Flying’s not just for the birds at this Chicago school

By Kat Lonsdorf

A small slice of the circus is always in town in at Broadway Armory Park in Edgewater. The massive military-building-turned-public-rec-center is home to Trapeze School New York (TSNY) Chicago, a unique learning environment that teaches students to swing, twirl, and fly through the air.

[vimeo 167200632 w=474]

Apryl Schlueter performs at an animal-themed show open to the public at Trapeze School New York Chicago on May 7. (Kat Lonsdorf/MEDILL)

While some students tackle their first time hanging from the bar, many have been swinging for years—some have even gone on to join professional companies like Ringling Brothers Circus and Cirque du Soleil, according to general manager Steve Hammes. Apryl Schlueter is one of the more seasoned students, attending the multi-week workshops at the school regularly and performing in the school’s public (and themed!) shows every few months.

TSNY Chicago recently opened their outdoor location for the summer season at Belmont Harbor.

Photo at top: Trapeze student Apryl Schlueter swings in practice to prepare for the show on Saturday, May 7. Schlueter has been coming to trapeze class for two and a half years. (Kat Lonsdorf/MEDILL)