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Fly School Circus Arts presents a high-flying grand finale to their participation in the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). Tonight and tomorrow night, Fly School presents two first ever flying trapeze shows within the boundaries of Center City. "Daringly High" performances will take place on Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:00 PM in the University of the Arts Parking Lot on Broad Street (between Spruce and Pine streets, across from the Kimmel Center). Professional faculty and advanced students will present works that celebrate a moment in time dating back to 1965 when model Jean Shrimpton helped change the face of women’s fashion and challenged female roles in society. Announced performers include Fly School Director Mary Kelly Rayel, Caitlyn Larsson, Donovan Chandler and Christine Landon. All professional performers will do tricks and exhibit skills without a safety harness as they fly 25 feet in the air. Admission is $10.00 at the gate for a spot inside the parking lot. Best viewing spots are expected to go early, and tickets are first come, first served until they sell out. Trapeze shows come hot on the heels of dozens of sold-out classes during the 2013 PIFA. As of today, all trapeze classes are sold out through closing day. Over 750 adults and children have come to enjoy trapeze lessons that celebrate empowerment, confidence and freedom found in doing the unexpected.
Fly School celebrates the “If You Had a Time Machine…” theme by jetting back to October 30th, 1965, when model Jean Shrimpton shocked the Australian establishment by attending Derby Day, a significant horse racing event in Melbourne, wearing a mini dress with a considerably higher hemline than was acceptable in Australian society. In doing so, she brought global attention to the fashion revolution already underway in Europe, one that was changing the landscape of women's fashion from one of maternal imitation to one of individuality, empowerment, and youthful domination.
Each performance will showcase both the incredible talent and skills of the Fly School staff and the hard earned accomplishments of their students. The student performance will present a variety of skill levels and achievements, demonstrating how Flying Trapeze can enrich and empower the lives of all people. Fly School staff will take it to the next level with a traditional flying trapeze performance where they will astound audiences with professional skill, style, grace, and beauty!
For more information on Fly School, visit www.flyschoolcircusarts.com and follow @flyschoolcircus.
Big congratulations go out to Fly School - All classes are now sold out! Join the trapeze fun during tonight's first ever show.
Posted in Arts & Culture, Bucket List, Center City District, Circus Arts, Events, Fly School Circus Arts, LGBT, Philadelphia, Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival/ Philly Fringe, Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, Philly Loves Fun, Random Fun, Tourism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Fly through the air with the greatest of ease... Get your feet off the ground on the flying trapeze...With the spring comes a chance to soar 25 feet above the ground on the flying trapeze. Northern Bucks County provides a beautiful backdrop for learning to swing in the open air as Fly School Circus Arts opens their 4th Spring season on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Opening day lessons are a special price of only $45 (down from $55 per person). What a great deal!
“Flying trapeze lessons are a great activity that develops inner courage, trust, attention to detail and a sense of accomplishment,” said Fly School Executive Director Mary Kelly Rayel. “Trained instructors provide a motivating and inspirational atmosphere where students can open their mind and challenge their body.”
Last year, I did just that -- I challenged my body, mind and expectations not once, but twice!
The first time I flew in Center City, soaring through the buildings on Broad Street as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. I always enjoy challenging myself with new and different activities -- and the trapeze seemed like the ultimate adventure. During the lessons, I went up four times and learned everything from the take-off, to the swing, to basic positions, to the drop. My start was a little shaky, just watch the funny video! However, by my fourth and final time I improved my technique enough to get caught by the catcher. What a thrill! As soon as my feet touched the ground, I thought, "I want to do it again!"
My second chance came when I took a group of friends for a fall day in Bucks County. Before the pumpkin picking and cider sampling, we went to Fly School for a group lesson. I started mentally practicing the entire week leading up to the lessons. I also started stretching my legs, as I wanted the perfect Facebook profile picture (LOL). When I set foot on the board, I was psyched and ready. This time when they said "Hop" I hopped right into the air and flew like a bird. The only thing that could have made it better was a fun pair of colorful, quirky circus socks! (I had to leave something fun for 2012 didn't I?!)
This year, I plan on getting in on the high-flying action once more. The Spring season runs May 5 to the end of June, although Mary Kelly hopes they might unofficially open earlier. Let's keep our fingers crossed!
Fly School Circus Arts runs lessons out of Lions Camp Kirby, 1735 Narrows Hill Road, Upper Black Eddy, PA 18972. Information, schedules, and booking are available by visiting www.flyschoolcircusarts.com or calling (215) 262-7353.
Tip: On your way to Lions Camp Kirby, check out the great shopping, food and other tourism attractions that beautiful Bucks County has to offer.
