FAI Instructors of the Year: 2016

Congratulations to Shade Flamewater, Jandro (Cilantro), and Frank Hatsis for being chosen as FAI’s Instructors of the Year!

Frank Hatsis:

What is a short bio on your awesomeness?

I was born and raised on Long Island, NY and currently reside in various places on Earth.

At the moment I am working on some new gear for the Rope Dart Academy as well as coordinating events to teach at for the 2017 year.

My goal is simple and has been consistent throughout my 12 years of rope darting: to bring rope dart to the main stream (household word) by providing quality instruction, precise methods/ideas and expertly designed gear.

My ultimate goal is to walk through a park, see a bunch of kids playing with a rope dart, all of whom have never heard of me before. That’s when I will feel successful and “awesome.”

Frank Hatsis Kinetic Fire 2016 fire flow show performance. Image credit: DTS Fire

Frank Hatsis Kinetic Fire 2016 fire flow show performance. Photo by DTS Fire

What Are Some  Interesting Statistics or Unique Talents That You Have?

In Wushu/Talou(Martial Arts competition) I am considered to be ranked #1 in the World in Rope Dart.


Frank Hatsis performance at Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada. Photo by Michael Nusbaum

How Did You Come Into Flow Arts?

I had been practicing and competing with the rope dart for about 6 ish years and noticed a lot of videos on youtube of people spinning rope dart, but on fire! Obviously, I thought this was totally badass and had to try!

I contacted someone who helped organize a festival circuit on the East coast, that I had an interest in teaching the rope dart and what I needed to do to make it happen.

I was invited to teach, fell in love with the flame and the rest, as they say, is history.


Frank Hatsis performance at The Russian Roulette Variety Show, The House of Yes. Photo by Ely Kay

What Props Do You Use And What Props Are Your Favorite?

Nunchaku – 27 years

Rope Dart – 12 Years

Spear – 11 Years

Sword – 11 Years

Fans – 8 years


Frank Hatsis performance at The Muse. Photo by Ely Kay

Where Have You Taught and Performed This Past Year And Where Will You Be Teaching?

I have taught at:

11/4/16- Flow Motion Symposium, Indiana

10/6/16- Flashepoint, Virginia

9/25/16- SpinCo, Philadelphia

9/15/16- PacFire, Oregon

8/19/16-WildFire, Connecticut

8/16-9/16-Burning Man, Black Rock City

8/12/16-NEFF, Rhode Island

7/15/16-Gratitude:Migration, New Jersey

7/1/16- PEX, New Jersey

6/9/16-Fahrenheit, Pennsylvania

6/2/16-FireDrums, California

5/27/16-WildFire, Connecticut

5/19/16-Kinetic, Ohio

5/13/16-NEFA, Connecticut

4/7/16-FLAME, Georgia

So far, I will be teaching at:

3/12/17-KO Martial Arts Rope Dart, New York (Workshop)

3/19/17-Muse Cabaret, New York (Performance)

3/24/17- AmeriKick Internationals (Competition)

4/28/17- Quebec City Open, Quebec City (Competition)

6/1/17-FireDrums, California (Teaching)

For more follow Frank on Facebook and Instagram and be sure to check out The Rope Dart Academy website and Facebook Page.

Jandro (Cilantro):

What is a short bio on your awesomeness?

Based out of Houston, Texas. I’m still focusing on improving my object and fire manipulation so the flow arts festival circuit is still one of my priorities for 2017. I don’t like to gig chase, but I do want to showcase what is we do in an entertaining manner. I want to create fire theatre productions. I not only enjoy fire performance but also performing Burlesque Flow acts as the clown, Cilantro. I run a Fire and Flow Arts Teaching and Performance Collective called MDSO, Mental Dexterity Special Ops, to help build the community around me.


Texas Renaissance Festival Photo by Mike “The Truth” Jackson

How Did You Come Into Flow Arts?

