Sideshow School and Burlesque Master Class

Learn from the Best - 2017 Classes

Learn Ancient Skills from the Very Best in the Business! Have you ever dreamed of running away with the circus? Did anyone ever call you a freak? Well, now's your chance to become one! At Coney Island USA's Sideshow School, you can learn how to hammer a 20-penny nail right into your skull and then paint a banner trumpeting your new career! 

Sideshow Skills - You'll work with Professa Adam Realman to learn the ins and outs of the working acts of the sideshow. The complete list of acts taught: The Basics of Fire Eating and Breathing, Human Blockhead, The fundamentals of Sword Swallowing, Bed of Nails, Stunts with Various Traps, Glass Walking, Blade Box, Electric Chair, Snake Charming.

2017 classes:
Tuesday, August 22, 10:00am - 3:00pm
Wednesday, August 23, 9:00am - 3:00pm
Thursday, August 24, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Tuition: $1250,  Click here to register.

For inquiries about the class, email adam(at) YOU MUST BE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER TO ATTEND THE SIDESHOW SKILLS SESSION. This class is limited to 10 students to ensure proper student to instructor ratio. Deadline for registration is August 1. The Coney Island Sideshow School reserves the right to cancel this session, if a minimum of five students, are not registered by the deadline. Registered students will be notified if the session is cancelled and a full refund will be issued. 

Classes in individual skills will not be offered. You must sign up for the entire session.

Burlesque Master Class - There is no other burlesque class like this in the world, and it happens only once a year!

Led by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque and Author of The Burlesque Handbook, this class features a team of burlesque's finest performers and Coney Island legends helping you craft your burlesque routine from day one.

You'll start workshopping ideas a routine in the very first class, learning how to come up with a number in the style of Coney Island Burlesque. Burlesque at the Beach is the longest-running burlesque show in the world, and it has produced performers who are famous and infamous all over the world. Plus, you'll conclude your series with a performance on the legendary Coney Island USA stage!

You'll learn burlesque movement and persona, and how to layer burlesque with skills and passions you already have. Every week you'll get to talk about where you are with your number and how to get it to the next level, supported by expert instructors and your classmates, in a fun and positive environment.

We have always and will continue to feature the best-known performers in the world in the Coney Island Master Class. Confirmed guest instructors include Dirty Martini (Voted #1 Burlesque Performer in the World in 21st Century Burlesque's international poll), Fancy Feast (Miss Coney Island, Co-Producer with Zoe Zeigfield of the F*ck You Revue), Fem Appeal (Creator of Kitty Nights and Legendary Nerdlesque Headliner), Gal Friday (International Performer, Miss Coney Island, and one of the most In-Demand Performers in NYC), Tiger Bay (Miss Coney Island 2017), and Tigger!(Boylesque King and International Boylesque Headliner)! You will get hands-on help directly from your heroes.

Send questions about payment and registration to

Send questions about the class to

Summer 2017 Class
6:30pm-9:30pm - July 12, 19, 26, August 2, 9, 16; showcase August 24
Tuition $295. Click here to register.

Banner Painting 
2017 classes - TBA. You'll work with our artist-in-residence Marie Roberts, Coney Island Legacy and the only traditional banner painter working in Coney Island today, and discuss in the history and theory of Sideshow banners, while designing and executing your own. For inquiries, email: Marie Roberts bitterwonder(at)

All students must sign a "hold harmless" agreement to be distributed at the start of the first session. Please see each course description for details.

Watch a video about Sideshow School, from Seen in NY, below!

Sideshow Skills Testimonials:

"I have been so void and sick without your class, and ever since I left, my Tuesday life has no purpose. The sideshow by far and forward will be the most interesting thing I will do with my life! So somewhere you can find it in your heart to know, you’re responsible for giving me such the cool outlook, and what a time we had. I’m also thinking of taking the class again. I’ve been doing the human blockhead amazingly; it’s the most progressive act I’ve gotten into. For a brief period in my life, you've shown me the best, most interesting way I could be a hell of a lot powerful by being all-knowing of a craft. And people, people like me, do not forget that!!" Ariel K.

"Big thanks to you, Adam for being an amazing teacher! My only complaint about the class is that it has to end." Holly N.

"The class was so awesome. I had a great time; I pushed my limits, stretched my boundaries and really was inspired. You are a really terrific teacher. If I were your boss I would give you a raise. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to us all." Maxinne L.