If you’ve spent time at the The Yards in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, chances are you’ve seen the big bluish-gray, hangar-like structure with a trapeze apparatus next to it, possibly even with people swinging back and forth performing aerial stunts. It’s pretty impressive, and you can’t help but stop and watch what look like daring feats and challenges on swings and in the air.
This is Trapeze School New York – DC, and guess what? You and your kids can do this! I have yet to try it, but both of my kids have flown. Sasha actually soared for the first time a few years ago at a birthday party, and she and Owen both had opportunities to go recently — he joined a birthday celebration, and her class was a holiday gift that she finally redeemed.
Sasha and her friend Gabe took the Flying Trapeze class together earlier this summer while my friend Torey and I watched. Besides our kids, about eight other people were signed up for the same two-hour session, participants ranging in age from about seven years old to a 30-something adult. A few had flown before, and some were just beginning, but it looked like everyone was having a great time. Per their sign-up page: “Our program is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of people. Whether you are athletic or not, afraid or not, ready or not, we are committed to creating a fun and safe flying environment.” And they really do!
They started by teaching the students how to fly while they were still on the ground. The instructors demonstrated the positions and explained how they would call out when it was time to move to the next step — when to grab the bar, bring legs up, look back, let go and drop, etc. Then they outfitted the first flyer with the harness attached to the trapeze apparatus, and it was time to soar.
Many of the students caught on pretty quickly, and it was fun to watch them swing through the air, hanging from the bar by their knees, then bringing their legs over their heads, before they dropped to the net below. Everyone looked like they had a feeling of accomplishment after each turn — and like they were having a blast.
After practicing that stunt many times, they moved on to catching. One of the instructors hung by his knees from another bar as both he and the student swung at the same time. When he called out the move, the student would let go of their bar as they swung his way, reach out for him, and he’d catch them. It was pretty impressive to watch!
There is a seating area where an audience can observe the class — it was mostly parents watching their kids. And there is a TV monitor playing video of the class, so students can see how they did after their turns.
Needless to say, Sasha loved the class. Owen also had a blast at the birthday party (though I wasn’t there for it), and both kids have asked to go again. I’ll oblige, though probably for a special occasion — Flying Trapeze classes are $50/person — and next time, I plan to join, too!
Trapeze School New York – DC is located in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood near Yards Park, at the corner of New Jersey Ave SE & Tingey St SE. They offer a variety of classes for ages six and up as well as birthday parties. I have friends who have done this as a date night and girls’ night out, too. Class prices vary, but as noted the Flying Trapeze is $50, plus there is a lifetime registration fee of $10.