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What are Fans?

Momo Bonobo

fire performer holding folding fire fans

Fans have been used as dance props for centuries. They date all the way back to ancient Egypt and Greece. In these cultures, fans were often used to symbolize status or power. For example, in Egypt, fans were often carried by royalty and high-ranking officials. In Greece, fans were used in religious ceremonies and dances. In China hand fans were regularly used to cool oneself down as well as for ceremonial purposes. And in Japan there were even fans used as weapons or to signal during war.

In the 16th century, fans began to be used more prominently in dance. The Italian Renaissance saw the development of the “fan dance,” which was a graceful and elegant dance that used fans as props. The fan dance was often performed by women, and it was seen as a way to show off their beauty and grace.

The fan dance continued to be popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was often performed at courtly balls and other social events. In the 19th century, the fan dance began to decline in popularity. However, it has seen a resurgence in recent years, and it is now enjoyed by dancers of all ages. Today, fans are still used as dance props in many different styles of dance, including ballet, flow arts, belly dance, and burlesque. Fans can be used to create a variety of effects, such as adding movement, creating patterns, or simply adding a touch of elegance to a performance.

There are many different types of fans that can be used in the flow arts community (often called “flow fans“). Some popular types of fans include:

  • Silk fans: Silk fans are made of silk fabric and are often decorated with intricate patterns. They are a popular choice for beginners because they are lightweight and easy to control.
  • Feather fans: Feather fans are made of feathers and are often decorated with beads or other embellishments. They are a popular choice for burlesque or belly-dance performers.
  • Fire fans:¬†Fire fans are generally made of welded steel and have kevlar wick attached. They come in a variety of grips such as Russian Grip, Tech Grip, Doodle Grip, and are rising in popularity in the fire spinning community. Folding fire fans have also recently become very popular.
  • LED fans: LED fans are made of plastic or metal and have LED lights embedded in them. They are a popular choice for performances because they can be used to create colorful and eye-catching displays.

Fans have traditionally been a feminine prop, but now many styles of fan flow have emerged that allow for masculine expressions of the prop as well. If you don’t own a pair yet, check out what we have here!