I remember the thrill of watching the dancers at the Tahitian Terrace at Disneyland (before it was dumped for an Aladdin show in the same location) from a front-row seat as they spun burning batons around. It was very exciting–especially being so close to the action.
Today, I stumbled across a related form of entertainment called, poi. Quoting from PlayPoi.com:
Poi is a form of dance, where balls on the ends of ropes are swung through rhythmical patterns. It is rooted in the History of the Maori people of Aotearoa (aka New Zealand). It began as a physical exercise, used by the women to develop grace and flexibility, and by the men to develop strength and coordination. Today it is mostly practiced by the women, who combine the poi movements with songs and physical actions in traditional performances such as the Kapa Haka.
Here is the beautiful and entertaining YouTube video that led me to the PlayPoi site. It even includes a little fire spinning in the middle. Very cool stuff (ignoring the irony of calling fire spinning “cool”).