Travel Channel spotlights local fire dancers

Laura Weiss Shiels
Laura Weiss Shiels
Katherine Dudden
Katherine Dudden
Dan Dudden
Dan Dudden
Nicole Zaremba
Nicole Zaremba

WINDWARD OAHU (KHNL) - In a time when tourism numbers are hitting all-time lows, Hawaii gets a boost in exposure from a big-name travel network.

The Travel Channel began shooting its special, "Extreme Hawaii", on Windward Oahu Tuesday night.

A crew came cross country to spotlight the art and attraction of fire dancing. But don't expect a fancy stage or expensive set design.

"If my hair is on fire, please put it out," said fire dancer Laura Weiss Shiels.

Laura Weiss Shiels lives dangerously.

"We definitely don't want people trying it at home," said Weiss Shiels.

She's not exactly working with a stage.

"Just a big green soft grass to roll around in and play games," said Kailua resident Katherine Dudden.

Believe it or not, the Dudden's quiet Kailua backyard is the setting for the Travel Channel's "Extreme Hawaii" show segment. Filming switched last minute. Dan Dudden doesn't mind, he's got the space.

"I like to share my backyard with everybody," said Kailua resident Dan Dudden.

"We go where the action is, where there's the most extreme things going on so that's why we came here," said field producer Nicole Zaremba.

The sun sets and for about 20 fire spinners, it's lights. Cameras. Action.

"Fire art is beautiful, more people should know about it," said Weiss Shiels.

Each with their own specialty, the group flexes its fire skills for the camera. Hawaii's already known for its sunny beaches, but this is a chance to ignite more visitor interest.

"Obviously fire dancing is something you don't find everyday," said Zaremba.

"It's dangerous but we know what we're doing, we work together a lot," said Weiss Shiels.

A mixture of dance and downright guts, it's a fantastic fire spectacle that's sure to attract even more admirers to the islands.

The Travel Channel continues filming throughout the state the next two weeks for it's Hawaii special, which airs sometime around August.