Artist Profile: Brenda “Manzanita” Fagan

As we continue with our artist profiles for the Temple of Poi 2009 Fire Dancing Expo & 7 Year Anniversary, we spotlight student performer, Brenda “Manzanita” Fagan, who will be performing with Supreme Beings of Fire, FireFlyGirlz and Divine Light.

Brenda "Manzanita" Fagan, student performer appearing in Temple of Poi Fire Dancing ExpoBrenda “Manzanita” Fagan discovered the beautiful art of poi spinning when she saw a crowd of smiling people dancing and spinning balls on a string at High Sierra Music Festival in 2005.  Her first thought was, “I can do that!” She bought a set of poi, and attempted to teach herself how to spin from a book. It worked somewhat, but she knew something was missing.  In 2006 she googled “San Francisco poi,” and the Temple of Poi appeared at the top of the page. Thus began Brenda’s journey into the wonderful world of flow. She fell in love with the Flowology Mindset as developed by Isa “GlitterGirl” Isaacs. It brought together all the concepts and philosophies she’d been trying for many years to incorporate into her life.
Student Performer, Brenda "Manzanita" Fagan, appearing in Temple of Poi Fire Dancing ExpoBrenda had no intention of “lighting up,” but as her poi practice evolved she heard many voices prodding her to, “take the fire class!” Her father was a firefighter, and she grew up being told not to play with fire. She was taught to respect the flame. Once she remembered that childhood lesson about respect she was excited to dance with the flame.

The second she heard her flaming poi flow past her ear and around her body she was hooked. Over the next few months Manzanita was born and has continued to evolve learning to write choreography, collaborate with other artists, make costumes and challenges herself in all areas of her life.

When Manzanita isn’t on fire you can find her in the woods or on a mountain with a set of poi in her backpack.