The Lady and the Tramp(oline)

27 Jan

At 9pm on Thursday, I found myself in a precarious position. Having passed a mere six inches from a defecating hobo (I bet you didn’t think there was actually going to be a tramp in this story, did you?) on North First Street in Williamsburg and located a warehouse filled with ropes and silks and chains, I ended up in a split…15 feet above the floor.

The place is called S.L.A.M., which is an acronym for the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics. Essentially a circus practice ring, it’s also home to a movement company that mixes parkour, martial arts, gymnastics and ballet to make postmodern dance pieces. That explains the two women wrapped in silk hanging 30 feet in the air, and also the guy inside the metal hoop. As for me, I’m on a 10-by-15-foot, Cirque du Soleil-style trampoline with the kind of dopey smile on my face that you get when kittens or babies are about, or when someone insists that you skip, or you accidentally meet someone famous that you admire. I think this is because it’s impossible to frown on a trampoline (although, in the interests of science, I’m going to try at my next class), but it also made it difficult for the instructor to take me seriously.

I’m bouncing around every which way, and this adorable circus woman is asking me if I have any experience while I desperately try to tell her that I’m probably going to (bounce) kill(bounce) myself (bounce) on this thing.

“I have never been on one of these…WHOA…things in my…AHH…life. Except this one time in San Diego with this guy who…HOLY SHIT…gave me mudslides and told me he wanted to lick whipped cream off my… dear god, why am I telling you this,” I said.

“Ok, so, first, don’t jump so high.”

“Oh, yeah. Definitely, not so high. Good idea.”

“And look straight out, if you look down you’ll follow your gaze down and fall.”

“Hey! I am falling when I do that. You must do this a lot.”



“Alright, and then you should bring your arms up when…why are you smiling at me like that?”

“I can’t help it. It’s the trampoline!”

Anyway, as you can see, I didn’t die, although I did manage to “almost give [adorable circus woman] a heart attack” while trying to do a pike because I almost bounced myself into a pile of steel supports. I also learned to do some “seat drops” (exactly what it sounds like) and watched some more circusly experienced folks do “suicides” (also exactly what it sounds like), and even tried to do pairs trampoline (which is harder than it looks, even if you don’t do shit like this)

Next goal: See how many other things I can use at S.L.A.M. to scare the shit out of myself/others. I’m looking at you, metal ring.

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2 Responses to “The Lady and the Tramp(oline)”

  1. acleansurface January 27, 2011 at 5:24 am #

    Yikes. Be careful up there. Great title, by the way.

    • One Bad Yam Pajama January 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

      Hey, thanks! My other goal with all this is to not actually kill myself…

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