FAI Instructor of the Month: May 2016


Congratulations to Krisstina Hawks, and Matthew Sosticky for being chosen as FAI’s Instructors of the month!

Krisstina Hawks:

Tell Us A Little About Yourself.

I put one foot in front of the other, working full-time doing menial work since I was 14. I put myself through community college by applying for and receiving grants. I have an associate’s degree in audio engineering with a minor in music business. I did an internship at Electric Lady Studios, and my last job before I quit to do Ninja Pyrate was as Senior Music Licensor for the New York office of Sir Paul McCartney’s copyrights through MPL Music Publishing, Inc. I was heavily involved in the hip hop scene, but had given up due to the ego involved. When I found Flow Arts, I found home.

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

I love descriptive words. Teaching is just creating words for movement so that others understand the science. By teaching, I learn so much! In addition to being a flow arts instructor, I am an emcee (come freestyle with me), I like to break-dance as well as play the drums, and I make props with the love of my life (Skiffle) as Ninja Pyrate. We helped co-found The Floasis in Brooklyn, which is still active due to the hard work of Tara McManus and Lydia Brooks, and since then have started The Floasis Atlanta (a separate entity from The Floasis Brooklyn – but similar in intent).

How Did You Come Into Flow Arts?

Connie Wang from Icon Artistry took me to Burning Man. I tried poi and decided fire spinning wasn’t for me. Shortly after, I discovered sticks and it changed my mind. As though it were meant to be, I soon met Skiffle and we set out to have as much fun as we could. Ninja Pyrate was born. For more info, watch this video.

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

Doubles were my first prop 6 years ago, but I did zero tech until the last few years. Now I love combining VTG with footwork as well as fitness routines.

Dragon was next, probably two years later? I learned dragon before contact staff. It was just so fun to rock out with! It was the first thing I taught, and I am falling back in love with it.

Contact staff is where I got stuck for the last few years. It is currently my absolute favorite to spin and to teach. I spent the entirety of the last 14 months teaching people individually in front of our booth, as well as in classes. I have developed many descriptive words and people are learning so fast.

Where Have You Taught And Where Will You Be Teaching?

Here are all the Ninja Pyrate videos which outline my class descriptions as well as content by other instructors. Last year I taught at most of the festivals listed in my upcoming appearances, plus a few more such as Flow Camp, Flowida, Eflowlution

I will be teaching different classes at each event, but I am teaching at the following… Kinetic Fire, Fahrenheit, Mountain Flow Fest, Southern Illinois Fire and Flow Retreat, MoFlow, Earthdance Florida, and Florida Flow Fest. I also teach free workshops when we host spin jams at The Floasis Atlanta all year long.


Anything Else You Would Like To Mention?

I always dreamed I might find people like the ones in our beautiful, unique community. I am so grateful for you all, and for the constant positivity, love and support. You have no idea what you mean to me, to each other, and to the world around you. I am incredibly honored by this. Thank you.

For more follow Krisstina on Facebook and follow her on Instagram by using #ninjapyrate. Also follow Ninja Pyrate on Facebook.


Matthew Sosticky:


Tell Us A Little About Yourself.

Hailing from Virginia Beach, VA, Matthew Sosticky fills his nonspinny time with cats, the internet, and work. He hopes to one day, massively lessen the work aspect in his life and really focus his energies on making shapes with objects, doing stuff on the internet, and of course, hang out with more cats, more often.

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

-was once accused of being computer generated

-writes for FAI

-thinks cats are neat

-Admins double staff, contact staff, VA flow arts and some other cool stuff on fb.

-long time member of the Party Liberation Front

How Did You Come Into Flow Arts?

-met a guy who showed me glow stringing, then poi.

-went on an excursion to Richmond, VA (RVA) to meet the River City Burners at Gallery 5.

-met Conway Jennings there who let me spin fire for the first time.

-Fell in love with the beauty of fire, I let it consume my heart and soul

-Conway gave me his old wooden fire double staves

-I made shapes. I still do this.

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

Poi for 10 years? Contact Staff for 7 or 8 years. Double Staff for 8 years.

Doubles is my favorite to teach.

My favorite to play with depends on too many variables to make any assertion

Where Have You Taught And Where Will You Be Teaching?

I have taught at the following:

FLAME 2015 (GA)

-Jedi Mind Sticks Series

-PR Organizer, FLAME Stokers Co

-Lead with Bryce Smithe

Flow Arts at the Fabulodge Spring 2015 (NoVA)

-Jedi Mind Sticks series Kinetic Fire 2015 (Ohio)

-Jedi Mind Sticks Series

Fire Showcase Performance

Fahrenheit 2015

-Jedi Mind Sticks Series

Pex Summer Festival 2015

-Russian Roulette Variety Showcase Performance

Return to Roots 2015

-Jedi Mind Sticks Series

Skype and Hangouts Lessons December 2014 – Present

-Various Students, look at the review list


I Will be teaching at:

Kinetic Fire Fest 2016 (OH) May 19-22, 2016

– workshops

Firedrums June 2-5, 2016 (CA)

– workshops

Fahrenheit Flow Fest 2016 June 9-12, 2016 (PA)

– organizer, workshops, performance

New England Flow Fest (NEFF) (NH) August 11-14th, 2016

More TBD

Anything Else You Would Like To Mention?

Sticks, shapes, kitties, internet, pizza,

Resplendent Flames


Party Liberation Front



For more follow Matthew Sosticky on Facebook, and also follow him on Instagram @resplendentflames.

Photo & Video Credits:

Featured Image of Krisstina Hawks taken by Noel Yee

Getting Down, Footwork and Ground video by Ninja Pyrate

Featured Image of Matthew Sosticky also taken by Noel Yee from Give Props Documentary 

Flame Fire Festival 2015 Flowcase – MatthewSosticky by Matthew O’Neale


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