Trying trapeze

Sophomore staff writer Bria Echols had the opportunity step out of her comfort zone and try trapeze for the first time. Echols was inspired to try trapeze after talking with senior Mara Bastow about her experience with trapeze. “It’s just so great what they do (at Canopy) that you really can’t find that anywhere else,” Bastow said. Cartoon by Ashley Lawrence.


By BRIA ECHOLS – Staff Writer

Sophomore staff writer Bria Echols writes about her first experience with trapeze at Canopy Studio.

Upon arriving at 160 Tracy Street, I looked around to see a gray building planted next to old warehouses and railroad tracks. On the building, a name was carved out of rusted metal: Canopy.

The studio’s interior was like nothing I’d ever seen. Trapeze bars were everywhere. They hung from rafters connected to the ceiling. People were on them — standing, sitting, twisting their bodies in ways that I would never imagine.

It was almost like watching the circus. An electric wave of eagerness crawled up my spine. I wanted to try and senior Mara Bastow was going to show me the ropes, figuratively and literally .

Mara has been doing trapeze for six years. She teaches a wide range of ages at Canopy from small children to adults. She knows what she is doing. She guided me through the lesson carefully instructing me what to do every second.

Before getting on the bar we had to do stretches. Specifically, shoulder and arm stretches to prepare my body for the trapeze — definitely not the ones I’m accustomed to.

I laid on a black mat, which was spread across the floor, listening to their directions.

“Focus on your arms.”
“Turn your hands outward”
“Move your neck around.”

My introduction to the bar was nice and easy. Although I did have the occasional reality slap battle in my head that told me, “I’m on a trapeze bar,” eventually I was able to conquer my nervousness because I was calmed by the friendly grins and encouraging words of Mara and Canopy Studio director Melissa Roberts.

I had to make what they called “O hands” and grip the bar, making sure to create space for my legs to get on. Then, I had to take one hand and place it on one of the ropes that held the trapeze bar and the other hand on the other rope to lift myself. Due to my lack of upper body strength, Mara had to support my back.

When I was sitting up on the bar, I slid my hands down the rope feeling the texture. It wasn’t like any standard gym rope. It was almost like rope on a sailboat.

Sophomore Bria Echols is learning how to do “sitting star” with senior Mara Bastow’s help. Cartoon by Ashley Lawrence.

A huge grin crept across my face. Even though the tricks were simple, it still felt surreal. “I can do this,” I thought to myself. It only got better when I was shown how to do basic tricks like “Skater” and “sitting layback.”

For the “sitting layback,” I had to sit on the trapeze bar and lean all the way back as if I was going to lay my head on the mat. I could feel the blood rushing to my head. It was almost as if I was flying.

For skater, I had to stand on the bar while making sure to keep my balance by keeping both hands on the ropes. Then I had to take one leg off the bar and place it behind my body and tilt my head back. It was way out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed it.

With Mara’s and Melissa’s help, I felt powerful. For once I was trying something that was completely out there and I ended up loving it.

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