We are a motley group of trapeze enthusiasts who, in our normal lives, do things completely unrelated to trapeze. Among our members, you’ll find engineers, lawyers, health and medical professionals, teachers, stay-at-home parents, and more. The median age is around 45. Our reasons for flying are as diverse as our occupations: some do it for the exercise, others for the thrill, and surely at least one or two do it simply because they like the club camaraderie. We are a laid-back group that flies, has an occasional get-together, and then flies some more. On warm summer nights, you’ll find us hanging out at the rig after the flying session to enjoy the beautiful view and an après-flying beer.
How to Join
If this sounds like your kind of good time, we welcome you to join us. The cost is $225 per year (lasting April 1st through March 31st). Please download and print our liability waiver and our Membership Information Form. The first time you fly, you’ll need to provide proof of health insurance.
Waivers, forms, and checks may be delivered to the rig in person or mailed to
13728 Windom Lane
Broomfield, CO 80023
Pay Annual Dues via Paypal! Please note the amount is $232.02 for Paypal payment to cover all applicable charges and fees.
Club Flying Times
This club flying schedule is weather permitting and subject to change. Our typical schedule is as follows:
- Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 6pm
- Monday, Wednesday: 9am (tentative)
- Saturday: 10am or 6pm
- Sunday: 10am or 6pm
- Saturday/Sunday 1:00pm
- Weekdays at noon as weather permits
New Member Information
Welcome to Imperial Flyers! You’re now part of the oldest trapeze club in the country, maybe the world. Being a member means that you have equal rights and privileges to every other member—you can fly, catch, use other aerial apparatus, learn to pull safety lines, etc. Though we are not a school, we are excited to help you achieve your high-flying goals and have fun with you out at the rig!
- Communication: We send out date/time changes, questions, event information, etc. through our email list, which is for members only. As a new member, please join the list by sending an email to ImperialFlyersfirstname.lastname@example.org . This for annual members ONLY.
- Skills: In addition to flying, you can learn rigging, catching, bar-dropping, spotting, and other trapeze-related skills. Please take initiative to ask more knowledgeable members to show you how to do these things when you feel you are ready. (While you don’t need to know all of these things, you should begin learning how to set up and take down the net as soon as you join.)
- Flying: Please show up on time and plan to stay for the whole session. The net goes up and down much easier with at least four people, and it’s not fair to expect others to set it up for you. We understand that everyone can’t be there on time, for the whole time, all the time, but please make an effort.
- Volunteering: Please participate in maintenance days and other events when you have the time, and take initiative to learn the intricacies of rigging and spotting. If you’d like to learn to catch, or you need help learning new tricks on the fly bar, just ask. We are more than happy to help you increase your knowledge of flying trapeze. The only thing that will perpetuate this club is the people in it!
- Safety: Please speak up if you see a newbie walking under the net or anything else unsafe going on. We’re all responsible for safety at the rig.
- Receiving Advice: Because no one is officially “in charge” at the club, many people will probably give you advice. Take what works for you, and leave the rest!
- Top: When talking about a flyer, top refers to the highest point on the front end of the swing. A flyer should never release the bar at any point other than top…ever. If a flyer releases the bar early, it will cause him to move forward (potentially into the catcher, and most likely into an uncomfortable position).
- Timing: You will often hear things like, “Take him at top,” “Go down with him,” “Just after top,” and “Just after-after top.” No, these are not code for “Meet me behind the portable sanitation station for a good time.” They are terms used to indicate the catcher’s position when the flyer takes off. As a new flyer, the catcher will call your timing, but it’s a good idea to take note and eventually learn to call your own.
- Return: After a catch, most flyers will want to return to the pedestal. If you’re in charge of the hook, it’s important to know before someone takes off whether he intends to return or not. If he plans to return, someone on the pedestal should drop him a bar, and the bar should not be hooked until the flyer is securely on the pedestal.
- Poles: While a trapeze has many poles holding it up, the ones we are usually referring to are the set that holds up the fly bar. We usually talk about the “break” relative to the poles. For example, for a layout, a flyer might break “at poles.”
- Perch (AKA pedestal or board): The platform on which you stand before taking off for a swing.
- Palito (AKA rise): The small rise used when someone needs a higher take-off for bigger tricks or to go across to the catcher. The person standing on the left-hand side of the pedestal is generally responsible for pulling out the palito after the flyer takes off.
- Noodle: The noodle is the long hook that is used to retrieve the bar when it is too far away to reach with the small hook.
- Listo/lista: Meaning “ready” in Spanish, flyers say “Lista!” (or “Listo!”) to alert the catcher that they are ready to go across for a catch.
- Lines: The safety lines are used to aid people in learning new things and gaining confidence. Any member can learn to pull lines, but you should not offer to pull lines until you have a thorough understanding of how to use them properly. After a person uses lines, they hook the lines to a rope. At this point, someone needs to give the lines a strong tug to get them back up to the pedestal. The people on the pedestal might yell “Lines!” but be sure to look up before giving a hard tug because they could be attached to someone! (Note: Non-members, even if they have been members in the past, may not pull lines.)
