PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, is thrilled to announce the return of outdoor flying trapeze classes and workshops starting just in time for the warm weather season. 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, the flying trapeze returns on grand opening weekends, May 6-May 8th and May 13-15th. Adults and children as young as six years old can fly through the air on the outdoor rig at PSCA's beautiful circus campus (6452 Greene Street).

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. The classes are two hours long and are offered multiple times a day. Don’t forget your camera!

Get your feet off the ground! Philadelphia's only permanent outdoor flying trapeze school will offer two-hour outdoor flying trapeze lessons at Circus Campus, 6452 Greene Street in West Mt. Airy - conveniently directly next to the Upsal SEPTA Station.  Lessons are $65 each, and class cards are also available.


O'Neill added, "This is one of the most spectacular and recognizable circus disciplines in the world and involves a lot of specialty rigging and staffing. We have ample outdoor space at Philadelphia's Circus Campus. Anyone in the region can have the experience of flying through the air - kids included!"

Philadelphia and the circus have a very special history. The city of Brotherly Love was the birthplace of the American circus. Philadelphia, for many years, was also home to one of the country's only recreational schools of circus arts. Philadelphia is currently home to the first and only school in the country that offers a three-year education program and diploma in circus arts through Circadium School of Contemporary Circus. Now, circus history goes sky high as the city's only permanent outdoor flying trapeze school comes back after the pandemic.  

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 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 in doing the unexpected.  Students will soar to new heights during the 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 art form techniques, including taking off from the platform, the swing, the transfer to the catcher, and then dropping to the net.

Philadelphia flying trapeze lessons will run under the 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 four years, they moved from that small rig to a full-sized rig in Pennsylvania. They have changed locations each season to coach at various schools. In 2018, Firstenberg helped install 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. Their goal is to create a warm and welcoming environment for ALL people and integrate the flying trapeze program with the aerial programming already present at the school. They are hopeful and thrilled to see where this season leads. Firstenberg has already seen an incredible outpouring of excitement for flying trapeze in Philadelphia. The flying trapeze instructors have stepped up to the plate and are ready to coach each student!

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