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WikiProject Circus (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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Definitions of Flexibility Positions?[edit]

- I have an idea to advance this page. Adding a section that names some of the more common contortioning poses and including pictures. I am aware of copy right laws and so I could perform many of the poses myself. I made a guide here it already includes most of the main balance, flexibility, and strength poses, along with pictures, names of the flexibility position, and definitions of the specific position. I made it all by myself just by researching and putting all the information together.

Quite a few of those flexibility pics are of me and I could do even more than I provided pics for. I think the resolution would be a bit big, so I'm thinking 320 x 240 jpg format would be better for this article. If you like this idea please tell me. I am not positive that all of the definitions are accurate or the names are precise so you could help me with that. I'm hoping some other contortion fans will see this and let me know what you think. If I get no reply from anyone in a few days, I'll probably do it without anyone's consent haha. Jamesters 07:46, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Several years ago, I had already compiled this Contortion Glossary, and I found there is often little consistency between disciplines as to what a pose should be called (which would determine the title of the article), and the variations that are allowed before you call it something else. This is understandable, since contributions come from gymnastics, acrobatics, yoga, cheerleading, and many types of dance including ballet, breakdancing and novelty dances, which all have their own standards. Unless the project attracts a variety of medical and dance experts, these articles may not become more than dictionary definitions, so perhaps the project should start on Wiktionary. To get people in a wide variety of disciplines to help, one may choose to start a WikiProject with a title such as WikiProject:Human skills and poses. GUllman 01:01, 27 May 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone know if there is a specific age range for being a contortionist? Like, you have to stop in your 20s or something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

One can be a contoritionalist as long as one wants, but can lose their flexibility as they age. Libaments or something never shrink once stretched, one can retire as a contortionist but may be able to as a past time activity. Probably 40-ish they may get old for professional contortionist,stopping at 20 years old is way to young..... -- (talk) 22:31, 11 November 2011 (UTC)


Over on the Talk:Autocunnilingus page, there's a fair bit of disagreement over whether this is possible. As far as I can tell from the displays on contortionist pages like yours, it shouldn't be impossible, but we can't find any pictures of that deep a frontbend. Backbends seem to go that far, but not frontbends. I'd appreciate your opinion on this, and anyone else's you can get. Black Carrot 02:44, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Ya, I've seen that article haha. And out of all the female contortionists I've seen, none of them get quite close enough that they'd be able to do it. So sorry, but I don't think I could help out with that article since I have seen no convincing picture of a female that could do it. :-( Jamesters 20:44, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The Mechanics of Contortion[edit]

I wanted to know how the spine actually moves to allow for this-has anyone come across any animated gifs or something? A section showing why their spine is different would help. LinuxSneaker 11:33, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The only animation I have seen like this was a computer animated skeleton of a contortion act in the documentary "Body Benders" that was on The Learning Channel in 2001, but it was never made available on video or DVD. Otherwise, I have only seen x-rays and MRI scans taken of the spine [1]. GUllman 23:30, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Effects of Contortion[edit]

i was wondering if there are any positive or negative after-affects to long term contortionists. (i.e. increased or decreased risk of arthritis, etc.) are there any such studies or incidental evidence available? (talk) 04:52, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Whether someone will develop arthritis or other problems in old age depends upon which medical condition is the cause of flexibility, not whether someone performs as a contortionist. Contortionists are generally extremely healthy people, and most have been able to do bendy tricks into old age. According to online postings by trainers, their strength training helps keep their joints stable, and stretching to the maximum promotes the thickening of cartilage, which prevents arthritis. GUllman (talk) 16:28, 12 July 2008 (UTC)


the article mentions that contortionists have an "unusual natural" flexibility. there is no citation there. is there any hard clinical evidence that contortionists fall into a particular category of inherent flexibility? is there anything to disprove that it's strictly training, practice, and patience? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phospholipid (talkcontribs) 04:40, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

This issue is expanded in more detail in the paragraph, Myth: You are either born a contortionist or you are not. I am not aware of any clinical surveys involving enough contortion performers to claim accurate statistics, but there have been studies of flexibility in other fields, and at least one anecdotal article each in which a contortionist claimed they either had always been that flexible and never had to warm up, or that they were naturally very stiff and credit their flexibility to their trainer. (Citations forthcoming.) Until there is further research, or contributions from an expert with access to research that this article's contributors are not aware of, one can only say that both categories do exist, but it seems reasonable to me that most performers near the top of their field would not rely on either natural ability or training alone for maximum performance. GUllman (talk) 22:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Removing Unsubtantiated Claims[edit]

I think it is time to remove unsubstantiated claims in this article. In particular, the myths section, while it might make good copy, is not that helpful in providing useful information. -Nova —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:25, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Including information about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome[edit]

I think it would be helpful to give a reference to give more information about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome... Though considered "rare" it is more likely that it is just under-diagnosed & misunderstood. Most Doctors don't properly examine a patient for EDS until they exhibit major symptoms since it is considered "rare." Please visit for more information about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome & the devastating effects it has on the lives of those who suffer with it.

Other Connective Tissue Disorders, such as Marfan Syndrome, Stickler Syndrome, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, etc., can also cause hypermobility as well as other symptoms commonly seen in EDS.

(Info. contributed by an EDS patient, who has always been "double-jointed" or "hypermobile.") — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:12, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Removal of Unreferenced Material[edit]

There is far too much unreferenced material in this article including but not limited to the 'Myths' section and the number of so called 'notable' contortionists. If this is not changed I will remove the material or add necessary tagsRobynthehode (talk) 19:54, 22 December 2014 (UTC)