Wednesday, October 10, 2007


“OK, Maggie ... up and away!’’ shouts Tito Gaona, looking skyward as an eager 12-year-old Maggie Cherneff leaps from her perch on the narrow ledge of his trapeze rig 30 feet high, and wheeeeeee! She’s flying!

‘‘Back again, knees up!’’ calls Gaona, every inch the celebrity coach in his black Adidas track suit and giant shades. ‘‘Give me a knee hang!’’ Cherneff, toes perfectly pointed, pulls her tiny legs up past her chest, hooks them onto the bar and hangs upside down, swinging dizzyingly back and forth, until she somersaults off and bounces fearlessly into the net below.

‘‘It’s just so fun,’’ she says, giggling over how she got hooked on ‘‘flying’’ three years ago when Gaona, a former circus star based in Venice, Fla., brought his Flying Trapeze Academy to the Beaver Country Day School camp in Chestnut Hill.

Wow, flying on the trapeze sure looks like fun...until somebody falls.

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