Blog 7 Instructing the Instructors

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Blog 7 Instructing the Instructors

Today we had our second session in teaching us how to be instructors. Little by little more and more of the Flying Trapeze process is making sense. I’m understanding how to set the net up better but I still need a crash course in knots. I wish I’d been a better student when I was with the scouts.

Last week working the board freaked me right out because there was just so much going on, hook this, grab that, clip this, it made my head spin. Today I had one go at pulling lines and all of a sudden working the board was looking good. I don’t know if I will ever be able to do the lines and talk to the client at the same time but I never thought I’d be able to work the board either.

After I had my adventure with the lines I volunteered to ‘work the board’ for a bit and just doing it over and over again really cements the process and lets you get your head around the procedure. I felt so confident (well confidentish) working the board and last week I had no idea. Spare a thought for poor Nick the instructor’s instructor as I am not a quick study. I don’t know how many times he had to say stuff but it was quite a few before it stayed in my head.

Emily and Liam powered through, they are naturals at this stuff and I don’t think being a flying trapeze instructor is going to be difficult for either of them. Both of them got to the stage of working the lines and talking to the client who was played by Nick so it was pretty darned impressive.

I was on board duty while Nick was playing a new client and after a couple of turns with my ‘newbie’ client I became very specific with my language. Step around the riser, don’t try for the bar grab the bar, put your toes over the edge not your feet. It was pretty funny with him pretending to be a new client and I became very stream lined with what I was doing. When I didn’t get distracted which might have been one in three times because I love watching people fly (who wouldn’t?) I was really starting to get organized. The person has left so grab the bar and hook it up, now get ready for the safety lines deal with them and then park the noodle or moodle I’m not sure which it’s a big plastic hook thing. I felt like I was in control and that’s a lovely feeling. I’m still nervous about being up there without a safety line but I’m getting more confident each time.

I think these guys work too hard. I’d be taking more breaks if I was them and in truth I did take more breaks than them but I guess as I get fitter I may need less breaks. I learned from today’s session not to push people off the board and that if I face plant into the net I won’t die, both things are good to know.

OK I’ll hand it over to the pictures now there are pictures and video on our TSAST facebook page so please pop over there if you’d like to have a look.

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Our very patient instructor

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She’s flying!!

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Excellent board work by Emily

Blog 6 A Thank You Session

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Blog 6 A Thank You Session

Today was all about saying thank you to the people who helped get The South Australian School of Trapeze off the ground. We didn’t have everyone who helped but I’m hoping those that didn’t come today can get their complimentary session in the near future.

For today we had Nick, James, Meslissa, Alli, Jessica and me and we had a hoot. I am very tired and very sore writing this up but a happy tired and sore like I’ve had the best day of my life and I’m about to get a whole lot more of them.

So what made it the best day of my life? The company was good. These people are lovely to work with, they don’t yell or criticize it’s just laid back and fun. The activity was fantastic. I wanted to make sure that everyone got a turn because no-one like a trapeze hog but my goodness I got a lot of air time today. I got my back somersault which I hadn’t been able to do before. I got to fly and got caught by Nick, I have done that before with another catcher but it never gets old. I got to climb to the catcher’s bar and muck around on that and then fall to the net without lines it was amazing.

Alli and Melissa learned how to work the board and they did a fantastic job. I got shown how to demonstrate a back knee hang on the practice bar and I think I’ll need to practise that. I had a go at climbing the pole and got absolutely nowhere so that’s another thing I’ll need to practise.

We held a blessing for the rig. I’m struggling to come up with a name for what we did. I was going to use christening but I’m a pagan so that didn’t seem right. Alli said we could call it a name day celebration but we haven’t named her yet even though I’ve figured out that she’s a she so I’m going to go with a blessing that seems right as when I do wiccan stuff we often use the term blessed be. I love that rig I really do.

At one point four of us lay in the net talking shit, having a drink and I felt like the richest person in the world it was an awesome day. Tomorrow we start training new instructors and I’m certainly looking forward to that.

Thank you for reading and I’ll catch you next week.

Blog 3 Patience is a Beautiful Thing

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At least I’ve heard patience is a beautiful thing I’ve never had it to know. However the Universe is giving my patience ability a very good work out because the trapeze will not be coming for another three weeks or so. There is a problem getting some parts from overseas and the man who is organizing this for me is working overtime on the job and I really appreciate his efforts. Who knew it was so tricky to install a Flying Trapeze in your front paddock?

A lovely and amazingly patient friend of mine said that this will give me more time to look forward to the trapeze and I was thinking ok we can try that. I’m not totally convinced but honestly whatever works.

I saw a facebook post today about a lady Phyllis Sues who is 92 and took up trapeze at the age of 80 and I thought yes I can have a long long time playing on this trapeze.

In all fairness I still have a bit to do to get ready for it. I’ve found a good mat for the practise bar and I need to pick up another mat for when people roll off the trapeze.

I have a sixty page risk assessment booklet that I have to write to satisfy the insurance people. I’ll just pause for laughter when sixty pages is considered a booklet and not a book! If I could outsource that job I’d be doing it.

