Fire eater Jennifer "Dehva Colure" Canton

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Hot stuff

By Jessica Pasko

A divorce, a trip to San Diego and a few YouTube videos helped 33-year-old Jennifer Canton transform herself into the fire-eating, hula hooping dynamo that is Dehva Colure.

The Tribes Hill resident (near Amsterdam) is now a photographer/social worker by day and a fire eater by night.

How it happened and more photos, after the jump.

Four years ago, Jennifer was dealing with the end of her marriage and decided to give hula hooping a try.

She found it really therapeutic.

She'd mastered the basics and was getting into some tricks when she discovered "fire hooping" videos online. Yes, that's pretty much what it sounds like - hula hooping with a special hoop that you light on fire. All of this coincided with a trip to San Diego that Jennifer says was a refreshing contrast from her normal life. She returned home feeling rejuvenated and open to new experiences. For some of us that would mean more travel, meeting new people, trying new food or music. For Jennifer it meant playing with fire.

She fell in love with her first flaming hoop "It was magical and it exotic and exhilarating!"

Jennifer says she felt sort of a "primal, immediate connection" with the hoop. That led her to meet up with a local group of fire eaters in Albany (yes, there's a meet up of local fire eaters in Albany, but that's for another day) and they quickly became her fire partners in crime. She asked a fire eater and breather there to teach her. Before long she was hooked.

From there she began performing with local burlesque group Bing Bamboo Burlesque. She's been dancing with them since December. She also does private parties and other appearances.

And yes, she's burned herself plenty of times, but fortunately, she says, not too badly. Her most severe burn was sustained during a performance -- and she didn't realize she'd been burned until she was through -- she just kept going. Later she realized she was missing a chunk from her arm.

Now, fire breathing and juggling calls for a name with a little drama. Jennifer chose Dehva Colure. The Dehva part is a bastardization of diva, because she liked the idea of being a diva, but didn't exactly see herself as one. Colure was selected because it reference circles, both metaphorically and literally.

When she's not hooping or eating fire, Dehva/Jennifer works with mentally ill adults with substance abuse issues. She also helps run a photography studio called Image Ekletik with her soon-to-be husband (they're getting married this coming weekend.) The studio focuses on "weddings for alternative lifestyles," whether it be same-sex couples or those who just don't exactly fit the taffeta-and-tuxedo norm.

Dehva/Jennifer can be seen in action at next month's BBR show. But you can also check out some of her performances online.

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these performances look pretty great!

i have to say, though, the top picture kinda looks like Ms. Canton is smelling her armpit. but she probably gets pretty sweaty, what with all the fire.

I thought I was a bigshot for surviving a pilates reformer class a couple of weeks ago. Boy, was I wrong. Not only was I lying down most of the time, the machine wasn't even on fire.

This lady's my hero.

I've seen Dehva Colure perform at the Bing Bamboo Room Burlesque show on a number of occasions, and she's phenomenal.

When I hear the name "Colure", I can't help but think of the French word chaleur or Latin calor, meaning "heat". Not sure if that was intentional, but it works!

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