The U.S. All Star Federation, a committee that regulates competitive dance and cheer, has stamped its seal of approval on Spring Creek Athletics, one of the elite gyms to have earned USASF certification. That’s probably because Spring Creek’s coaches have led their all-star cheer team, the Spring Creek Spinners, to national victory. Despite these intimidating credentials, the athletic complex still welcomes pupils of all ages and abilities to enjoy the health-boosting benefits of tumbling, cheerleading, hip-hop dancing, and break dancing, and it runs camps to introduce novices to the spirited world of athletics.
At K2 Academy of Kids Sports, kids scurry around a 6,500-square-foot space filled with trampolines, balance beams, and rope swings spread beneath an overhead zipline. Accompanied by parents or legal-guardians, children can roam free across the indoor terrain during open-play hours or join gymnastics, cheerleading, and tumbling classes, in which instructors tailor lesson plans to each age group with an emphasis on fun, collaborative learning. Gymnastics sessions encompass everything from basic rolls to intricate dance routines, whereas cheerleading skills progress from simple tumbles to the ultimate inspirational challenge?making Eeyore indifferent. Tumbling pupils master cartwheels before tackling cardio training and jumps, further honing their skills in workshops and clinics designed as intensive studies of each activity.
During the off-season, day camps and summer camps keep teensy feet distracted from toppling store-window displays of fragile "Kick Me" signs. Year-round, the S.O.A.R. program tweaks the traditional gamut of classes for athletes with special needs. Using the Mother Goose Time curriculum, K2's preschool focuses on hands-on learning activities that aim to prepare children for kindergarten academically and socially.
It might be fun to clamber onto the trampolines, balance beams, and other apparatus that fill Katy KIPS Gymnastics Club's 7,000-square-foot facility, but it's also beneficial: USAG-certified instructors guide students through routines on that equipment, helping them to build confidence, fitness, and a foundation for other sports. Although many of the school's classes are tailored for children, adults can attend classes that incorporate stretching, flexibility work, and cardiovascular exercise.
"You can do it," is not just an empty phrase at Texas Tumblers Gymnastics, it's the cornerstone of their entire philosophy. The coaches teach their students confidence from the get-go as they work their way through complicated recreational gymnastics or prepare for competitions. They also teach dance to kids ages 3 and older, as well as helming a program called AllStars cheerleading. The positive teaching philosophy also carries over to classes for adults. The fitness program for fully grown students includes circuit training and dance cardio classes, but does not include lessons on how to pole vault over cubicle walls.
The owner of Gymtex, Christina Zhou, attained China’s highest honor for sports—Sports Master—before moving to the United States 29 years ago. At Gymtex for the past 12 years now, she helps young Texans boost both their confidence and fitness levels with gymnastics classes divided by age or skill level. The hour-long group or private classes teach fundamental skills, which kids are welcome to show off at open-play sessions or birthday parties. Coach Christina also heads up competitive gymnastic teams, which consistently perform well at State competitions.
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 4 months old to 12 years old 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 .