CYR WHEEL WORKSHOPMan on Cyr Wheel performs a routine | Circus Center

Discover the Cyr Wheel! Learn beginning technical moves on the Cyr Wheel, that will lay the groundwork for more advanced skills. After learning how to gain a good sense of balance, beginners can explore the feelings and sensations of the wheel spinning up, down and around. Intermediate students can put together small sequences learning how to seamlessly link them together. Advanced students can work on more technical moves, and those looking for act creation or ideas for a routine can work on different parts of their act, rehearse with their music and even in their own costumes. It is recommended that students be between 5 & 1/2 feet and 6 & 1/2 feet tall to effectively work with the Cyr Wheels we have available.

This workshop is geared to all levels and ages between 13 and 65 years old.

Jacob Haslem | Cyr Wheel Workshop | Circus CenterAbout the Instructor

Jacob Haslem began competitive sports at the age of 8, taking up soccer, wrestling, hockey, & snowboarding. In high school, he found team gymnastics & cheerleading, competing on floor and vault at a state level, and helping to catapult his cheerleading team to the Nationals. He also began to explore his passion for self expression, performing swing and breakdancing.

After leaving his hometown of Chicago, Jacob took up acting and filmmaking and was soon working as an actor. He studied yoga stretching techniques and meditation next, and on finding circus in 2012, was able to merge his gymnastics background and his love for dancing and acting all into one. He continually searches for different ways of self expression through the language of movement.

These days Jacob’s focus is more on educating others and sharing what he has learned about health and fitness over the years, but he still feeds his passion performing regularly with The Vau De Vire Society as a Character Performer and Cyr Wheel Artist.

Thursday May 25th, 2017 | SOLD OUT 
From 6:30 pm to 8:30pm 
$65 - All sales are final

FROM 4:30 PM TO 6:30PM


Each day students will take 2 classes, totaling 3-5 training hours.
Classes will be held between 12 - 9. Class times will vary from day to day.

Monday: Injury Prevention and Contortion
Tuesday: Hand Balancing and Acrobatics
Wednesday: Contortion and Specialty Workshops
Thursday: Acrobatics and Active Flexibility
Friday: Semi-Privates and Hand Balancing/Conditioning

Note: Most days will also have open gym time scheduled.


Dates: June 4 – 30, 2017
Applications and video submissions due by February 3
Acceptances will go out February 17th.
Ages 16 and up
Cost: $2400
Limited space. Students must be accepted in order to attend.


March 3: Deadline for $500 non-refundable deposit
April 14: Deadline for remaining balance


Is this program suitable for beginners?

Short answer, no. This program is designed for students who have had previous flexibility or contortion training. That said, everyone is encouraged to apply!

Why don't you have a minimum skill level?

Everyone's body is different. Some skills that are considered standard contortion skills might be hard for certain people because of body type/proportions, training experience, etc. I don't want to discourage people to apply because of body type. We do hope that everyone who applies is able to go in and out of a chest stand relatively easily though.

Do I need to find my own housing, or will housing be provided?

You are responsible for finding your own housing. There are resources on this website, or you can ask the circus community as there are usually people looking to sublet their rooms during the month of June.

Is there an age limit?

Technically no. The program is designed more for students 16-30, but you will not be turned away solely based on age if you are over that. (Every past intensive has had at least 2 people over 30)



JUNE 4 - 30, 2017

Unlike anything offered in the US, this four-week intensive not only increases students' flexibility and knowledge in Mongolian contortion, but develops and creates well-rounded performers. The first three weeks will focus on perfecting technique, developing personalized tools, and learning new skills to add to students' repertoires, as well as weekly workshops. These speciality workshops will deal with nutrition, character development, resumes, and helping students navigate the professional circus world upon completion. The final week will focus primarily on developing an act for each individual student which will then be presented in a final showcase on the last day of the intensive. Any budding contortionists looking to enhance their technique while gaining knowledge of this business would significantly benefit from this intensive.

If you have any questions, you can contact our instructor Catie Brier at



Catie Brier | Senior Faculty | Circus Center

Catie has been a resident of San Francisco for over 11 years. She began her training at Dance and Circus Arts of Tampa Bay over 17 years ago, where she studied dance and contortion. During her time there she trained under choreographer Debra Brown and contortionist Laurence Racine. Upon moving to San Francisco she started training with Master Lu Yi at Circus Center. She went on to train with Mongolian contortionist Serchmaa Byamba and began performing all around the United States. She’s been seen performing with companies such as Quixotic Fusion, Circus Bella, Trapeze World and New Pickle Circus. Throughout her career Catie has developed a passion for not only teaching the art of contortion but also inspiring people to push the limits of their bodies. Over the last few years Catie has developed a thriving and entirely unique contortion program at Circus Center. This will be her 4th year directing the Contortion Intensive since establishing it in 2013.



"It may sound cliche but Catie's Contortion Intensive changed my entire life. Before the Intensive, I was never quite sure how to train in order to make progress both safely and timely. That's not to say that progress always comes quickly in contortion, but with Catie's experience, knowledge, and hands-on guidance I was far more successful than I ever was on my own. 

The Intensive was incredibly well organized with just enough training to keep me focused and making progress but also keep me injury free. In addition to the alternating training and recovery time, there were many other great classes, like dance and acrobatics, that built onto and improved my contortion practice and performance.

All of the classes in the Contortion Intensive were small and specific to my training needs, which allowed me to set my own goals based on my ability, and made me feel like I could accomplish them. Not only did this makes for an excellent training experience, but it also incorporated me into a surprisingly supportive, loving, and motivating circus community. It was like I discovered the family I never had, but always dreamed of!"

- 2015 Contortion Intensive graduate. 

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