Hamptons Trapeze Co. is open for its 23rd season in Bridgehampton, welcoming students with open arms in more ways than one. Operating on the grounds of the Hayground School on Mitchell Lane, HTC is the only flying trapeze on the East End. Offering flying trapeze lessons for children and adult thrill-seekers alike, classes are available six days a week, led by owner and professional trapeze artist Gregory Tiwald.
“I started working as a fitness instructor at Club Med in 2009,” Tiwald says. “They offered trapeze school and I just fell in love with it. It ended up taking me all over the world.”
Trapeze allowed Tiwald to travel from Florida to Turks and Caicos, Malaysia, Indonesia and China, where he became the “Head of Circus.” He settled in the Dominican Republic where he owned a flying trapeze school from 2016 to 2019. After selling his school, he came to the Hamptons just before the pandemic to teach with then-HTC owner and fellow trapeze artist Peter Gold at the Hayground location. He ended up buying the business from Gold in 2021.
Currently, Tiwald’s team includes two other trapeze instructors, Miles Postlethwait and Laura Elder. Combined, the trio has nearly 20 years of trapeze experience under their belts. “I started with circus classes in college,” Postlethwait says. “I love that it’s such a challenge. It really pushes you, it’s almost like an addiction. It’s pretty special.”
Classes run six days a week in the afternoons (closed on Tuesdays) and students are as young as four years old. According to Tiwald, skill levels run the gamut, with plenty of first-timers gearing up for a lesson each day. Their season usually runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with Tiwald noting this year they’ll be open until around September 19, additionally offering three specialty workshops for June, July and August. During these specialty workshops, students will be able to master a specific trick, culminating with a special performance under the lit-up trapeze apparatus. According to a press release from HTC, the first workshop is set for June 19 through June 23, with lessons running from 7 to 9 p.m. each day.
“We also made a big change this year by adding a 70-foot-tall, 16-foot-wide shade surface, so we can stay nice and cool,” says Tiwald.
Open flying trapeze classes are two hours long, cost $120 per person, and contain up to 10 participants. For more information on additional, more intensive and private classes, click here. There are also discounted class packages available as well as a “buy now, fly later” option.
For the first time, HTC will offer classes utilizing hung silk fabric this year, featuring fabric up to 60-feet long hung upside down for students to learn how to climb and do tricks on. For new students, they can expect to learn how to climb the ladder that goes up to the platform, how to jump from the platform and will do a trick called the “knee-hang.” Potential students are encouraged to wear dry, athletic clothing. For a full list of the do’s and don’ts for HTC classes, click here.
“Everyone has a fear of heights,” Tiwald says. “Learning to fly trapeze is about overcoming that fear.”
To learn more about Hamptons Trapeze Co. contact [email protected] or call 480-249-8068.