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Meet Brad Smith of Trapeze School New York, Los Angeles in Santa Monica Pier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brad Smith.

Brad, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I started flying trapeze, I literally had no idea it was something I could do. I didn’t imagine that it was an option for someone not in the circus. After I found out about the trapeze school on the Santa Monica Pier, and took a class, I was hooked. I applied for a part time job, was in the right place at the right time, and eventually it became my full-time gig.

Has it been a smooth road?
Like starting anything new, there’s a learning curve. The good thing about trapeze is that the learning curve is also a pretty fun experience. For me, it was when my participation outdistanced my conditioning. I was flying a good deal and working lots of classes, but wasn’t doing much conditioning outside of trapeze, and wound up with an overuse injury. Flying trapeze can be a good workout by itself, but like most athletic pursuits, if it becomes more than a hobby and you’re serious about it, you should do some cross training and strengthening to stay in the game.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Trapeze School New York on the Santa Monica Pier offers a flying trapeze experience to the general public — as well as trampoline and aerial arts classes such as silks. At TSNY, you learn by doing, by getting up on the equipment and trying it.

When it comes to participating, I love the adrenaline rush and the feeling of freedom of hanging from a bar and flying through the air. When flying, there’s a moment of pure focus on the present. I’m not thinking of what errands I have to run later, or needing to take the car into the shop, or whatever. I’ve heard others call it “trapeze zen,” and I like that saying, it feels pretty accurate.

When it comes to coaching, what keeps me in love with my job is seeing people realize they are capable of doing far more than they thought they could when they started. The change from the first tentative swings, to the look of joy on their face as they make their first flying trapeze catch at the end of class is a pretty rewarding experience to get to share. They say flying can be addicting, but it can also be addicting working at a place where your work routinely results in exuberant high fives and huge smiles.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is an excellent place to live and work. There are tons of activities, and always something to do if you look around. On one hand, that can be a challenge for a business like ours, since there are a lot of options to compete with, but on the other hand there’s great opportunity in being part of a thriving, active and adventurous community if you can find your niche.

One of the challenges of Los Angeles is that the city is so spread out, with lots of neighborhoods and city centers. Traffic congestion getting from one part of the city to another can be a headache, and many times no one wants to add any distance to their commute. Some things that could help would be to locate in a destination area, or find a location with easy access to freeways.

If I had an easy answer to Los Angeles’s transportation challenges, I’d be a rich person, I guess. For now, my goal is for students to have such a great experience at the trapeze school that they don’t care about the traffic.


  • For 2 hour flying trapeze lessons – $55 weekdays, $65 weekends
  • For 1 hour trampoline or aerial arts lessons – $35

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