This article is from London WeekendNotes for Wednesday the 13th of January 2010
The circus may not be your cup of tea, but if you’ve ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show (or even a clip on youtube.com) or you want to ‘get-fit’ quick then take up a course of static trapeze that will have you leaner and more agile in a few weeks.
So what is static trapeze? The aim is to go through a routine of moves keeping the ropes and bar as still as possible. The class follows the familiar custom of warm up, workout and cool down, and routines are practised to music. Anyone who is anxious about heights can feel at ease, as the bar is as low or as high as you can comfortably manage. Obviously the more advanced you are the higher you can go, but beginners will be low down (imagine sitting on an adult sized swing).
As a form of exercise the movements promote strength, agility and flexibility. Most classes are for people 16 years and upwards, so you can bring Granny along and let her show you how it’s done! Some classes like the Reebok’s Jukari Fit to Fly in Canary Wharf, are aimed at women only and use adapted trapeze equipment. Be warned and wear suitable clothing: keep it loose and flexible, and make sure your legs are covered as you will be doing lots of movement involving rope work.
There are places all around London, where you can take one-off classes or book on to an evening course to learn static trapeze. The Reebok Sports Club in Canary Wharf are working in partnership with Cirque du Soleil for Jukari Fit to Fly. In South East London and Kent, you can visit Amanda Miles Robins who runs My Aerial Home and offers 6 week courses in Beckenham. For North and East London, visit Circus Space based in Hoxton Square, which also specialises in circus performing arts. Prices and availability vary depending on the company.