Fly Through the Air at the Trapeze School

Let’s Get Physical – May 2017

140
Stacy Peterson hanging from her knees in midflight on the flying trapeze with instructor Rex observing from above.

Want an exciting and motivational tool to incorporate into your current health routine? Maybe you are interested in going out on a limb (or platform) and trying something new?

The Trapeze School New York-Washington DC (TSNY-DC) offers an array of classes that promote movement and health through physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual practices for individuals six years and older. Flying trapeze, silks, static trapeze, trampoline, conditioning, lyra, Spanish web, balancing and acrobatics, straps, and juggling are a good portion of the classes offered. Finding the right class for you should be a breeze.

TSNY-DC’s motto, “Forget fear. Worry about the addiction,” is something students find immensely accurate following the first class.

After a brief safety and introduction discussion, I joined the rest of the flying trapeze class, where I was the first of our newbie group to try the steps we learned on the ground. After I strapped into the safety harness and chalked my hands, I started climbing the ladder to the platform.

About half way up the ladder I began to feel a slight adrenaline rush. A rush I have experienced from time to time with different hobbies and daily life activities, such as hiking mountains with steep dropoffs or climbing a ladder to the top of our three-story Capitol Hill home.

With instructor Raymond’s cues, I positioned myself on the platform by leaning my hips forward and holding onto the trapeze bar. His cues, “Ready … Hup!” echoed in my ears as I responded by jumping off the platform with both arms gripping tightly to the trapeze bar, swinging through the air.

As I swung forward and backward, the next cues came from instructor Rex standing on the ground. She directed me to bring my knees to my chest and feet over the bar, let go of the bar with my hands and dangle upside-down by my legs with arms and waist fully extended. Then Rex guided me to place my hands back on the bar, untuck my knees, and situate myself back into a dangling position. All of this happened within moments before I let go of the bar and landed gently onto the safety nets below.

As the class progressed I was able to incorporate more challenging moves, such as performing a backflip and being caught by instructor Will while in flight. The timing of the cues ensured that the moves occurred as smoothly as possible, and with great success.

One classmate, Suzie, lives in Falls Church and enjoys the flying trapeze classes. They give her time away from life’s regular duties and help remind her to live in the moment. “My next steps are to do the trampoline, which I look forward to as it will help improve my skills,” explained Suzie. “The scariest part when I started was standing on the platform. Once you’re in the air the fear goes away. The critical aspect to the flying trapeze is listening to the instructor’s cues.”

Part of our class consisted of a family of four, with husband, wife, and two daughters, who were participating in their third session. Living on Capitol Hill and in close proximity to the TSNY-DC “made it a simple, must-do event for our family. And we all love different aspects of it, which was an easy shoo-in for us,” explained the husband.

The family’s cheering squad consisted of grandma and grandpa, who were overjoyed to see their youngsters in action. “It’s been a great family bonding experience, watching each perform and improve individually and as a family. And it’s been exciting for us too,” stated grandpa. The youngest, a six-year-old, impressed as her tiny frame glided smoothly from one trick to another.

Jenn, a mother of two children who lives in Baltimore, participated in TSNY-DC four years ago. Shortly after she began the classes, she got married and had two kids. She was advised to take a break from the flying trapeze classes with the little ones in her belly. Now Jenn’s thrilled to be back flying. “It’s definitely addictive. It’s certainly worth giving it a try. I’ve been missing it and wanting to get back at it. I’m glad I’m able to finally do it again!” she said with a smile.

The TSNY-DC tent is inspiring, with a wide range of “toys” to dabble in, helping to advance your various movements. TSNY-DC also offers outdoors classes.

Instructors Will, Rex, and Raymond were amazing teachers who guided each student by providing positive and constructive feedback. Stop by and speak with the friendly and welcoming staff, who would be delighted to find the right class for you.

For more information about the Trapeze School New York-Washington DC go to www.washingtondc.trapezeschool.com or visit at 1299 New Jersey Ave. SE.

Stacy Peterson, M.Sc. Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine, CNS, CHHC, CSCS, is a functional nutritionist, holistic health, wellness and strength and conditioning coach practicing whole-foods nutrition and physical training for individuals of all ages on the Hill. She provides an integrative approach, critical to everyone’s health and performance team, helping individuals reach their health goals. For recipes, nutrition ideas, and exercise tips sign up for her monthly newsletter at www.accelerationsports.net. Connect with Stacy by email, stacy@accelerationsports.net, or call 805-704-7193 for a free 15-minute consultation to ask questions and discuss how she can help you achieve your digestion, overall health, and fitness goals.