Trapeze School

TSNY - Los Angeles
370 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
TSNY-LA on Facebook

Type: Outdoors, Beach Activity
Category: Recreation
Company: Fearless Date, Fearless Friends, Fearless Visitors
Cost: $47-$65 (time of day dictates fluctuation) plus a one-time registration fee of $22/2-hour group class

Quick-Rec: Not for those afraid of heights, and probably not the best idea for those with back problems. Everyone else - TRY IT. It's absolutely exhilarating (on the scale of sleep to skydiving it's probably somewhere in the middle), not as scary as it looks, and you will surprise yourself at how quickly you will pick up each skill - so fast that you might hear yourself entertaining the idea of quitting your job and running away to join the circus.

Tip: Sign up for the earliest class of the day during the week to snag the cheapest price and best experience - when I went in the morning the class did not fill to capacity, and my group mates were all experienced Flyers which meant that my turn came around quickly (my friend, Maria, who did TSNY in New York mentioned that her class was full of newbies and it took twice as long to get through the rotation because - well - people tend to hesitate at first when "in a harness, up-high")

Like most "inflexible, tall, and a pinch uncoordinated" adults, the promise of being able to do a "knee-hang-catch-release and FLY with the instructor" by the end of a two-hour class sounds - well - preposterous.

But I've been wrong before. Maybe there's something about the location - smack dab in the middle of the Santa Monica Pier - or maybe it's the view from up top the ladder (panorama of the entire coast) - but whatever it is, no matter how big or tall or old or stiff you are, by the end of the two-hour trapeze class you will be a Flyer.

Don't worry, it starts off simple. You can read a detailed "what to expect" here - which does a fantastic job of combining what you will do in the class with what you might feel as you, oh you know, climb up the ladder, grab the fly bar, and jump.

Naturally, I didn't read this welcome note before I went. So after paying, and getting fitted with my harness, I was promptly shown how to hang on my knees on the low bar (translation: a trapeze bar mounted to the ground) which reminded me of hanging upside down on the monkey bars in elementary school (like riding a bike!). Then, I received a brief-and-basic safety talk, and was left to sit in line for my turn.

As I mentioned before, my group was advanced. Like my friend Maria, all were at least second-time Flyers, so even though I was posited at the end of the line, my turn came up fast. While this might sound intimidating to some, I think it was a blessing - there was no time to "community-worry," and with every single Flyer jumping fearlessly in to knee-hangs, flips, and catches - being "afraid" seemed - well - unnecessary?

OK, so I'll cut to the good stuff. Before my first swing (and we're talking, I'm-at-the-top-of-the-ladder-about-to-jump) I felt like I was ill-prepared. Shouldn't there be some sort of - practice walk-through? Some type of - courtesy reminder at the top of the ladder? And the answer is, no. At this point, you just have to trust, and believe that you have all the info you need because you do -and once you are up there (as the welcome note mentions) your adrenaline swoops in and you won't be able to over-think it, anyways. Just- jump.

And fly, you will.

Aside from leaving the 2-hour class an official Flyer, you will also bask in a gentle state of feeling worked-out (think that post-yoga, warm and stretched, full-body euphoria). In addition, you will also have a pleasant reminder that that everything is possible - you just have to go for it.

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