Neil Singleton experiences the freedom of flying through the air and the thrill of making a catch
This experience is perfect for a fun-filled, one-off activity for all the family, or if you get hooked, you can build up your strength and skills through regular classes. Flying trapeze classes go for 1½ hours, are open to anyone over the age of five and cater to all fitness and skill levels. Everyone will get several swings before attempting a catch. Tricks you can learn include the beginner’s knee hang through to the more complex and gravity-defying double somersault.
So this was always going to be interesting for me. I’m not a fan of heights and swinging through the air like a monkey in the jungle was slightly daunting.
The final move is more testing. This time we rub chalk onto our wrists and one of the instructors is sat waiting like a canary on another swing at the opposite end of the trapeze frame.
Will, Ted and Ash were our three instructors. Each of them had a very calm, upbeat nature, all the while being attentive to safety and making sure we were enjoying ourselves with constructive feedback where needed.
First up we started off with some stretching to get the blood pumping – as if mine wasn’t already – and then it was over to the ground trapeze trial run. Then next minute we’re off to face the daunting, 10-meter-high metal structure.
Will clipped the harness onto the already-fastened belt around my middle and I started to ascend – and up I went, all the way to the top. I could hear the birds tweeting and I was feeling a bit giddy as a voice said, “Step over!” and I stepped onto the board.
More harnesses and safety checks, then Ash held my belt from behind and asked me to lean forward. This defies everything your body knows and wants to do and I’ll be honest was probably the hardest part of the day. You’re putting your complete trust in a stranger to support you with the massive fear that you are going to fall – even with the safety net below, you’re not entirely reassured.
We get to do a couple more swings, and each time we progress the difficulty of the moves. The second one we add a backflip off the bar before landing on the net.
The final move is more testing. This time we rub chalk onto our wrists and one of the instructors is sat waiting like a canary on another swing at the opposite end of the trapeze frame. The closing act sees us letting our legs come off the bar as we’re grabbed and held by the instructor.
All in all I was really surprised at how much we achieved in such a short period of time and how smooth the training and coaching was. A great adventure that can be done as a couple, group or simply flying solo.
Neil experienced Circus Art, which costs $60 for 1 class, which is 1½ hours long. 5 classes are $195, 10 classes $360, and 15 classes $495.
By Neil Singleton
t: 0412 402 742
a: Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre