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Coney Island Sideshow School Teaches Students A Special Set Of Skills

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A handful of wanna-be freaks are learning a new set of skills this week at the Coney Island Sideshow School.

The students will learn the basics of fire-eating and more over three days.

"They'll learn how to eat fire, how to swallow swords, how to hammer nails into their face, how to walk on glass, lay on a bed of nails, stick their hand in an animal trap, their tongue in a mouse trap and the secrets of the blade box illusion," said the school's dean Adam Rinn, who attended the school in its second year 15 years ago.

While some of them are just looking for a new party trick, Rinn said it takes a lot of practice and knowledge to do many of the stunts.

"Everything that we teach is real. There's no magic, there's no trickery. There's technique, a lot of it has to do with anatomy, with science, with physics," Rinn said. "If you know what's going on inside your body and you're comfortable putting yourself in a position where you're going to be a little uncomfortable then you'll do fine."

One student came all the way from Washington, D.C. to possibly enhance her current act.

"I'm also in a horror metal band so I was like, 'We could use this I think,'" she said.

Sierra Clark came from Walkill with a particular interest.

"I really hope to learn in depth about sword swallowing, that seems to be my favorite," Clark said.

The course costs $1,000.

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