Couples/pairs are invited to fly during doubles trapeze, work together in doubles acrobatics, and balance on doubles tightwire. This workshop is great for pairs and couples. It is also a great workshop for parents with limited time on their hands!
Workshop activities are for beginners with no special experience or skills required. “Double the Love” is $25 per person, and open to anyone 16 years and older. Advanced reservations are required by visiting www.phillycircus.com. For additional information, please call (215) 849-1991.
In the last year, I have been living life to its fullest (and then some). I travelled to several new and exciting places (Key West, New York City for my first Thanksgiving Parade, Assateague for the ponies). I also expanded my physical and mental boundaries with some new active and adventurous activities (parasailing, snorkeling, swimming with sharks, unicycling, tightrope, football). Nothing in the last year, however, compared to the flying trapeze.
Yesterday was the hottest day of 2011 -- and it was a perfect temperature to go flying with several members of the media at "Fly City" during the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). Aaron Stella (Editor, Philly Broadcaster), Linda Pham-Vertlieb (Frugal Philly Mom), Mark Segal (publisher, Philadelphia Gay News), Sarah Blazucki (Editor, Philadelphia Gay News), and Scott Drake (Photographer, Philadelphia Gay News), accompanied my best friend (Rich Brome) and I for a two-hour adventure.
"Fly City" is a partnership between Philadelphia School of Circus Arts and Fly School Circus Arts. Upon arriving, the team from Fly School greeted us enthusiastically! Direct Mary Kelly Rayel gave us an amazing pep talk -- including some background on the project and safety precautions. After a brief warm up, Mary Kelly took us to the low bar, which was only a few feet above my head. In the snap of a finger, she had me flying on the low bar, where I eventually learned how to properly turn myself upside down.
After the low bar, Mary Kelly provided some easy to understand instructions on how to wear the safety belt, climb the ladder (that looks at least a mile high), and take off. As soon as she started to show us what came next, my excitement turned into a slight bit of fear. She instructed us to go to the platform, grab the line behind us with one hand, and lean over the platform and ground. She said the instructor behind us would hold our belt, while we leaned over ground and grabbed the bar with both hands.
The reality of these words set in a few minutes later as I climbed the ladder and worked my way onto the platform. After chalking my hands, I was instructed to grab the line with my left hand, lean forward, and eventually let go with the left hand to grab the bar. I am a pretty solid guy, so I was a little scared that the instructor was going to keep me on the platform -- as she was half my size. I remember thinking in that split second that this must be what it is like to be suspended in mid-air.
As soon as the instructor said, "hop" I was supposed to hop off the platform and into the air, feet first. The instructor did, indeed, have a great grip on me. She also talked me through the whole process and made me feel comfortable. She also tried to sway any fears by making the process fun.
When I was given my queue, I mentally hopped into the air. However, my body didn't join in. You can see this in the video below. Through the whole process, the instructor had me covered! After some encouragement, my body and mind decided to work together and I hopped off the platform and went soaring for the first time! Once I left the platform, everything else came naturally. Soon I was turning myself upside down, with my legs hanging over the bar, and my hands reaching for the ground. I eventually learned to arc my back and reach for the Kimmel Center.
The first time was slightly challenging as you are not used to logically jumping into the air, or leaning over into mid-air. However, after doing it once, I had a hunger to do it again. The second time we tried some different techniques for hanging upside down. By that time, I was ready for the "catch." I quickly ascended the ladder, took my place on the platform, jumped fearlessly into the air, and within seconds took my place upside down on the bar. I reached out, and the instructor who was flying on the second trapeze took me by the wrists and caught me. He pulled me right over the bar, and I want soaring underneath him. When they explained this part, it sounded simple but yet I couldn't visualize it. After trying it, I am intrigued to do it again! I am proud of myself for doing both the flight and the catch.
My fellow students all did an amazing job as well! Sarah was a natural, as she looked like she had done it a million times. Scott was fearless, ascending the ladder with confidence. Rich had a great stance for his take-off. Aaron had amazing form. Mark fearlessly tried it without reservation -- and he brought a lot of humor to the table.
The whole experience was worthwhile -- and definitely something I would recommend. The instructor said, "If you miss, we have you with the safety lines. And if you miss the catch, you will simply fall into the net, like when you released from the bar." She was right!
"Fly City" runs everyday until May 1, 2011, with lessons at 9am, 11:30am, 4:30pm, and 7pm. Lessons are open to children and adults, ages six and up.
A group of my friends wanted to do something fun and out of the ordinary. After some discussion (and my coaxing), they were enticed to "run off and join the circus" through a daily deal on Groupon. The class was newly created in the fall of 2010 exclusively for subscribers of Groupon. Since it was new, I decided to give it a try by joinging Tara, Rachel and Stella.
