Hoop and poi dancing is all about skill, balance and losing yourself in the flow.
At Thompson Park on Sunday, fire and hoop dancers with Fire Magick, a professional performance group in Watertown, were showing kids and grown-ups how to play around with hula hoops and poi spinning in an open flow jam session.
The objective of poi dancing is to lose your thoughts and to flow, said Adam Lobo, a veteran fire dancer from Australia who was playing with a pair of poi, swinging tethered weights in patterns to create visual illusions.
Gathered around the team of artists and their novices Sunday were dozens of admirers and children who were learning new tricks in the free event.
The group eventually hopes to teach people fire tricks if the city of Watertown supports it.
Practicing a hula hoop transfer from one hand to the other Sunday evening was 15-year-old Isabel Koapke-Allen of Watertown.
She said she usually prefers being indoors but came out Sunday to learn hoop dancing.
Mr. Lobo said part of his mission is to get kids outside to play, level up their character and integrate them into a larger community through dancing.
Its a great way to teach people a sense of balance and improve hand-eye coordination, said Fire Magick co-owner Jozette M. Borrmann, whose stage name is Iso short for isolation hoop dance.
She and Seth Hill, aka FloFox, started their company last year and ultimately hope to perform worldwide with their crew, Pixie and Ninja.
Mr. Lobo, who is a well-known booking agent in the business, also is helping them with promotions.
Mr. Hill said he likes to think that he is teaching people how to paint with their bodies, with each move representing a color.
When youre in the flow zone, it literally feels like time stops for you, Mr. Hill said. Dancing helps you come out of your shell.
The groups next performance is on Friday in Syracuse during the fireworks celebration.
Fire Magick also will be participating in the coming Piyak Paddle Fest on July 3 in Clayton.
Fire Magick plans to hold public flow jam sessions from 2 to 5 p.m. every Sunday at Thompson Park