Flying Trapeze Classes Return To Mt Airy Friday

MT. AIRY, PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts is bringing back its outdoor flying trapeze classes and workshops.

Flying Trapeze Director Al Firstenberg will take the lead on bringing back Philadelphia's only flying trapeze program.

After more than a two-year break due to the pandemic, flying trapeze returns on grand opening weekends, May 6 to May 8 and May 13 to 15.

Adults and children as young as six years old can fly through the air on the outdoor rig at Philadelphia School of Circus Arts circus campus, 6452 Greene St. in West Mt. Airy.

During the lesson, students will learn all the techniques of the circus act, including taking off from the platform, swinging, transferring to the catcher and dropping to the net.

Classes run two hours with a maximum of 10 participants for $65.

Friday has classes from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday classes run from 10 a.m. to noon; 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday offers special 1 hour classes for $30. These are a special trial for opening weekend only. Classes are held from noon to p.m; 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

After the grand opening weekend, lessons will be every Thursday and Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Other times for private and group lessons are also available upon special request.

There are no weight limits for flying trapeze but the largest harness size we have fits a circumference of 46" at the narrowest part of the torso.

All participants ages 18+ must provide proof of vaccination by sending a photo of their vaccination card to or showing their card when checking in for class.

Participants under 18 are not required to be vaccinated. Masks are required when inside our building but are optional when outside participating in the class.

Visit the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts website here for more information and to register.

"We are ecstatic to restart one of our most popular family programs with Al Firstenberg at the helm," said Philadelphia School of Circus Arts Executive Director Kitsie O’Neill. "We couldn't think of a better way to return to normal than to take the leap and fly 25 feet above the ground - and right into the arms of the giant net."

Set next to the historic former St. Madeleine Sophie Church, students will ascend the outdoor rig in the beautiful setting that features mature lush trees, expansive lawns and historic architecture.

PSCA is one of the only schools in the country that is set in an urban setting with such a magnificent view.

SEPTA riders already are getting an unexpected birds eye view of the action as trains are arriving just feet from the trapeze rig at the Upsal station.

Adults and children are invited to celebrate the empowerment, confidence and freedom found in doing the unexpected.

Students will soar to new heights during two-hour high-flying class.

Students of various ages and abilities will learn the art of flying trapeze on a full-scale outdoor flying rig on Philadelphia's Circus Campus.

Learn all the techniques of the art form - including taking off from the platform, the swing, the transfer to the catcher and the dropping to the net.

"Flying trapeze is perhaps the most popular circus discipline for new students," said O'Neill. "It is exhilarating! And it's one of the most fun and adventurous experiences you'll ever have. And what's more, it's extremely safe. Beginner students are always harnessed in with safety belts and working over a net. It is the easiest way to experience the joy and challenge of circus arts on your very first day."

Philadelphia flying trapeze lessons will run under direction of Flying Trapeze Director Al Firstenberg.

Firstenberg has been teaching flying trapeze for seven years at seven different rigs on the East Coast.

They have worked with flyers of all backgrounds including Alex Wong of So You Think You Can Dance, Ella Emhoff, Kamala Harris’s daughter, and Gigi Hadid, where Al can be seen catching her in V Magazine’s 134th edition.

Firstenberg began their training at the Espana-Streb Trapeze Academy in Brooklyn, NY. After 4 years, they moved from that small rig to a full-sized rig in Pennsylvania.

From there they have changed locations each season to coach at various schools. In 2018, Firstenberg helped with the installation of the brand new flying trapeze rig at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.

In 2019, they became the youngest lead instructor at TSNY-DC. They then went to the New England Center for Circus Arts to train as part of the Fly Team where they performed for Senator Bernie Sanders in a winter 2019 performance.

In 2020, Firstenberg returned to NYC to coach at TSNY-NY, the flagship location of Trapeze School World Corporation.

After a few months, Firstenberg stepped into the role of General Manager where they implemented Covid-19 safety practices, ensured fair pay for staff, and fostered a positive and caring community.

Firstenberg is excited to return to PSCA as the Flying Trapeze Director for the 2022 fly season.

Flying Trapeze Classes Return To Mt Airy Friday originally appeared on the Chestnut Hill-Mt. Airy Patch