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It was Frenchman Jules Leotard who introduced to the world, two iconic things: the performance art known as “flying trapeze,” and the traditional flier’s costume, aka ‘80s aerobics fashion trend called the “leotard.”
Here in Manila, we have William Hsu, or simply Will to students, to thank for finally giving many of us a chance to “fly,” and experience that literal “high” from at least above 20 feet above ground. Flying Trapeze Philippines arrived in thriving Taguig only last July 31, through its close partnership with the Bonifacio Global City office.
The move: Prior to getting tossed out there, newbie flyers are required to take a two-hour class where instructors teach the fundamentals, standard cues and safety measures to beginners. They also learn proper body mechanics: “For example, when setting up on the platform, a flyer must stand with feet at shoulder-width, with the toes hanging slightly over the edge. The right hand should reach forward towards the fly bar, and the left hand should be extended behind—this is your starting position,” explains Hsu.
Traditionally in trapeze, a flyer mounts a narrow platform after climbing a tall ladder, and then takes off on the cue of either the instructor or catcher. Momentum and gravity has the flyer swinging a few times until he or she can swing his or her legs over the bar (a trick called a knee hang), or be propelled towards the hands of the catcher. Once in the catcher’s hands, the flyer continues swinging and is thrust back to the fly bar in a fancy maneuver called a “return.” “This is one of many aerial tricks a participant can learn and try to do later on,” says Hsu.
Investment: Open swings start at PHP200 for one hour. A full two-hour class on weekdays for five slots costs PHP1000, while evening ones for 7 slots are at PHP1200 for the full two hours. For more details, visit www.trapeze.ph, or call +63917 242 0331 for bookings and or reservations.
Takeaway: “Building trust is obviously one of them. Especially between the catcher and flyer, but being able to do a trick is where true fulfilment is felt. He or she will get that sense of thrill and rush after having achieved a trick,” Hsu says. It doesn’t matter how fit or strong you are when doing trapeze, because you’ll always get to a trick that will challenge [you] like performing a knee hang (legs over the bar), or making a grab mid-air (the catcher’s or flyer’s hands). It’s a great alternative to the usual workout drills, plus that feeling of finally being able to do a trick is priceless.”
Tips first-time flyers must regard:
1. Listen to your instructors and their cues.
2. Dress appropriately, wearing socks and clothes that won’t “fly” (yes, unwarranted exposure) with you. This means wearing comfortably fitted clothes.
3. Do not feel pressured to perform. Enjoy swinging and getting the “hang” of it before attempting any tricks.
4. Breathe easy to relax the body before flying and while in flight.
5. Respect the performers who are concentrating by not making distracting noises.
Location: Until mid-2015, the Flying Trapeze Philippines tent or setup will be at 34th Street, cor 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
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