toe, right hand pulls up as if pulling leg by a string, left hand down behind left hip similar to hipwork position. Move begins on next downbeat going to the right.

          Variations:                   

            • Turn: cue – when move completes a cycle and prepares to go right again (positioned in basic cue position again) turn head over right shoulder instead of left shoulder.  ¼ turns – move completes full cycle to right and left facing all 4 sides.  Lead passes around formation for timing and body angles.

            Alterations for Torches:

            Standard Cue and Technique:

              • None

              Variations:

                • Turn: cue is still w/ a head turn, due to limited visibility during fire performances, you can also add a verbal cue of a double yip (not required with torches – but will be a required cue for quarter turns if you move into staff).

                Considerations for Torches:

                  • Be sure to hold hands far enough away from body to a) not let the flame get close to your clothing and b) provide enough of an angle in your arms so the flame doesn’t get near yourforearm.

                  STAFF

                  TAXIM (STAFF)

                  Basic (STAFF) Cue: Cue a slow, Close Figure 8 (Under) – begin the hips with the Figure 8.

                  Variations:

                    • Turn: cue – add the verbal cue for gradual turns “yeeeaahh” to the standard head turn cue – can turn to either direction, just begin the turn slowly and intentionally in case the follower(s) cannot see the direction of the head turn due to lighting, etc.
                    • Is typically done with the staff in the right hand, but can be done with the staff in the left hand – especially if you are in a position where the flame would be more visible on that side for some reason.

                    Considerations:

                      • Be conscious of the flame and your clothing during the Close Figure 8.
                      • Figure 8’s should be flat in front and behind you – this is important especially when dancing in a group (and when turning) to ensure everyone’s staffs are on the same plane.
                      • Be conscious of both your flame and others when turning.

                      MAYA (STAFF)

                      Basic (STAFF) Cue: Cue a slow, Close Figure 8 (Over) – begin the hips with the Figure 8.

                      Variations:

                        • Turn: cue – add the verbal cue for gradual turns “yeeeaahh” to the standard head turn cue – can turn to either direction, just begin the turn slowly and intentionally in case the follower(s) cannot see the direction of the head turn due to lighting, etc.
                        • Is typically done with the staff in the right hand, but can be done with the staff in the left hand – especially if you are in a position where the flame would be more visible on that side for some reason.

                        Considerations:

                          • Be conscious of the flame and your clothing during the Close Figure 8.
                          • Figure 8’s should be flat in front and behind you – this is important especially when dancing in a group (and when turning) to ensure everyone’s staffs are on the same plane.
                          • Be conscious of both your flame and others when turning.

                          ¾ SHIMMY WALK (STAFF)

                          Basic (STAFF) Cue: Begin a counter-clockwise Rotor (L hand dominant Rotor) and begin ¾ march w/ your right hip/foot.

                          Variations:

                            • Turn: cue – add the verbal cue for gradual turns “yeeeaahh” to the standard head turn cue – can turn to either direction, just begin the turn slowly and intentionally in case the follower(s) cannot see the direction of the head turn due to lighting, etc.
                            • Standard is a counter-clockwise Rotor … can also be done w/ a counter clockwise drop spin for the same effect.  Can be done w/ a clockwise Rotor for solos, etc – but doing this with a clockwise Rotor in formation in higher levels can signify that you are cueing for another move.

                            Considerations:

                              • The hands and feet (and, of course, hips) should BOTH be on beat … Feet opposite hands one hand, one foot.

                              SINGLES (STAFF)

                              Basic (STAFF) Cue: Lift staff in one hand out to side (usually R) and then in both hands behind hips.  Singles then begin on downbeat as staff is in place.

                              Variations:

                                • Turn: cue – add the verbal cue for gradual turns “yeeeaahh” to the standard head turn cue – can turn to either direction, just begin the turn slowly and intentionally in case the follower(s) cannot see the direction of the head turn due to lighting, etc
                                • Levels: cue – raise up slightly first to go down, Lower slightly first to go up … you can do this cue with your whole body, or just slightly with the staff – it is the fire that followers are going to see best either way.

                                Considerations:

                                  • Since the fire does not move much during this move, it is best used as an accent move.  It is also a good choice for when the fire is burned down.
                                  • Be careful of your placement of the staff behind your back – especially with higher flames.