What can you expect once you reach the top of the ladder and step onto the platform? Most likely you will be nervous, but don’t worry! You will be guided through each step by the friendly instructor working on the platform. Follow their directions and remember they will always have a firm hold of you via your belt from behind. Trust us, the Knee Hang is actually much easier to do while flying on the trapeze than in ground school.
The instructor will ask you to step to the edge of the platform, and to stand up straight, looking out directly across the net. Try to resist the urge to crouch or look down into the net. The trapeze bar will be passed to you, and you will need to grip it with both hands. Don’t be afraid to jump – the Line Puller below is controlling your safety lines, and even if you were to let go, they would be responsible for bringing you safely to the net. Here are the cues you will hear from the platform instructor:
- Listo - Spanish for ready. This indicates that the Flyer is preparing to leave the platform.
- Ready - When you hear this, bend your knees and prepare to jump.
- Hep - The trapeze action word. In other words, GO!
As soon as you jump off the platform you will be given a series of short, simple commands from the Line Puller instructor on the ground. Listen carefully and try to follow them exactly and promptly, as the commands are timed to specific parts of your swing. For the Knee Hang, you will first be told to ‘hook your knees” (over the bar). Stay in this position and keep looking at your knees, until you hear “hands off”. At this point, you will remove your hands from the fly bar, stretch them over your head, and arch your back up to look way over at the far side of the net. Next you will be asked to “put your hands back on the bar”, and to “release your legs”. Hanging from the bar, with your legs together, and toes pointed, (pointed toes look SO much nicer than flat feet!) you will hear the command to give 3 quick kicks – “forward, backward, forward” and then “release the bar”. This will cause you to automatically do a super cool back-flip and the crowd will cheer when you land in the net!
While this may sound complicated, you don’t need to remember it all ahead of time. You will be given cues as you need it, and even if you mess up, the Line Puller is there to make adjustments and bring you down to the net safely.