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Trapeze and Circus Stuff

Stuff to Know

Circus Tidbits: FAQ

Trapeze Terms

Trapeze Dictionary of Terms:

  • Hup! - Signal to leave the board and/or the fly bar. Sometimes used by the catcher to tell the flyer to let go after a catch when landing in the net.

  • Catch Bar - The trapeze that the catcher swings on.

  • Fly Bar - The bar the flyer uses.

  • Apron - The net in front of the catch bar. (The back apron is the net behind the board.)

  • Rise/Riser - A narrow board placed on the rungs of the ladder to allow the flyer to take off from a higher point.

  • Mount - When the flyer mounts the board after a return.

  • Return - When the flyer, after a successful catch, manages to return to the fly bar, and often all the way back to the board. In professional shows, the flyers rarely come down from the board.

  • Grips - Can be gymnastics grips or ones made of tape. They are used to protect the flyer's hands.

  • Chalk - Used by the flyer and catcher to absorb wetness and to reduce sticking to things such as the fly bar.

  • Force Out - Kicking the legs out at the peak of the flyer's swing to gain height.

  • Hollow - Comes right after the force-out. It is basically a neutral position.

  • Sweep - Comes after hollow. Signifies kicking the legs back.

  • Seven - The last part of a force-out swing. Flyer brings legs in front of them so they will not hit the board.

  • Cutaway Bar - The bar that the catcher holds when the flyer executes tricks to the catcher such as normal Cutaways and Reverse Knee-Hangs.

  • Cut (as in Cut Catch) - The flyer is caught in a legs catch and swings out into the apron. On the next swing into the apron, the flyer thrusts their body up, and the catcher lets go of the flyer's legs and grabs their hands.

Flying Trapeze Tricks That can be Thrown to a Catcher

  • Feet Across (a.k.a. "Legs")

  • Heels Off

  • Hocks Off

  • Splits (Front End/Back End)

  • Straddle Whip (Front End/Back End)

  • Whip (Front End/Back End)

  • Bird's Nest/Birdie (Front End/Back End)

  • Shooting Star

  • Half Turn

  • Straight Jump

  • Cut Catch

  • Uprise Shoot

  • Forward Over

  • Forward Under

  • Double Over

  • Passing Leap

  • Piggyback

  • Pullover Shoot

  • Reverse Knee Hang

  • One Knee Hang

  • Flexus

  • Somersault

  • Hocks Salto

  • Front Hip Circle/Back Hip Circle

  • Seat Roll/Penny Roll (Full Time/Half Time)

  • Planche (Front End/Back End)

  • Pirouette (540)

  • Layout

  • One and a half Somersault

  • Cutaway

  • Cutaway Half

  • Cutaway Full

  • Double Somersault

  • Double Cutaway

  • Double Cutaway and a half twist

  • Double Layout

  • Full Twisting Double

  • Double-Double

  • Triple Somersault

  • Triple Twisting Double

  • Full Twisting Triple

  • Triple Twisting Double

  • Triple Layout

  • Quadruple Somersault

Lyrics to The Daring Young Man

“A Daring Young Man On The Flying Trapeze” Lyrics

By George Leybourne

Once I was happy but now I'm forlorn
Like an old coat that is tattered and town
Left on this wide world to fret and to mourn,
Betrayed by a maid in her teens
The girl that I loved she was handsome
I tried all I knew her to please
But I could not please her one quarter so well
Like that man up on the trapeze
He'd fly through the air with the greatest of ease
A daring young man on the flying trapeze
His movements were graceful, all girls he could please
And my love he purloined away
This young man by name was Signor Bona Slang
Tall, big, and handsome as well made as Chang
Where'er he appeared the hall loudly rang
With ovation from all people there
He'd smile from the bar on the people below
And one night he smiled on my love
She winked back at him and she shouted, "Bravo!"
As he hung by his nose up above!
Her father and mother were both on my side
And hard tried to make her my own bride
Her father he sighed and her mother she cried
To see her throw herself away
'Twas all no avail she went there ev'ry night
And would throw him bouquets on the stage
Which caused him to meet her, how he ran me down
To tell you would take a whole page
One night I as usual went to her dear home,
Found there her father and mother alone
I asked for my love and soon they made known
To my horror that she'd run away!
She'd packed up her box and eloped in the night
With him with the greatest of ease
From two stories high, he had lowered her down
To the ground on his flying trapeze!
Some months after this I went to a hall
Was greatly surprised to see on the wall
A bill in red letters which did my heart gall,
That she was appearing with him
He taught her gymnastics and dressed her in tights
To help him to live at his ease
And made her assume a masculine name
And now she goes on the trapeze!
She floats through the air with the greatest of ease
You'd think her a man on the flying trapeze
She does all the work while he takes his ease
And that's what's become of my love.

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