Most teenagers like to hang out with friends, go to after school jobs or anything to take up the time you have to think about homework. Gabe Morales, a senior at Heritage, brings after school activities to a whole new level –using kerosene. He has a passion for Fire Poi— a type of fire dancing.

It was the summer of junior year when he first heard of this new hobby. A friend from his wrestling club mentioned it to him and advised him to try it. Gabe was intrigued to start so he bought a starter kit and went to YouTube to learn how to Poi. Once he was more comfortable with playing with fire, Gabe started using a staff, and then upgraded to a sword. The final upgrade: spitting fire.

Burns come hand in hand when it comes to playing with fire and Gabe is no exception. When it comes to accidents, Gabe has had a few; nothing hospital-serious, usually just some mild burns. He finds the fire calming and warm, and is really only scared of burning off his eyebrows or hair.

Right now Gabe is involved in our Concert Choir and Varsity Wrestling team, keeping busy and enjoying his after school activity. He doesn’t plan to give up Fire Poi anytime soon and wants it to become a part job so that he can share his talent for everyone’s enjoyment and make some side cash. After high school, he plans to go to Portland State to study in music education so that he can be a high school music teacher.

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Images by Cody Calhoon
Written by Julia Garcia