The "Intro to Circus Workshop" at Philadelphia School of Circus Arts (PSCA) provided a physically and mentally challenging afternoon of fun. Upon our arrival, we immediately received a vigorous warm-up with PSCA's experienced instructors. After warm-ups and stretching, we were broken up into teams. Our team would first learn the tightrope. We started on a low, wooden bar, and eventually worked our way up to the higher tightrope. The instructors demonstrated how to step and walk the bar, while balancing with your hands.
Tightrope was something I was looking forward to trying for a long while. During my weekly visits to PSCA, the rope would challenge me to conquer it. Now that I had my chance, I was excited to see how much balance and coordination I had. The scariest and hardest part of the rope, for me, was the very first step. Mentally, you have to balance and then decide that you are going to let go and move your other foot forward. Rachel ended up being a natural -- as she literally walked across the bars with great ease.
After we conquered the tightrope, we were given a juggling demonstration and lesson. I have been taking juggling at PSCA on and off for several months. My friends, however, had no prior experience juggling anything other than their calendars. The teacher started the demonstration using three multicolored scarves. The scarves helped Rachel, Stella and Tara ease into the excersise. The various colors helped them observe where each scarf would land and how it got there. Tara immediately by-passed the scarves for the more challenging juggling balls. After a few moments, all three of them were juggling and keeping three scarves (or balls) in constant motion. Stella, in particular, was a master at the scarves. (She looked like she was having so much fun I might need to get her a set!)
The final activity during the workshop was aerials. PSCA instructor (and cupcake guru) Meg Skill provided us with instruction on both aerial rope (corde lisse) and silks (tissu or fabric). I took PSCA's other workshop ("Intro to Aerials) so I had some experience with the rope. I immediately jumped on and darted toward the ceiling. Within seconds, I was a dozen feet up in the air, touching the top of the rope. After several attempts, Stella and Tara finally secured a their own place on the rope, several feet off the ground. On silks, the three girls did a great job. Rachel, again, seemed like she was a naturalborn circus star. Stella and Tara both glided with ease.
"Intro to Circus Workshop" is now open to everyone (with or without a Groupon). It runs every Saturday, at 2pm, at PSCA, 5900A Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144. The workshop is only $25 per person for a one hour class. Registration is required by visiting www.phillycircus.com .
"Fly City" is presented by Philadelphia School of Circus Arts and Fly School Circus Arts as part of PIFA. Lessons run daily between 9am - 9pm, until May 1, 2011. For more information, visit www.flycitytrapeze.com or call (215) 546-PIFA.
Due to the rain today, my personal lesson flying trapeze lesson during the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) is rescheduled for Monday, April 11, 2011, at 11:30am. Come fly with me -- slots are still available for only $55.00. If you can't join me, come out and watch! Lessons for "Fly City" take place in the University of the Arts parking lot, directly across from the Kimmel Center. Tickets can be purchased at www.pifa.org or by calling (215) 546-PIFA.
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) opens in just two days! One of the projects I have been promoting will be the "high-flying" star of opening day -- if not the entire festival.
"Fly City"officially kicks off with media previews on Thursday, April 7, 2011, at 4:30am, as one of the festival's first official events. FSCA staff and crew have been working around the clock to take the flying rig from Bucks County and reconstruct it in the parking lot of the University of the Arts (directly across from the Kimmel Center, and next to Broad Street Ministries). Below is a fast capture video of the set up process, including shots of the very first "flight," with the Kimmel Center in the background.
If you haven't signed up for "Fly City," tickets are still available at www.pifa.org or by calling (215) 546-PIFA. Two-hour lessons run daily at 9:00am, 11:30am, 4:30pm, and 7:00pm. Lessons are $55 each, for persons six and older. For more information, visit the event website at www.flycitytrapeze.com.
On Friday, April 8, 2011, at 11:30am, I will take flying trapeze lessons during the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). Come fly with me -- slots are still available for only $55.00. If you can't join me, come out and watch! Lessons for "Fly City" take place in the University of the Arts parking lot, directly across from the Kimmel Center. Tickets can be purchased at www.pifa.org or by calling (215) 546-PIFA.
On Saturday, April 9, 2011, I am organizing a group of friends and co-workers for an "Intro to Circus Workshop," at 2pm, at Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 5900A Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144. During the workshop, we will learn the tightrope, aerials and juggling. No experience is required. Workshops are only $25. If you would like to join the fun, visit www.phillycircus.com to buy a ticket. NOTE: The workshop is nearly sold out, so act fast!