Chris Gatti

The Academic Acrobat

Handstand teaching

I learned a handstand as a young gymnast, along with most of the standard gymnastics-based strength skills. However, 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 Workshops

I primarily 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.

Check out where Iā€™m teaching in my Events page.

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.

Acrobatic/Circus 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.


Speak with me online for 1 hour and ask about training, coaching, circus life, research, or almost anything else.

Cost: $50

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.

Conferences and Corporate Events

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