Creativity is at the core of AIM house values, with the program discovering and hoping to support any creative form that one chooses to express themselves. One of AIM House’s participants takes a unique approach to self expression through the art of fire performing.
Ari F, originally from Santa Cruz, California, has been in the AIM house community for 5 months. He first got into fire spinning while attending a juggling convention that passed through his hometown. He started without fire at first, but eventually wanted to try performing with fire because it seemed exciting.
Ari was inspired by his twin brother who had been interested in the flow arts for a few years. Ari was intrigued by the way it seemed to calm down and relax his brother in a way that he had never seen before, so with that, he picked up his own prop and started practicing. Ari’s first object was made from a piece of paracord and a tennis ball filled with sand.
When Ari is performing, he finds he is able to connect with himself in a rare way. When speaking about his love for the art, Ari says that he “loves fire performing because it is a mindfulness practice that gives me a high no substance can. When I’m flowing, I feel connected to everything and everyone around me. Fire performing is an art form… more specifically a flow art or movement art. It has allowed me to connect to my body and self by making me more aware of my movement and how my body moves. The key to flow is muscle memory and repetitive practice. I do it daily and I feel very connected to every part and every movement of my body.”
In Boulder, Ari has been lucky to find an extremely supportive group of people in the fire community that he has connected to like family. While Ari had a wonderful fire community back home in Santa Cruz, he has been able to establish a new flow community in Boulder that meets every Tuesday night at a local eatery called Thrive for a weekly “fire jam”. Ari says that it is “always a little intimidating trying to meet new friends but here in Boulder, I was welcomed in and go back to Thrive every week I can.”
Ari has opened up the AIM House to a new community of the flow arts — even preforming at the July Family Workshop! He has encouraged staff and participants alike to broaden their horizons when it comes to creative expression and mindfulness practices, which has been a fantastic experience for all!