Swinging Trapeze and Cloudswing
In Part One of this series, I discussed the elements that affect the swing’s height as well as the best way to increase size and how to utilize the pull of gravity efficiently. Also, we know that more weight can help increase size and keep it. This is another reason swing trapeze bars have extra consequences on each end. The principal reason behind this is to ensure that the bar is as solid as is feasible when the user falls from above to lower it. Cloudswing is not able to carry additional weight. Those who are a part of cloudwing understand that gaining an adequate swing height is more complex, but it is a fair trade-off for the ease of the soft rope positioned against their bodies. Physics’ laws are not arbitrary, and all swinging actions have the same difficulty increasing and maintaining height. Therefore, it is up to the individual and their instructor to discover the most efficient way to gain the required skills and continue the challenge of growing and maintaining height. The swings are considered single-plane pendulums, meaning they are only the direction forward and backward because of their attachment point and the swing’s character.
Swinging trapeze performers increase their swings from standing. They bend and straighten their legs as they move both backward and forward. This alone will not alter its length. However, it could change its speed. The students’ weight distribution on the trapeze bar about the direction they swing (leaning forwards or backward with respect towards the ropes and their point of contact) can help generate more speed. The stretching of the strings reduces the length of the pendulum. By bending their knees just as they begin to slide to the ground from the top during their swing, the weight of their bodies will increase the gravitational pull, resulting in more incredible speed. Pushing their legs straight at the swing’s bottom adds additional velocity to the natural motion that the swing produces. As they stand up fast between the ropes as they have reached the pendulum’s maximum height, their body’s weight is spread in the closest proximity to the points of bearing as they can and decreases the gravitational pull on the weightiest portion of the pendulum. This allows the bar of the trapeze to move up a bit. An effective technique and precise timing regulate this process. Once the pendulum is at an angle of 180 degrees (full height), it will not need much effort to maintain its size. Full size refers to how long the ropes or cables of the trapeze are. So the size when you turn 180 degrees is the same as how long the ropes are (if you have four meters of strings attached to your trapeze, at the point you’ve achieved 180 degrees, you’ll have gained 4m about the ground.)
The trapeze swing mainly comprises abilities when a person is suspended under the trapeze bar using their knees, hands, or ankles. In these situations, the pendulum gets extended, ultimately reducing its height. Therefore, abilities under the bar are restricted to the smallest number of swings needed so they don’t lose the crown. The skills learned from hang-hands are much more challenging because they require the complete length of a person’s body to be moved over a long distance within a short time. The precise timing and strength needed to return to the very top of the bar while swinging is necessary. Techniques based on specific timings and strength have expanded the range of methods used to hang trapeze over the past few times. A student can transfer their body under to above the bar and then back higher up, accomplished using an additional pendulum created by the student with their body. When the timer is set to the highest point of the swing (where the pendulum will be at its slowest speed), spins and somersaults occur in mid-air before landing on the high trapeze either in the standing or sitting in a standing or sitting position. The second pendulum in the human body utilizes the shifting of the directions of the pendulum when it is at its highest to produce dramatic changes in the length of the pendulum.
The cloud swing is like a swinging trapeze; however, the student can also get higher by “pumping” their swings from an uninvolved knee hang while their hands remain in the pendulum. This “pumping” action increases speed and alters the pendulum’s length to increase height. This is an excellent way for cloudwing students to grow taller than swinging trapeze students with a weighted bar to aid in increasing size. When on the cloudswing, techniques originate from the knees of the student, their hips, lower back, and ankles, and seldom from their hands. Twirls similar to somersaults could be performed with the cloud swing like swinging trapezes, even with no bar weight. It is a must to wrap the rope around the legs, a technique that can only be done on a cloudswing. When wrapping the string, the student can reduce their pendulum’s length, increasing the chance of expanding the swing height with less effort. The speed at which size can decrease during the course, and the time frame for learning is restricted to the swings required to ensure the student doesn’t drop too high, which needs to be rebuilt before the next set of skills. Another advantage of performing things at a total height is that restoring the size lost after the course is more straightforward.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many trapeze-swinging and cloud swing students because of the rigging requirements and the fact they require a skilled instructor to hold the safety rope. I’m looking to teach more students about these techniques despite the absence of contract agreements for these disciplines. They’re still a thrilling discipline to master, and experience the adrenaline rush when you swing. One of my favorite activities is to reach the maximum height, rest on my arms, sit and close my eyes, and feel the sensation in the swing. Have fun and swing high.