Circus Fusion Education: Working with Circus Artists

Circus medicine education to fuse your passion and occupation for a career you LOVE.

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This course is for clinicians (and those about to be) to gain the confidence you need to help circus artists get back to what they love AND build a niche practice that makes you excited to go to work. Approved for 10 hours of CE by the California Physical Therapy Association

Over eight weeks, beginning on May 5, 2021, we will be breaking down what makes circus artists different. We'll touch on everything from how they approach their training and their body, how (and when) they present with injuries, what the most common injuries are, how to assess their circus skills, and how to get them back to training.

The course will be presented in primarily a lecture based format with plenty of time for discussion, Q&A, and of course some light homework.

In addition to the 8 week course, you will get the bonus of meeting and interacting with guest lecturers from complementary fields who know circus bodies and can speak about challenges that are unique to the circus population

AND we will work on building relationships in your community to become a trusted care provider and get clients in the door.


Course Objectives:

1) Participants will understand the circus artist as an athlete and how to engage and enhance credibility with this population

2) Participants will understand the biomechanics of the common circus movements including their effect and stresses on the shoulder, trunk, and hip when moving into and through extreme ranges of motion

3) Participants will learn common patterns of posture, movement, and injury in circus athletes/ artists

4) Participants will be able to recognize movement dysfunctions of the scapula and humerus in true overhead athletes like circus artists

5) Participants will learn about equipment, names of common skills, and learn to speak some of the language of a circus artist

6) Participants will gain an understanding of how circus athletes/ artists perform their core movements and skills to be able to observe these movements and recognize when they might be at risk for injury.

Your Instructor


Dr. Emily Scherb
Dr. Emily Scherb

Dr. Emily Scherb is a physical therapist with a lifelong passion for understanding human movement.

She’s been a practicing aerialist for almost 30 years and has dangled from balloons, danced in the air, and swung from trapezes. That background inspired her to specialize her practice on circus and aerial artists. She has a proven track record of helping patients who have not seen results with traditional physical therapy due to her unique perspective on how the body works both on the ground and in the air.

As an educator, she travels the country teaching circus artists, instructors, and healthcare professionals about the unique physical demands and challenges of training the body to do incredible feats.

She received her graduate degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and now lives in Seattle, where she works with professional and pre-professional circus artists through her positions as Resident Physical Therapist at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts and as the Company Physical Therapist for the contemporary circus company Acrobatic Conundrum.

Her first book, Applied Anatomy of Aerial Artists was released in August 2018


Course Curriculum


  Information you need for our class meetings
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  Information on Guest Lecturers
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  Circus Resource Library
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Frequently Asked Questions


When is the course?
We start on May 5th at 2 pm PDT and continue every week for eight weeks. There will also be special events and guest lecturers throughout the course. All the sessions will be recorded in case you are unable to attend live.
What does the course include?
We will meet up for weekly lectures, Q&A, and great group discussion. There will be guest lectures from experts in related studies who understand circus artists (and growing practices). Resource papers for circus bibliographies, circus vocabulary, and common injuries. AND we will have our own private support community where we can discuss questions and share knowledge.
What if I want to know more?
Reach out! I am always happy to answer questions. [email protected]

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