I found fire before I knew what Flow Arts was. I had seen it at a festival, Flipside. While watching the fire performers in awe, I was thinking that I could never do anything like that because of my body. “I’m not athletic or flexible” I remember telling myself. And then I watched a woman step into the fire circle with fire poi. She was plus sized and wore glasses like me. And I remember watching her as she spun so gracefully, calm, and in complete control of these two fireballs creating shapes around her body. She was the most beautiful spinner I had seen all night. And as I watched in complete disbelief I imagined how much bravery and how much she must have overcome, how many people probably told her “No”, or that she couldn’t do it, and yet she was able to get up in front of us and just spin, and spin for herself at that. I decided that day I wanted to spin fire. A few months later I had a very empowering experience, or crisis, whatever you want to call it, that motivated me to stop talking about what I wanted to do and to begin doing those things. I went home and stuck tennis balls in tube socks and took 3 weeks to learn the 3 beat weave, the very first move I ever learned. I returned the next year with the intention to learn and meet fire spinners to find my teachers. There I was introduced to a young group of passionate spinners going by GypsyTricks, whom I would shadow for the next few months while I spun LED. A few months later I went out with a group I’m going to reference as Marsha’s Fire Crafters to a Full Moon Burn where someone offered to let me burn their poi for the first time. That’s how I came into Flow Arts.


Jandro with Mike Icon Photo by Andrew Dolan

What Props Do You Use And What Props Are Your Favorite?

Most Props: 5 years


Double Staff


Dragon Staff

Contact Staff

FIre Breathing

Fire Eating



Sliding Orb

Palm Torches w/ Stationary Orb

Rope Dart

Contact Juggling



—– My favorites to teach are Fire Breathing and Rope Dart. I love playing with everything, but I’m particularly fond of Buugeng and SOSC. I happen to excel the most in Fire Breathing and Hoop.


Bayou City Burlesque and Circus Arts Festival January 2015. Photo by Sheridan Original.

Where Have You Taught And Where Will You Be Teaching?

Have taught at:
Texas Flow Fest (March) – Austin, TX (Rope Dart Workshops and Performance)

Flowstorm (April) – Austin, TX (Fire Breathing Workshops and Performance)

All Props Gathering (April) – Dallas, TX (Fire Breathing Workshops and Performance)

Flame (April) – LaFayette, GA (Fire Breathing Workshops and Performance)

Kinetic Fire (May) – College Corner, OH (Fire Breathing Workshops and Performance)

Southern Illinois Fire & Flow (July) – Vienna, IL (Fire Breathing Workshops and Performance)

Campfire (September) – Clarks Grove, MN (Fire Breathing Workshops and Performance)

Actual Eyes (October) – Nashville, TN (Flow Arts Instructor and Performance)

Texas Renaissance Festival (Oct-Nov) – Magnolia, TX (Performances)

Flowriety Show 3 (September) – Houston, TX

Burning Man Conclave (September) – Black Rock City, NV

So far I will be teaching at:

Kinetic Fire (May) – Fire Breathing Workshops

MOPS (April) – Fire Breathing Workshops

Playthink (June) – Fire Breathing Workshops

Texas Flow Fest (March) – Buugeng Workshops


Photo by Andrew Dolan

Anything Else You Would Like To Mention?

To my knowledge I am the first permitted fire breather in Houston. The production was for the Houston Grand Opera’s “Das Rheingold”.
For more follow Jandro on Facebook, YouTube and on Instagram.

Shade Flamewater:

Shade Flamewater is the founder of Flamewater Circus based in Sydney, Australia. Specializing in the mystic arts of fire and magic, Shade and his team have dedicated themselves to creating otherworldly feats. Audiences the world over have been left spellbound by Shade’s unique blend of circus, magic and fire performance. Considered by his peers to be the best fire eater in the world, expect to see something you’ve never seen before when Shade Flamewater takes the stage!


What Are Some  Interesting Statistics or Unique Talents That You Have?

Creator of ground-breaking new fire eating techniques.


How Did You Come Into Flow Arts?

Have been learning, teaching and performing with fire for 14 years. Manipulating fire always fascinated me and still does.

What Props Do You Use And What Props Are Your Favorite?

Fire Eating and Doubles staff : 14 years

Where Have You Taught And Where Will You Be Teaching?

Have taught at:

Workshops in: NYC, Boston, Chicago, Kentucky, Nashville, Atlanta, Raleigh, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, Phoenix, LA, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, Missoula, Bozeman, Salt Lake City, Denver, St Louis, Tulsa, Pittsburgh, Akron


North East Fire & Art Festival (NEFA)



So Ill Flow

Also performed at SpinCo’s Renegade Runway

Will be teaching at:

May Workshops: NYC, Philadelphia

June Workshops: LA, Dallas

Festivals: Kinetic, FireDrums

For more information on Shade follow him on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to follow Flamewater Circus on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Shade, Cilantro, and Frank all offer lessons via Skype if asked. 🙂

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