Helping youngsters succeed in gymnastics comes as second nature for husband-and-wife coaching duo Rosen Manolov and Neli Manolova, whose own daughters, Rali and Iva, grew up practicing gymnastics under their direction and now lead classes at The U.S. Gymnastics Academy. Rosen?s stint as the men?s gymnastics coach for Bulgaria at the Sidney Olympics and Neli?s years of competing internationally are experiences they call upon while guiding aspiring gymnasts toward their personal goals, whether they be to join an Olympic team or to dramatically end conversations with back handsprings.
The U.S. Gymnastics Academy?s sprawling 13,000-square-foot facility provides enough elbow room for fledging flippers to flourish, and its in-ground trampolines, foam pits, and high-quality equipment ensure a safe and fruitful learning environment. The world-class coaches also host various fun and creative summer camps, where kids tumble, draw, and learn to build campfires by high-kicking kindling in rapid succession.
The acrobatic arm of the River Road Park and Recreation District, Gymnastics Northwest offers classes and parties for tumblers aged 18 months to 16 years. Reflex beams, rings, and an in-ground trampoline await first timers and intermediate students for weekly classes and events. Open-gym sessions run on Fridays for acrobats up to age 8, and Action Nights see junior jumpers aged 6?12 bound on the spring floor and feed the pommel horse every third Saturday of the month.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Metro Dance Academy helps create a love of dance and cheerleading in students through a robust slate of classes. With a wide variety of classes for students of all skill levels, the instructors at Metro Dance Academy strive to help dancers grow as individuals and as a group by fostering a positive, encouraging atmosphere. The dance program offers a curriculum that spans jazz, tap, ballet, princess ballet, hip-hop, technique, musical theater, and contemporary dance. The dance schedule runs from September through June and culminates with an end of year recital in the spring.
Kipsters Gymnastics, Dance & Fitness keeps all 11,000 square feet of its facility humming with activity. In Gym A, older kids and adults bounce on eight personal trampolines and tumble across gymnastic beams and mats, while younger gymnasts practice on the pintsized trampoline and rings in Gym B. Safety-minded instructors guide dancers of all abilities through ballet, jazz, and hip-hop classes amid two dance rooms. A toy-filled playroom keeps siblings entertained as their brothers and sisters participate in tumbling, cheer, gymnastics, and trampoline classes in the main gym. The playroom's two viewing windows also let parents keep an eye on all their kids at once, eliminating the need for stuffed animal informants.
Kipsters' year-round classes and spacious facility aren't just for kids; parents can hook into the center's free WiFi or enjoy an adult beginning ballet and hip-hop classes for students 15 years and older. As the ultimate gift to caretakers, Kipsters presents weekly Parents' Survival Nights, which free up four hours of uninterrupted date time on Friday nights.
With nearly 30 years of experience teaching gymnastics, owner and director Naja Rossoff and her staff of kid-minded professionals train children of all ages and skill levels. They start with tykes as young as 15 months old, letting them explore movement with the help of a parent or imaginary legal guardian. They keep developing skills in older kids with advanced classes and a trampoline-and-power-tumbling team. Otherwise, during circus-arts classes, they'll help students master the trapeze, tiptoe across tightropes, and learn of the ins and outs of circus performance.
Bounce Gymnastics also hosts open gyms so that kids can have their run of the facility's balance beams, nine trampolines, and padded floors. During birthday parties, the facility also opens up obstacle courses and organizes group games.