If one can summon the courage to leap from a high ledge, holding tight to the bar of a trapeze, there’s little telling what else you might find the nerve to do.
That’s the concept behind Flying Colors, a venue for learning trapeze and circus arts on the outskirts of Marine on St. Croix.
Founder Sherri Mann has been running a club program, Embrace Adrenaline Flying Trapeze Club, since 2005 and began hosting educational summer camps in 2006. This year, she’s expanded the camp offerings to include adults.
Aptly, Mann was an adult when she fell for trapeze.
“Circus Juventas, the kids youth circus St. Paul, used to have a flying trapeze for adults,” she explained. “It’s a great backyard sport. It takes a team, but it’s great way to exercise and have a blast.”
After discovering her love for swinging in 2002, she traveled across the country to learn more from professionals.
And with the dream of building a trapeze with her sister — a rigger, fire captain and builder — Mann moved to the Marine on St. Croix property about 14 years ago.
“But my husband didn’t like that idea,” Mann smiled. “So we bought one instead.”
Flying Colors new adult camps — a boot camp and women’s camp — are focused on building self-confidence and trust. Mann uses income from the various camps to offer similar experiences through nonprofit programming at Flying Colors.
“This is a leg of our mission, which is to give empowerment experiences to kids and women of need,” she explained.
Last week, a group of young adults with the St. Paul nonprofit Face to Face visited Flying Colors. The organization is forming a youth advisory council, according to Executive Director Lynda Bennett.
Some in the group stepped up to the ledge and swung without hesitation. For others it was harder. Minutes ticked by as one young man balanced on the 20-foot ledge, trapeze in hand. Then he decided not to swing.
Others climbed the ladder and took off. Eventually, he got back up and — although it didn’t happen right away — he jumped, swung and landed safely.
It felt pretty good, he reported later, like he might be able to do anything if he really tried.
Flying Colors camps
Teens Circus Camp
Ages 10-17, July 24-26
Adult Boot Camp
Ages 17-75, July 28 and 29
Women’s Empowerment Camp
Aug 4 and 5
Kids Circus Half-Day Camp
Ages 8-12, July 31-August 2
To register or see more program offerings, visit www.flyingcolorstrapeze.com.