Jim Donak

For over 40 years Jim has been studying and teaching movement and poise. He has been teaching movement and circus arts since 1980. In additional to teaching at Circus Center he maintains a private practice focusing on physical skill development musculoskeletal healing through the integration of Asian manual therapies, orthopedic and osteopathic bodywork, rehabilitation exercises and teaching related workshops.

Jim Donak instructs the following:
  • All Levels Trampoline
  • In this class students from beginner to advanced develop trampoline skills at their own pace. Students focus on body awareness in space and conditioning with an emphasis on the safe execution of basic and more advanced trampoline skills.

    Each student spends about a quarter of the class active on the trampoline with direct instructor supervision, and spends the rest of the class learning and participating in exercises to build strength and stamina. More advanced students focus on the safe execution of inverted moves. This class is highly recommended for flying trapeze students hoping to master in-air tricks.
    No Prerequisite

  • Handstand 1
  • Building on skills learned in Intro to Handstand class, this class encourages students to explore a wider variety of handstands including planks, one-handed handstands, headstands, and handstand pushups.

    Students continue to build strength and stamina through conditioning exercises and hands-on, student-specific coaching. Students interested in hand-to-hand acrobatics will find Handstand 1 class to be particularly helpful in developing their balance and strength.


    Prerequisite: Instructor Approval. Approval can take several days and can be obtained 3 different ways, instructions can be found here:



  • Intro to Handstand
  • This class introduces students to the three pillars of handstand— “thinner, lighter, more alive”—by practicing the basic handstand form. Students focus on conditioning and flexibility exercises to strengthen the arms and upper body, and on techniques to improve balance and stamina. In addition to students interested in acrobatics, many aerial students find this class to provide complementary training of the upper body that is useful on aerial apparatus.

  • Bending Backwards
  • In this class students develop the back bending skills that are crucial for acrobatic excellence.
    Students increase strength, stability and range of motion as they practice inversions, limbers, walkovers, tumbling, partner acrobatics and more. A hands-on coaching method combined with dynamic exercises allows students to achieve back flexibility and strength more quickly.
    Recommended Prerequisite: 30-second handstand against a wall; a pushup to bridge with 30 sec hold

  • Premium Trampoline
  • This class has the same focus and covers the same types of skills as All Levels Trampoline, but with a maximum of 3 students, there is more time for the student to receive individualized, student-specific coaching.

    Students increase body awareness in space and build strength while learning safe execution of trampoline tricks and skills. More advanced students find this class allows them to reach their training goals more quickly, and flying trapeze students in particular find this to be highly beneficial complementary training.
    No Prerequisite


  • Physical Limitation Elimination
  • Designed for those who wish to increase functional range of motion as quickly as possible, this class challenges the student to strengthen the anatomical structures that provide control and stability in the student’s maximum range.

    This is an excellent stand-alone class and is essential for those who want to excel in their acrobatic training. Physical Limitation Elimination emphasizes injury-free training techniques that deliver the most effective results.

    No Prerequisite