three empty trapezes

Spotlight on: Trapeze

Trapeze at Sky Candy

Trapeze – synonymous with circus, it’s one of the most popular aerial apparatuses we teach at Sky Candy. Composed of a metal bar attached to two ropes suspended from the ceiling, the trapeze is an instant favorite among our new students, many of whom remark that the sensation of sitting on the bar recalls childhood memories of carefree sessions on the swing set, or daring maneuvers on the monkey bars. While many folks are most familiar with the Flying Trapeze, or its relative the Swinging Trapeze, Sky Candy’s trapeze disciplines of choice are the static trapeze, single-point trapeze, and duo trapeze.

Static Trapeze

Unlike the flying and swinging trapeze, the static trapeze does not move, and the trapeze artist executes maneuvers under the bar and in the ropes.

Single Point Trapeze

Exactly what it sounds like, a single point trapeze is hung from just one point, so that the ropes form a triangle rather than a rectangle. This apparatus is popular with aerialists who like to spin, and is often called Dance Trapeze, because of the smooth, flowing choreography made possible by the single point rigging configuration.

Duo Trapeze 

This challenging discipline involves executing partner maneuvers on the trapeze, often, but not always, with the aerialists assuming the roles of “base” and “flyer”.

Unfortunately, we do not currently have the coaching capacity or space to offer swinging trapeze or flying trapeze- but you can check out our neighbors at Circus of Hope if you fancy going for a swing on the flying trapeze!

History of the Trapeze

According to circus lore, the trapeze was first invented in the mid 1800’s by Jules Leotard (who is also the namesake the iconic piece of clothing beloved by aerialists the world over). As a teenager, Leotard started experimenting with swinging maneuvers over his family’s swimming pool, and in 1859 performed the first recorded trapeze routine at the Cirque Napoleon. Over time, the trapeze has evolved into many different related apparatuses, including the flying trapeze, swinging trapeze, static trapeze, dance or single point trapeze, duo trapeze, and Washington trapeze (also known as head trapeze, as the aerialist performs headstands while swinging on the weighted bar).

Over time, aerialists throughout the world have embraced this appealing apparatus, expanding the range of skills and achieving some truly impressive feats.

Anatomy of the Trapeze

A trapeze bar is made of hollow steel, providing a stable base for a multitude of skills. The ropes can be made of nylon, cotton, or, most coveted among trapeze artists, cotton with a core of steel. The attachment point between ropes and bar is usually padded, for the added comfort of the trapeze artist.

While trapeze is not as dependent on custom sizing as the lyra/aerial hoop, aerialists often have preferences about their bar width, rope material and length, and type of tape or padding, so will often have their own bars custom-made for them

Your First Trapeze Class

Intrigued by the trapeze? You can start your trapeze journey today at Sky Candy! Just sign up for our beginner-friendly Intro to Aerials class, and you’ll get to “meet” the trapeze, along with its pals the silks, lyra, and hammock. Make sure to wear clothing that covers the backs of your knees- the trapeze’s metal bar doesn’t feel terribly comfortable on bare skin! If you’re truly smitten, you can continue your journey with Intro to Trapeze and Lyra, a four-week beginner-friendly Series class that will introduce you to the basics on our “horizontal” or bar apparatuses, and from there you can launch into Trapeze 1, and beyond! Happy flying!

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