Chris Gatti

The Academic Acrobat

Coaching services

I learned a handstand as a young gymnast, along with most of the standard gymnastics-based strength skills, though gymnastics doesn't teach you much beyond that in terms of a handstand. I really began playing with handstands around 2011, while in graduate school, where I became curious about nearly every direction of handbalancing, I played. I explored. I discovered. Aside from the basics I learned in gymnastics, everything I know and everything I teach about handbalancing is self-taught or self-discovered.

I teach based on principles of simplicity and rationale. I give individuals what their body and their mind can grasp, but push them to train at the edge of their abilities, where growth happens. I provide explanations, technical and often philosophical, when necessary or when asked. I'm Socratic in a way; I encourage you to think, to feel, to understand, and to question, and not just to accept. I teach technique and the physical aspects of handstands, though moreover, I guide the body and mind by teaching methodology and a way to handbalancing.

The following lists what services I offer, though I am always open to new ideas. Contact me if you are interested in obtaining more details about any of these services.

Handstand teaching


I teach handstand workshops ranging from individual workshops lasting a few hours on a single day to week-long workshops and intensives. I always have a plan for what I want to teach and present, however, I will tailor my teaching to balance addressing fundamentals, technique, deficiencies, and the interests of the group.

Private Lessons

Working one-on-one or in small groups allows me to take more time than I typically can in a workshop setting in order to guide individuals through questions, struggles, drills, progressions, and training. From what we work on, I provide the individual(s) with guidance moving forward to continue progressing in training.

Short-term coaching

I'm available for short-term coaching contracts, either at circus schools and spaces, gyms and studios, or on shows that are either in creation or are in production.

Speaking engagements


I've spoken to a number of schools in the past few years (grades 1-12), where the topic of interest is often how I went from academia to the circus. In between talking points, I'll demonstrate and speak about handbalancing and what it has done for me. Students are always quite attentive.

Company Talks / Teaching

I'm also available to speak at companies. Topics can be either technical, circus/acrobatic, or a mix of both. I also offer handstand teaching for company events and retreats.