- Hook: This is used to hold the bar between turns. The person on the right-hand side of the pedestal uses the hook to hand the flyer the bar and then retrieve the bar when the flyer is done. (See below for safety issues concerning the hook.)
- Hep: “Hep” is used to call significant moments in trapeze, like the take-off for a catch, the time to leave the bar for a catch, a break, an open, etc.
- Half-time vs. full-time: This refers to how many swings you take before going across to the catcher. Most tricks are full-time, meaning that you swing all the way out, all the way back, and then out again before you are caught. For a half-time trick, you simply swing out and go across to the catcher immediately. Tricks like legs (AKA feets across), shoot, straight jump, and forward over are often taken half-time, whereas you would rarely see a layout, splits, or knee hang taken half-time.
- Break (AKA kick-back): In a regular swing, you kick back before driving your feet up on the front end of the swing. A break is generally a more forceful, later kick-back that occurs before a trick requiring rotation. Where you break depends on the trick you are doing.
- Apron: No, we will not make you cook anything. The aprons are actually the parts of the net that go up toward the sky, saving your rear if you fall off the bar with forward or backward momentum.
- Unless you’re looking to make yourself a few feet shorter, don’t walk under the net when people are swinging.
- Before heading up to the perch, look around and ask the people who showed up ahead of you if they want to go up first. This goes the same for catching.
- We try to have a maximum of three or four people at a time up on the perch, so, please, wait to head up the ladder until someone takes off if there are already three people up there.
- Sitting in the apron (near the ladder) is fine, except if someone is going to the catcher, although at any time you do it at your own risk. Watch out for flying bodies!
- If you don’t want to do a trick across to the catcher when the catcher is up, ask the catcher if he minds you just swinging. Catching is hard on the ole’ tooshie, so generally catchers request you wait to just swing until they come down.
- If you’re standing on the left-hand side of the perch, your responsibility is to pull the board (palito) if a flyer uses it to take off.
- If you’re on the right-hand side of the perch, your responsibility is to hand the bar to the flyer. Please be sure to remove the hook as soon as the flyer has the bar in her hand. Make sure the hook and rope is away from the flyer at all times (take special care on windy days). When a flyer, who is not returning, goes across, hook the bar as soon as she is caught so it doesn’t get tangled in the lines or bong the flyer on the back of the head when she is released from the catcher. When a flyer, who is returning, goes across, do not hook the bar until she is firmly on the pedestal. (It’s better to let it swing out once or twice than to hook it and find out that person was going to push back and take another swing before coming up on the pedestal. Yes, people have been hooked. No, you don’t want to be that person.) The point is this: Be alert to eliminate danger of the flyer being injured by the hook or the bar.
- Be aware of whether you are to hook the bar or someone is dropping a return bar when a flyer goes across to the catcher.
- Regardless of what side of the perch you are on, if a flyer is returning from the catcher, keep your hands low and toward the back of the rungs so you don’t have them in the way of where the flyer needs to grab.
- The first time you are ever caught, you are obligated to kiss the catcher. J
One of the ways we raise money to keep the rig operating is through our Open House events. We generally need as many members as possible to come out and help with these events because we have up to 20 people flying each time. Even if you’re a beginner, you can help by checking people in, showing a knee-hang on the practice bar, helping people remove their safety lines after swinging (aka net monkey), etc. Please come help when you have time.
Open House events usually last two hours, with about a half hour or so for set up and takedown.
Bringing Friends to Fly:
The best way to introduce friends to the flying trapeze is to encourage them to come to an Open House event. The price is $20 (cash or Paypal), and attendees must sign a liability waiver and present proof of health insurance. If you have a friend in from out of town who can’t make it to an Open House event, or you believe a friend has a significant interest in learning flying trapeze, you can let us know in advance via the email list and bring him to a regular session, but, please, direct people to the Open House events when you can.
If you have a group of friends who would like to try flying trapeze, please encourage them to come to an Open House. If, for whatever reason, you would like the group to come out privately, it is your responsibility to email the trapeze group and ask if flyers will volunteer to help with your group during a non-flying time. For example, Monday and Wednesday nights are usually a good choice. Please be courteous of the fact that we do not encourage guest within three weeks of the show and also consider scheduling a date that is not back-to-back with an Open House event, as they are exhausting.
Each year Imperial Flyers has a free circus in August. We encourage you to invite friends and family and show off your flying trapeze skills (in or out of safety lines) and any other “circus appropriate” skills, such as juggling, aerial fabric, lyra, web, etc.
- Our website: http://imperialflyers.org
- Ludwig’s website: http://damnhot.com/trapeze/index.htm
- The Trapeze Net (AWESOME trick database!): http://www.flying-trapeze.com/
If you feel a little lost or confused about anything, don’t fret! Just ask us; we are all happy to help you however we can.
2018 CircusThe 2018 Imperial Flyers Friends & Family FREE Circus
TBDSee photos and videos of previous years' shows and get details here.