When I blogged a few months ago about experiencing the flying trapeze for the first time in Koh Tao, I didn’t expect to feel a deep passion from within to continue this aerobatic sport. As Pattaya in Thailand does not provide opportunities for this kind of swinging, I grabbed at the chance when holidaying in London throughout July.
In support of the British summertime, Gorilla Circus have rigged up in Regents Park until September and offer 2-hour beginner lessons at a very reasonable £24 for one-off bookings. They cater for up to 10 students in a group, which I thought may hinder the amount of time we would be suspended in mid-air compared to being one of 4 in Koh Tao, but thankfully it didn’t. This is because the instructors were incredibly organised and made sure time was not wasted in between swings.
The trio of trainers available on the day were Brian, Cristoph and Josh who ensured safety, enjoyment and progression were paramount. I was surprised at how much progress was made in 5 swings, as I was only hoping to make the catch.
Firstly, I improved the trick I struggled with a few months ago, the knee hang :
In May, I had difficulty getting my legs and slightly oversized feet up and over the bar – but with some more guidance and training on the ground from Brian, this was quickly rectified.
Then, I went for the knee hang catch (well, I actually acidentilly caught my catcher!)
Those who were then ready to move on were taken off to go through the next trick on the practice bar- the under the bar trapeze split, which myself and another female (a much younger and more agile one) had time to rehearse twice in the air.
Most of the other trapeze enthusiasts were first timers with ages spanning from 8 to 40’s, however the most mature participant at Gorilla Circus was recorded at an impressive 78, showing that age need not hold you back. Another student was taking her 3rd lesson from a pre-booked 4-week course and was perfecting the split routine ready for a catch. All who took part said they would come back and loved their experience, as well as their newly acquired skills and guts to take the first jump.
Even if you are completely inelegant like myself, think you’re not sporty enough or lack the upper body strength, actually none of that actually matters for first time trapezing. Compared to a discipline many of you may be familiar with, I would say that the two routines executed in the trapeze sessions so far were less difficult then some Yoga classes I’ve endured – however yoga coupled with aerobatics is a match made in heaven!
- The flying trapeze by Gorilla Circus is available at Regents Park and Kensington Gardens until September, and an indoor venue thereafter – check out their reviews.