See that guy flying through the air, circus-style, all muscle, guts, and heart? That’s Miles Postlethwait, a 30-year-old trapeze artist originally from St. Petersburg, Fla. He appeared on the TV show America’s Got Talent some few years back with a troupe of athletes called the Flying Royals.
He’s traveled all over but landed this summer in a meadow at the Hayground School in Bridgehampton, working as an instructor at the Hamptons Trapeze Co. alongside Laura Elder, another up-and-coming trapeze athlete whose svelte silhouette can be seen on the platform on the far right.
“It’s a good community,” Postlethwait says as he sips a hot black coffee, doctored up with a touch of sugar, on a high-summer morning outside Java Nation. “You meet a lot of likeminded people — open and supportive. Mentally, it’s good to challenge myself constantly. I love it. I enjoy it. It’s a thrill and a challenge.”
Trapeze lessons at the Hayground School have become something of a tradition (dating, if you want to go all the way back, to the 1970s when small students at Hayground’s hippie-dippie precursor, the Hampton Day School, flew through the air in phys-ed class). The kids at Hayground Camp, run on the academic campus each summer, can’t get enough of it, jockeying for time slots on “the rig.”
Peter Gold ran the rig for more than 20 years, beginning in 2000; Gregory Tiwald, the current ringleader, took over in 2021. Standing nearly 39 feet tall at its highest point, it’s currently the only place in Suffolk County where you can go “flying,” as they say. (Don’t say “swinging.” That’s something else altogether.)
There are trapeze schools all over the world, all following the same laws of physics that otherwise ground the rest of us. When you strap into those lines, jump off the board, and let momentum take over, you’re “part of something bigger,” Tiwald says. “It’s a welcoming community, progressive and safe for L.G.B.T.Q., Black, brown, and all people marginalized in our society.” Both of your East editors have tried it, and can attest to the sense of liberation trapeze can afford. Catch the bar, and you’re flying.