Like cardiopulmonary surgeons, trapeze artists have figured out how to tune out gasping audiences, Ignore the awe with today’s Groupon: for $30, you get a trapeze class (up to a $60 value) at Richie Gaona's Trapeze Workshop in Woodland Hills. Groupon customers will be placed, in pairs, into Richie Gaona's existing classes based on availability: either a $50 group class held on Sundays at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 11 a.m., and a no-catch class on Saturdays at 11 a.m.; or a $60 semi-private class held on Mondays at 11 a.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
With a circus career that began at the old age of five, renowned trapeze artist, devoted coach, and fourth generation circus performer Richie Gaona has spread his swinging passion to aspiring trapezists for more than 40 years. This industry veteran, born on an umbilical tight-rope, has flown with Barnum and Bailey, soared with the Circus of the Stars, and drifted with Ellen Degeneres. In the first lesson, novices start at ground school, learning how to hep and hang from their knees before taking to the sky. The entree of the lesson is the riveting knee hang catch, where students thumb their noses at gravity while working in tandem to pull off a hair-raising classic. Vertigo ridden students and helium phobics will be amazed as Richie exorcises fears and recasts them as applause. A waiver must be signed beforehand.
NBC Los Angeles profiled owner Richie Gaona. The Los Angeles Times, 365 L.A., and many others featured Richie Gaona and the trapeze workshop. Five Yelpers give Richie Gaona Flying Trapeze a perfect five stars.
- Before coming here, I was afraid that I wouldn't even be able to hold onto the bar for more than 3 seconds. So when I completed the knee hang/catch, I was just flabbergasted... And oh-so-proud of myself too! – Jolene, 365 L.A.
- He's the best because he focusses [sic] on each of his students, knows where they're at and challenges them to be better! He also made it fun! – Lorna H., Yelp
Ganoa’s Trapeze Workshop
By age 5, Richie Gaona had already learned trapeze and performed with his family, The Flying Gaonas. Over the next 45 years, his art would take him across the globe. During that time he soared with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey, and as a stunt man his acrobatic skills were featured in films such as Back to the Future II and Van Helsing. Today he hopes to use those experiences, as well as his experience as trainer to Circus of the Stars, to help others defy gravity through trapeze, high wire, trampoline, and other three-ring activities. As he displayed on The Ellen Show, Richie prepares beginners with on-ground instruction before swinging them into maneuvers such as the knee-hang catch. During his flying trapeze classes, students swing on the trapeze while harnessed to safety lines, letting go to perform knee hang catches before trying to get back to the trapeze. Just as he has taught everyone from beginners to A-list celebrities, Richie helps students of all skill levels learn to fly majestically regardless of their previous experience.