“Once you get used to it … you just kinda feel like you’re flipping,” Gym Marika student Jessica Witkin says when describing trampolining in an interview with NBC 4. Trampolining, which has elevated from a backyard mainstay to a medal-earning event, is just one of the gymnastics techniques offered at Gym Marika to help improve the lives of children. “It really builds their self-confidence,” says Head Coach Marika Zahrndt, who oversees a team of USAG-certified coaches.
During classes, Marika and her staff guide students as they absorb techniques that range from rolls, handstands, and round-offs to combinations, aerial somersaults, and handsprings. Classes encompass multiple events, including floor routines, balance beams, vaulting, and uneven parallel bars. The programs are designed to accommodate kids with all aspirations, from those who dream of gold medals to kids who want a fun way to exercise and get through the seven-year winter.
The springy floors at Capitol City Gymnastics host more than gymnastics?they're also the launching pad for cheerleading and karate lessons. Although these three disciplines differ, each is offered to help imbue students with self-confidence and a love of physical activity. The facility's host of ever-evolving gear includes a 35-foot, in-ground tumble track, a pit of foam squares, vaulting equipment, and bars.
Kristi's Tumbling and Trampoline has cultivated stage performers, 88 Junior Olympic National Champions, two national champions, and one world champion since opening its doors in 1994. The instructors, many of whom boast competitive backgrounds and multiple awards, help all levels of students build both physical skills and self-esteem. Beginning at two years old with parent and tot classes, they take little ones through courses that teach everything from basic tumbling to how to flip with the grace and beauty of a rainbow-sprinkle pancake. Kristi's Tumbling and Trampoline's facilities form a safe-haven for students to practice their skills with multiple trampolines that help them reach the sky and a nine-foot-deep foam pit that lets fledgling gymnasts show no fear. After making the journey from beginner to gymnast, students can join competitive teams and showcase their abilities to appreciative fans.
At Cincinnati Gymnastics, Olympic coach Mary Lee Tracy and a staff of dedicated instructors help kids realize their athletic potential with expert guidance in gymnastics. Kids aged from three to seven build acrobatic abilities at an early age through classes and camps that hone skills on the vault, bars, balance beam, and floor.
An award-winning competitive cheer program, Step One Allstars coaxes the spirit out of children and high schoolers with cheerleading lessons and competitions. Led by nationally certified instructors, group classes and individual lessons tackle the intricacies of tumbling for students of all experience levels. Beginners can try out Tumbling 1, while veteran gymnasts tackle Tumbling 5, which requires prerequisites such as the ability to do a back handspring while burping the local high school’s fight song. Instructors also lead sessions to practice cheer stunts and to improve basic flexibility. All of this practice pays off in the studio’s competition squads. Composed of cheerleaders and hip-hop dancers of all ages and experience levels, teams compete locally or travel distances to out-strut faraway opponents. When not spewing out cheers, the Step One crew lends their enthusiasm to various philanthropic causes, including the special-needs program and Adopt-A-Family-Christmas.
Midwest Gymnastics & Cheerleading constantly updates the equipment in its 22,000-square-foot facility, which encloses workout spaces ranging from trampoline areas and sites for single-sex training to a preschool class venue. For the past two decades, the cutting-edge equipment has facilitated courses ranging from introductions to gymnastics, cheerleading, and tumbling to preparation for events that are even more competitive than leotard-eating contests. The venue’s coaches draw on an ever-evolving curriculum to hone student’s athleticism and technique, bolstering youngsters’ self-confidence with positive reinforcement after well-executed exercises.