Flying Trapeze (or) Crossed Off the Bucket List

One of the things I have been looking forward to the most about my trip has been exploring a bit of the local circus and vaudeville community. It’s fairly vibrant, I must say.

The night I arrived, I met up with a high school friend of mine who was starring in a wonderfully rendered Indiana Jones themed burlesque. It was a brilliant way of beginning my adventure.

Yesterday, I headed to Emerald City Trapeze School for a drop in lesson on the flying trapeze.

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This is the aerialdrome. It is huge. And they have an observation deck for people to watch and take wonderful photos from.

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The students warmed up and went through ground school before getting strapped into harnesses. We were grinning idiots, as you can see by the photo there.

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The very worst part of this adventure was climbing the ladder up to the platform. It was thin and liked to bow a little with every step. After that, standing on the sturdy platform felt so much safer. One of the instructors hooked us into the harness and held us steady until it was time for the jump command,  or ‘hep’.

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Then you have to trust everything and everyone around you and take the small leap off the platform. It has about the same level of adrenaline and anticipation as jumping off a diving board, only doing this I wasn’t afraid I would belly flop.

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One the first peak, you curl your legs for a knee hang.

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Then, you let go of the bar and arch your back, lifting your head to look at the other end of the net.

Then, you grab the bar, unhook your legs, and hang out for a second. We were doing cannonball back flips to dismount, which sound so much more difficult and look pretty amazing, but with simple physics they were hard to mess up.

The really cool, breathtaking, adrenaline pumping thing we did in the class was to actually let go of the bar to be caught by someone else.

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That happens so suddenly. I went through the moves they had drilled, only at one point there w someone else swinging toward me, he grabbed my wrists and I grabbed his. Without thinking, my legs let go of the bar and I had to trust him to hold me.

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It was pretty unbelievable. At this point, when I realized I had let go of the bar, I was filled with satisfaction and confidence. I was excited and relieved. I started grinning and laughing, before he even let me go for a dismount.

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Everyone in the class was super beginner level. Most of them had no prior circus experience. And most of them reached this level by the end.

Seriously, you need to try this!

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