Come fly with me
You don't have to wait for the circus to watch the adventurous fly trapeze.
The sight is hard to miss when driving across the Jenks bridge and turning into the RiverWalk Crossing shopping center. A tall ladder rises from the ground, met with a small wooden platform. Just in front of the platform, two metal bars hang above a large net. It’s here that brave souls explore a hobby — to some, an addiction — that allows them to, as the saying goes, fly through the air with the greatest of ease.
Kerry Tice, 23, is a victim of trapeze obsession. His began at age 15 as a member of the Sarasota Sailor Circus in Sarasota, Fla. Having tried out a few circus performance skills, he quickly fell in love with trapeze. He soon joined the circus’ after-school program, performing in showcases two times a year, and studied with renowned trapeze artist Tito Gaeona at his Flying Trapeze Academy in Venice, Fla.
In May, Tice learned from a friend that the flying-trapeze academy in Jenks was in need of a company to stay open. He decided he was ready for a new adventure and packed his bags; recruited a few Sarasota Circus friends, Charity Herbert and Emily Wyatt, as instructors; and moved to the Tulsa area.
Tice created circuSoul with his wife, Alejandra, and the company began offering classes in June, with evening classes at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday, and Monday reserved for corporate events. In early July, circuSoul began offering by-appointment classes in aerial silks. Classes cost $35 for an hour-and-a-half session.
Tice says he expects that many Tulsans will make their way to Jenks to take a turn at the trapeze, and he welcomes students of all ages, from 7 to 70.
“It’s pretty low impact,” he says. “You’re landing in a net. You have safety lines on. You can do it for quite a long time, make a lifelong habit of it.”
Samantha Mellor began learning trapeze after the previous school’s owners met her at a local restaurant, where she worked, and convinced her to take a class. A former competitive gymnast, Mellor became a certified instructor for circuSoul after just two months.
“It became addicting and I fell in love with it,” she says.
Tice says not all students will progress as quickly as Mellor, but he welcomes everyone to come try a class.
“It’s always fresh and exciting,” he says. “Once people get into it, they’re hooked."