In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
Children have flipped, tumbled, jumped, and hurled themselves into the air for more than 20 years at The Gymnastics Place. Kids practice their all-around skills on equipment that includes the vault, beam, and bars. They can also break out into specialized classes that focus on tumbling and trampolining, cheerleading, and hip-hop dancing. The center encourages adult involvement, with Mom & Tots classes—in which tots as young as 18 months old begin learning the basics of gymnastics—and boot-camp classes that ramp up fitness. Or moms and dads can get a night to themselves with Footloose Fridays: kids play and eat pizza at The Gymnastics Place, and parents can stay at home and debate the pronunciation of "Nadia Comăneci."
ASI Gymnastics helps children of all ages develop a lifelong passion for athletic activity through the practice of gymnastics. In addition to improving strength, endurance, balance, and coordination for children 12 months to 18 years old, the instructors use gymnastics training to bolster confidence and encourage mental growth alongside physical development. Age-appropriate programs begin by introducing fundamental techniques before moving on to more demanding skills, such as handstands, standing back handsprings, and cartwheeling through laser security systems. ASI Gymnastics also caters to varying levels of interest by providing competitive team training as well as casual birthday parties complete with trampolines and games.
The instructors at The Tumble club teach students of all ages the key components in becoming a star cheerleader: gravity-defying tumbling, sizzling hip-hop moves, and inspiring cheers. They introduce tots as young as 3 years old to hand-eye coordination and more experienced kids into the world of competitive cheerleading. But whether they're teaching kids how to do their first somersault or high-flying stunts, they always emphasize teamwork and developing a positive self-image.
The instructors at Excite! Gym, Cheer, and Dance fulfill many roles for each child, from leading dance, gymnastics, cheer, and tumble classes to ushering fun programs. They work with students preschool aged and up, focusing mostly on the physical skills needed for tumbling, cheerleading, and dance. They hold regular classes for kids to attend, and also conduct more succinct summer and holiday camps. All the while, instructors monitor their charges' progress carefully, regularly promoting them to more challenging classes as they master the skill requirements.
Equipment: Trampolines, tumble mats, foam pit, bars, beams, all spring floors.
Students should bring: Comfortable clothing, pack a lunch and drink.
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 25+
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
World Olympic Gymnastics Academy's instructors employ expertise as tumblers to elicit youthful shrieks of glee at trampoline stunts or arts and crafts successes while parents take time to treat themselves. Pizza, drinks, music, and games engross the minds of petite patrons during Friday's semi-regular parents night out, which grants patient guardians peace and a long-awaited turn on the swing. Tykes ages 3 and older tumble and twirl at the Day After Thanksgiving camp as other family members brave the madness of Black Friday shopping sprees or scarf the remaining stuffing. Antics on colorful padded mats introduce chips off the old block to the fundamentals of gymnastics or bestow them with the coordination and agility to begin dabbling in other sports. Winter and Spring Break camps tie up the interests of students with two days of training in gymnastics blended with entertaining exercises such as tumbling, trampoline, and artistic activities.