Santa Claus, EDM and fire-dancing, together at last

I have a new pick for the zaniest holiday event in D.C. Forget Scuba Santa. Forget water-skiing Santa. I'm talking about sousaphone-with-real-fire-coming-out-of-it Dance Afire Santa.

Tuba Christmas can't hold a candle to Sousaphone Santa. (Anne Kenderdine/The Washington Post)
Tuba Christmas can't hold a candle to Sousaphone Santa. (Anne Kenderdine/The Washington Post)

His group is coming to Mad Momos in Columbia Heights Sunday night, so you can decide for yourself if fire dancers are what you need to get in the holiday spirit.

Like the name suggests, these Dance Afire people dance solos with long, double-edged torches, twirling the blazes around as they do acrobatics. (Check out the video above where Heather Muszynski, who performs as H.Max, does a cartwheel with a torch balanced on her neck.)

At the show I saw last week, Santa Claus, aka tuba player Jay Converse, had rigged a red light in the bell of his sousaphone and wrapped it in flaming spokes. He played Christmas carols while the crowd sang along, and that, plus a drummer, was the dancers' accompaniment.

At Sunday's "Holidaze Edition" showcase, the music will come from DJ Manko Eponymous. Expect something "more to the EDM side of things," says Dance Afire director Lou Valentine, but he says Santa will be there and there will be holiday tunes, too: "risque songs about Santa, that sort of thing."

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show is from 7 to 9 p.m. There's a $10 cover. The show will be on the concrete patio in front, and you'll be able to see it from outside, from inside the bar through the windows or looking down on it from the second-story balcony off the dining room.

Run, do not walk -- or stop, drop and roll to this show. Just know that the Dance Afire folks recommend you get to Mad Momos early for the best viewing.

Mad Momos, 3605 14th St. NW (Metro: Petworth). 202-829-1450.


The best kind of art is the dangerous kind. Bronwen Valentine of Dance Afire performs at the Artist's Inaugural Ball in January. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
Anne Kenderdine’s job is sharing what’s fun to do in D.C. She joined The Washington Post in 2000, and she’s been focused on local arts and entertainment for her whole career. As the Going Out Guide Deputy Editor, she edits the Going Out Gurus blog and stories for the Weekend section and she also shapes the Going Out Guide’s Web site, mobile site, i
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