Sunday, September 30, 2012

Trapeze School New York - DC

Greg and I visited the Trapeze School of New York - DC branch the other evening.  My pictures did not come out well, so I've scooped these images off the Internet.

TSNY is a fascinating institution.  According to their Web site, the school was first opened by private owner Jonathan Conant in 2002 in Manhattan.  Since then it has been one expansion after another - In 2004 they opened an additional location in Baltimore (which later re-located to Washington, DC), and one outside of Boston.  In 2007, a second location opened in New York, and in 2008, a school opened in Santa Monica.

While other flying trapeze schools have privately griped about TSNY's business-like approach to this performing art, there is no denying TSNY's terrific success and professional appearance.  In order to grow quickly and maintain quality and safety standards, Jonathan and his team have created clear systems for everything, from rigging inspections to staff training to student skill progressions.

Interestingly, Jonathan never intended for TSNY to be a "circus" school, and has only very slowly begun introducing classes in other disciplines such as static aerials, acrobatics, and juggling.  The demand for these things is obviously there, but the company is committed to flying trapeze as its highest priority.

Prices for flying trapeze classes are high.  (Here, and everywhere else that flying trapeze is offered.)  It's up to $59 for a class slot that may include up to 10 students, and each student may only go up to fly a handful of times.  (and in New York, the class prices can go up to $70!)  Having experienced this myself, though (at TSNY in New York, many years ago) I can tell you that those flights, especially for a beginner, are major, terrifying, exhilarating events.  And enough people come for that thrill, and then get hooked on this amazing sport, to keep TSNY busy for a long time to come.

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