Workshops and Events

Dr. Emily Scherb educates circus artists in how to correctly train their bodies to be strong and mobile while limiting injury. She teaches practical workshops that are accessible for recreational and performing artists, provides deeper instruction in teacher trainings, and explores the science of circus-specific movement biomechanics with medical and healthcare professionals.

In her trainings, you will learn how the body can accomplish amazing circus skills, what good form looks like, and why using good form is the best way to stay safe and build skills.

Each of these workshops is tailored to her audience and their desired outcome: gaining skills and mobility, understanding and correcting form, identifying movement pattern dysfunctions, or getting injured artists back to training.

Types of Trainings

Performing Artists

Learn how the body works and improve your exercise and training plans, while preventing injury.

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Teacher Trainings

Learn the “why” behind how you teach. Understand the bio-mechanics and purpose of circus-specific pathways and movements. Explore injury prevention and how to use training plans to help your students succeed.

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Medical & Healthcare Professionals

Learn about this growing patient niche and their specific needs. Speak the language of aerial artists and gain their confidence by understanding common movement faults and treatment cues.

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Don’t see a date or location that works for you? Contact Emily for details on setting up a course near you.

Upcoming Workshops & Events

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Aug 21, 2018 | 7-9pm

Book Launch and Pre-Sale

Third Place Books Ravenna, Seattle

Join Emily in advance of the release of her new book and be the first to have a copy of the only anatomy book specifically for aerialists.

Oct 4, 2018 | Full-day workshop

Work With Your Body: Practical Anatomy for Aerial Artists

Sky Gym in Atlanta, GA

A special Aerial Anatomy workshop for the day before the American Circus Educators conference. The level of this course will be adjusted for the needs and interests of those in attendance.

How do I get more flexible?

How do I achieve that next level of skill?

How do I build the strength to do that cool trick?

How do I stop getting hurt when I train?

This full-day class answers the questions that aerialists ask most often and helps them learn how to work with your body, rather than against it. We’ll talk about how your shoulders, core, and hips work together to move you through space, and how the right biomechanics can help you stretch further and be functionally stronger.

Most important, we’ll talk about how to train to your limits without getting hurt.

Based on the latest research and lots of practical, circus-specific examples, this class will help you understand your body—and your training—in a whole new way.

Oct 5, 2018

American Circus Educators Conference

Decatur, GA

Emily will be educating the educators at this biennial event. She will be focusing on the anatomy and coordination specific to circus performers to ensure performance longevity and to reduce injury.

Oct 7, 2018 | Full Day

Movement Analysis and Treatment of Aerial Artists: The Hanging Athlete

NYC area, TBD

In this continuing education course for healthcare professionals, we will look at the bio-mechanics of the shoulder related to this unique population of athletes through a movement system perspective. During the course we will review and analyze common movements that circus performers perform from hanging and handstands to pull ups, inversions, and skin the cats. With each we will learn to recognize compensatory patterns and risks for injury. You will learn how to enhance your connection to these patients through knowledge of basic vocabulary and observing circus artists in action.

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 shoulder when it is moving into an overhead position and with hanging
  3. Participants will learn common patterns of posture, movement, and injury in hanging athletes/aerialists
  4. Participants will be able to recognize movement dysfunctions of the scapula and humerus in a hanging athlete/ aerialist
  5. Participants will observe circus aerialists and 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 hanging athletes/ aerialists invert, pull up, and skin the cat to be able to observe these movements with a knowledgeable eye to recognize when they might be at risk for injury.

Course Outline

Circus Artist as an Athlete and a Patient

  • History and growth of circus in the US
  • Demographics of participants – Enhancing credibility
  • Taking a history from a circus performer

Common Injuries and Contributing Factors

  • Overview of injury rates in current literature and experience
  • Biomechanical and Psychosocial factors

Equipment and Vocabulary

  • Observing at a circus school
  • Familiarization with equipment and skill names and performance Shoulder Biomechanics
  • Anatomy and biomechanics of the shoulder girdle and trunk with overhead movements and grips related to circus aerial performance

Aerial Skills Breakdown

  • Hanging, Climbing, Inversion variations, Skin the Cat, Front Balance
  • Recognition of common movement dysfunctions with these aerial skills and how they relate to shoulder biomechanics and movement impairments or compensations

Treatment for Common Aerial Movement Dysfunctions

  • Sample Evaluation
  • Exercises, cues, and patient education for correction of common movement impairments in aerial circus artists

Oct 8, 2018 | 10 am - 6 pm

Work With Your Body: Practical Anatomy for Aerial Artists

The Muse, Brooklyn NY

How do I get more flexible?

How do I achieve that next level of skill?

How do I build the strength to do that cool trick?

How do I stop getting hurt when I train?

This full-day class answers the questions that aerialists ask most often and helps them learn how to work with your body, rather than against it. We’ll talk about how your shoulders, core, and hips work together to move you through space, and how the right biomechanics can help you stretch further and be functionally stronger.

Most important, we’ll talk about how to train to your limits without getting hurt.

Based on the latest research and lots of practical, circus-specific examples, this class will help you understand your body—and your training—in a whole new way.

Past Workshops

Feb 25, 2018 – Fly Circus Space – A full day of learning the “WHY” of aerial arts. Understanding the why behind the form and technique used in aerial training including, hanging, hollow bodies, inversions, and high level skills. The anatomy of the body holds the answers. Broken into three sessions, hip, shoulder and injury prevention this will be one day of packed learning!

Jul 9, 2017 – Sky Gym – A six hour immersive anatomy workshop for aerial artists. Prevent injury and improve performance by understanding how your body moves. Work with your body as you uncover how the shoulders, core, and hips interact to move you through space, support your weight, and achieve greater flexibility through proper mechanics.

Apr 9, 2017 – Evaluation and Treatment of Circus Artists – A 4 hour course for physical therapists and other health practitioners during which we will analyze common movements in circus arts from hanging to inversions and skin the cat. Participants will learn to recognize compensations and ways to treat clients before these patterns turn into injuries.

Apr 8, 2017 – Esh Circus Arts – A two session course at Esh Circus Arts with a focus on injury prevention and anatomy of the hip and shoulder.

Dec 11, 2016 – Perform Forever: From Hanging to Handstands – Right here in SEATTLE! Do you swing through the air or stand on your hands? You can prevent injury and improve performance by understanding how your body moves. Work with your body as you uncover how the shoulders, core, and hips interact to move you through space, support your weight, and achieve greater flexibility through proper mechanics.

Aug 2016 – Cirque School LA – Anatomy and injury prevention education for Cirque School LA’s instructors and intensive students.

Nov 6-9, 2014 – CircusFest Vancouver – Emily will be speaking to circus performers in Vancouver about their anatomy, how it adapts to the unique stresses of circus arts, and how they can stay injury free.

Sep 2014 – Aloft Loft – Anatomy education for Aloft’s full time students and staff.

Jan 10, 2014 – Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival – Emily Scherb spoke on functional anatomy for aerialists as part of lectures organized by Circus Now.

Aug 16, 2012 – American Youth Circus Organization Educators Convention 2012 – FUNctional Anatomy: A lecture for circus educators from around the country on the anatomy of a circus performer and the relationship of anatomical form and function.