Spooky trampoline trio show off their bones

Behind the scenes at Canada Wonderland's Halloween Haunt

Phil Barbaro, Hugues Aubry and Joel Norton participate in the acrobatic show Skeleton Crew during Halloween Haunt at Canada's Wonderland.  

Canada’s Wonderland is known to put on quite a spook when it comes to their thrill-seeking Halloween Haunt.

And this year there’s enough haunting attractions to appeal to any spook level. Take Joel Norton, Phil Barbaro, and Hugues Aubry, a trampoline trio who perform for the live show Skeleton Crew that includes fire artistry and banquine.

The three put on a spectacle with no strings attached – literally. Suited in black, they each have a skeleton printed on either side of their body suits that dance, fall, flip and hop.

Spooky might not be the word to describe them after that sort of comic relief. While they might make it look easy, the friendly faces behind the creepy masks reveal otherwise.

Joel Norton, 30, has been performing for nine years. Norton says the most important component of trampolining is timing.

“The hardest thing about it is timing – knowing when to get that bed at that perfect moment, when to push and when not to, so the bed does the work and you don’t,” Norton said.

“If you miss your timing you can get a weak knee (but) injuries are a part of our game.” Phil Barbaro, 24, started training as a trampolinist at the age of 11 and started competing professionally at the age of 12.

Eventually, he was successfully carded as fourth on the Canadian National Trampoline Team but Barbaro decided against continuing after staying at that level for a few years.

“I had that dream for a while [but] I realized not only are shows more fun – but you get paid to do them. Training fees to compete are almost three grand a year, even if you are top four in the country they don’t fund you 100 per cent to get there,” Barbaro said.

Danusia Rogacki, the organizer of the Halloween Haunt has been working there for seven years. Halloween Haunt, she explains, functions as an entire art department.

“We treat it like a theatre production…I have lighting team, audio team, a paints and props team, and a full creative staff. We do our own story writing; I also have carpenters under a special effects team who work for me,” Rogacki said.

The Skeleton Crew can be caught live at Wonderland’s Halloween Haunt until Oct. 27, 2013.

Other attractions include 13 frightening mazes, three scare zones, rides and more than 700 of the undead. Tickets range between $39 to $44.

About this article

By: Arooj Yaqub
Copy editor: Joanne Kaileh
Posted: Oct 16 2013 3:18 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life