Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance's expansive space is a patchwork of tumbling mats, balance beams, uneven bars, and other equipment. It's amidst this colorful collage that kids lay a foundation for lifelong fitness and future sports such as basketball, or basketball with backflips. Students are guided by a knowledgeable team of instructors headed by Executive Director Bryan Kiser, who has more than 25 years of experience with the Men's Junior Olympic gymnastics program, and Mei, the women's coach, whose more than three decades of gymnastics experience includes time as a competitor with the Chinese national gymnastics team. The staff splits kids up by age and skill level for recreational gymnastics, and those who decide to pursue their flips and tumbles more seriously can transition into Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance's competitive program.
In addition to gymnastics, the staff teaches karate, dance, and cheerleading lessons. Seasoned instructor Bonita Jennings builds coordination and grace, transforming the pitter-patter of little feet into the structured patterns of dance styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. When classes aren't in session, Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance hosts birthday parties with activities such as rock-wall climbing and ziplining.
Laeral Dance Academy works with dancers of all ages and abilities to hone the energy of restless feet into graceful and artistic movements. Inside a naturally lit studio adorned with wall-size mirrors, a coalition of professional instructors—many of whom have been dancing since the age of 3—train students in the fine art of stylishly stamping out floor fires during classes ranging from classical ballet to hip-hop. Ballet classes for students between 2 and 7 will focus on the Melody Bear method, which helps develop concentration and motor skills by integrating fun dance movements with shapes, counting, stories, and music. Tykes can also develop their jazz and tap abilities, finally enabling Morse code communication with downstairs neighbors. In addition to children's ankle workouts, Laeral Dance Academy hosts adult dance and fitness classes, including a calorie-scorching salsa aerobics class.
What began as a small studio with five enthusiastic dance students has transformed into a full-fledged company that's educated thousands and won multiple awards along the way—including a Certificate of Congressional Recognition. Today, Strictly Street Salsa has a whole team of instructors that has danced its way across the likes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Spain, and Rome and is ready to introduce students to new cultures through the art of dance. The studio offers classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers in both salsa and tango and hosts dance workshops that blend Latin dance with various cultural elements, including African movement, gypsy music, and good old-fashioned American screaming.
Luce Conservatory of Fine Arts founders and head instructors Jeremiah Moore and Gladysue Hovis embody the phrase “two heads are better than one.” Gladysue, a dancer who’s performed with companies since her teens, inspires students to explore creative movement and sharpen their technique. Jeremiah’s talent for the visual arts—including painting, ceramics, sculpting, and woodwork—combines with his art-education experience, helping him guide others in learning artistic pursuits. Together, they form Luce Conservatory, a trove of artistic education where students can find their creative voice without traveling to multiple studios, reducing their chances of wandering into an alternate reality.
Iron Cross Gymnastics equips children with the ability to safely leap and tumble through a variety of encouraging gymnastics classes and summer camps. Split by age level and gender, weekly gymnastics classes train youth to perform gravity-defying physical feats on tumbling mats and aboveground apparati without previous experience or flying carpets. Children ages 2 to 5 learn to follow direction and share during preschool classes, which focus on enhancing basic motor function and agility as students climb and roll through obstacle courses. For more advanced acrobatic maneuvers, 70-minute boys' and girls' recreational programs help kids ages 6 and up build strength and coordination with routines on trampolines and the tumble track. Girls hone balance and agility with special practice on the uneven bars and beam, and boys receive special instruction in the rings, parallel bars, and beard trimmer.
When dance class commences at Move Dance and Fitness Studio, kids aren't the only ones expected to get moving. There's a fitness room located just beyond the studio's viewing windows with a modest collection of ellipticals and treadmills awaiting parents, who can work out for free while their kids are in class. They can even commission a personal trainer (for an additional fee) to help create a customized workout or send the treadmill to bed without dinner if it's pushing everybody too hard. This fitness room exemplifies Move's commitment to keeping the community fit and in motion, no matter the method. Of course, the studio's main draw is dance classes for kids, which range from ballet and jazz to hip-hop and tap.
But the dance classes represent just half of what the studio has to offer. It also holds dance-inspired fitness classes. For example, at Soma Forma barre classes students lean on the ballet barre as they perform small isometric movements designed to sculpt muscles that rival a ballerina's.