I want to paint the outside sheds so the place looks a little less ramshackle and all of this is going to keep me occupied while I wait. I’m sure in future years I’ll be saying do you remember that long long drought when we had no trapeze. Tomorrow will make eight weeks since I was last on a flying trapeze, eight long long long weeks. Patience is character building, it must be, it’s a really hard thing so it must be character building.

So let’s talk about what we’re going to be doing on this beautiful contraption when it gets here. I told you last week about how we would run Flying Trapeze experiences and weekly lessons. I also wanted to do intensives like they do in Victoria. Steen from Victoria very kindly offered for me to come over and do one of their intensives and I didn’t take him up on his offer. I probably wouldn’t be hanging out for a trapeze fix quite so much if I had. An intensive is when you come every day for five days and it lets you really work on your skills in a way that a once a week visit would do much slower. Now the problem with an intensive is that you have to take time off work. Fortunately I work with a rather clever chap by the name of Nick who suggested we could do mini intensives on long weekends. Then people don’t have to take time off work and you’d get three days or even four if you wanted to do Easter or maybe Christmas and let’s be honest here people I’m hanging out for this so much that Christmas is not out of the question even if I’m swinging up there by myself. I love the idea of the long weekends though. People could stay over if they wanted or go home each night. Depending on the season we could have a fire up here and just yack about the day each evening. To me this sounds like paradise.

I’m thinking of the logistics of getting school groups out here and I’m thinking of working with other circus groups to run activities on my property as well as the Flying Trapeze. This way one group would do an activity like rola bolla or juggling, another group would be doing Flying Trapeze and then maybe you’d have one more activity and then you’d rotate the groups so no-one was waiting forever for a go on anything. Then say if someone was scared to go on the Flying Trapeze (yes this does happen even though it’s hard to comprehend I know) that person could do the other activities while they watch other kids use the trapeze and then when it’s their turn they have the choice of going on or just doing the other activities. I really want this to be a no stress happy activity I don’t want peer pressure making kids go on it. I’m a school teacher have I mentioned that? The idea of running three activities at once and rotating the groups through was Alessandro’s idea and he is another rather clever chap I know.

Jessica from Firefly if you are reading this blog you are the one I am hoping to work with on this I just haven’t had a chance to sit down with you and work it all out. Jessica runs a fantastic circus and dance school near me called Firefly Performing Arts Circus School. You can get her on 0401 861 567 and she has a facebook page and a web page. She’s in the Barossa Valley and if you’re in the Northern part of Adelaide she may be more accessible than the other circus schools available.

Ok I shall go and walk my dogs which is what I do when I’m trying to practise patience. It will be worth it when this baby gets here.

All righty thank you for reading and I’ll catch you next week.

Blog 2 Running a Flying Trapeze – It’s Handy if You Have Good people Around You

I’m lucky enough to attend a circus so I know lots of people who have been helping me get this Flying Trapeze organized. My gift is that I don’t think that I know everything and I’m willing to use the expertise of others. The person who has helped heaps is Nick, he teaches me static trapeze and he used to run a Flying Trapeze set up. Alli and Grant have also come out and helped with working bees to get the place ready and Kurt has provided us with some much needed tools.  Alessandro’s advice has been invaluable and I couldn’t have done any of this without Steen from Victoria.  There’s also been oodles of people who have offered business acumen, sourcing mats and many other things I need to consider in running a Flying Trapeze business.

I’ve been having many discussions about how this is all going to work once it starts and probably things will change as we progress, we will see what works and what doesn’t.

We have to be able to make enough money to pay the instructors, pay the insurance and probably a little extra for replacing equipment when needed. Any extra we make will go towards advertising, a dedicated business phone and paying back the loan to buy this thing. While we get ourselves trained up to be instructors we will probably just have family and friends on the rig and we will ask for $50 for a two hour session. When we become professional and polished at what we’re doing then it will be probably $90 for a two hour session, that’s comparable with what is offered interstate. I also want to run one hour classes and I haven’t figured out a price on them yet. If we become crazy successful my dream and let’s face it you gotta have a dream is that we would buy another rig to keep in the city and then maybe another rig that’s used to be mobile and reach people who wouldn’t necessarily get access to this sort of thing. That leads me to my philosophy about this enterprise.

A couple of years ago I saw Point A’s mission statement that they kept on their wall. They are a group in the city that provide a space for people to persue movement activities like yoga and martial arts and tumbling and stuff. The mission statement  talked about the fact that humans don’t have to compete with each other they can collaborate. This was a revelation to me because I had always been crazy competitive and probably still am if I’m truthful. Their mission statement changed the way I taught physical exercise at school. I’m a primary school teacher by the way.  I still left room for competition for those who wanted it but my emphasis became what can your body do and isn’t that cool. Students started to view their bodies as a very cool fun thing to move with and as Point A quoted from Socrates,

No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. – Socrates

I saw that quote on the Point A wall and it was life changing.  Flying Trapeze is a way to show anybody what their bodies can do. To fly is the most amazing experience and I think everybody should get a chance to experience this. So our business will be safe but it won’t matter if we don’t make a buzillion bucks we all have day jobs the Flying Trapeze’s job is to show people an amazing experience.

All righty thank you for reading and I’ll catch you next week.220px-Trapeze_artists_1890