Trapeze (Circus School)

Trapeze High

One of the highlights of many circus performances or Cirque du Soleil shows continues to be the acrobatic displays on the trapeze swing.  Spectators “ooh” and “aah” while these acrobats soar from swing to swing during these performances much like “Tinkerbell”.  Looking to explore and experience the art of “trapeze”, I headed out to the Escondido area to Trapeze High to put my non-acrobatic skills to the test.

As I arrived at Trapeze High about 15 minutes before my scheduled class time, there seemed to be some confusion with some of the staff as the class size was larger than normal.  Even though there were some scheduling conflicts, the staff mobilized and adapted to the situation to make the best of the afternoon.  Wasting no time, Dave took the entire class to the training area where he gave a detailed description of what to expect, words to listen for (listo, ready and hep), the overall format and reminder to always look at your hands.  After every student ran through a scenario, it was time to climb the ladder and take a swing on the trapeze.

Trapeze Swing - Trapeze High

Trapeze Swing - Trapeze High

Trapeze Practice Swing

The platform at the top of the trapeze is not the biggest area in the world but the staff members were there for safety and any additional questioning.  My first jump was a bit scary not knowing what to expect but the first swing’s purpose was to understand the swing and how to land on the net.  Safety concern is #1 on Trapeze High’s list as there was never a dangerous landing as someone is always controlling your height position through a rope and harness.

Trapeze Practice Area

Trapeze Practice Area

After the first swing, we were told to move to another training area where Dave instructed us on different moves.  Men and women were instructed on 2 different moves to practice before taking our trapeze skills to the next level of being caught in the air by a catcher (instructor).

Trapeze Knee Hang with Catcher

The instructor briefed us on hand position and how to fall into the net before climbing up into the other trapeze.  Putting practice to the ultimate test, I jumped off the platform, worked myself into the knee hang position and prepared myself to be caught mid air by the catcher.

Trapeze with Catcher

Successfully completing the previous move, I decided I would try the other move I was taught and climb up the ladder.  This move was more difficult to execute in my opinion, as your hands never leave the trapeze bar until the catcher yells “hep”.  I was not successful in completing this move but got a great taste of life as a trapeze artist or wannabe.

I had a great time at Trapeze High and look forward to another possible go in the near future.  Trapeze High does not have a gym appeal to it but a homey feel as the school is located in Dave’s (the owner) backyard.  Be sure to bring socks as they are required and workout pants that cover the backs of your knees are highly recommended as well.

We as San Diegans should feel honored to have this unusual activity available to us in our county, as there are not many trapeze schools open in the United States.  Dave mentioned to me that there are probably no more than 30 schools throughout the United States that offer the same trapeze experience as his school.  These schools have to be approved by some governing body stating they conform to certain safety regulations.  Knowing that Dave has been in business over 11 years at this same location, I felt completely safe in Dave and his staff’s hands the entire class.


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