When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
The tagline at Mills Gymnastics USA is "home of happy, confident kids." The coaches don't take that motto lightly—the gymnastics center places a strong emphasis on childhood development and self-esteem building. In addition to helping kids work on strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and stamina, coaches help pupils learn the importance of a strong work ethic, time management, and self-reliance.
Children ages 18 months to 5 years old can attend "Tumble Bug" classes to master basic motor skills and learn tricks to impress the ice cream man. Older kids age 5 through 18 work on skills on floor, beam, bars, vault, and the 40-foot Tumble Trak Trampoline during recreational gymnastics classes. The gym also has a competitive team, an all-star cheer team, and hosts birthday parties, summer camps, and field trips.
When a performance studio stages The Sound of Music as its first production only months after opening, you know it means business. For the staff of Olmsted Performing Arts, their dedication to developing students' acting skills and hunger for creative expression continues to generate inspiring performances. These range from classic Rodgers and Hammerstein showtunes to song-and-dance numbers from Footloose, a rousing tale about the adventures of a barefoot podiatrist.
From Romulus Athletic Center's indoor track, runners and joggers can watch planes as they take off and land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The simple pleasure of an expansive view is a reminder that exercise can be enjoyable, not merely strenuous. This commitment to fulfillment through physical activity can be found across the sprawling facilities: the five-pool aquatics area features a 240-foot lazy river and a two-story waterslide, and the two gymnasiums host games of basketball and volleyball. The 6,000-square-foot fitness area houses ample equipment for sculpting physiques, including a 30-foot climbing wall and more than 10,000 pounds of weight plates, which is more than enough to challenge the world's strongest man or the world's weakest King Kong.
The instructors at Tumble Athletics—all of whom were former college cheerleaders at Division 1 schools—emphasize precision and teamwork over somersaulting for the spotlight. During classes for 3- to 18-year-olds, they demonstrate acrobatic skills that build both strength and a sense of sportsmanship. Students rehearse maneuvers from front tumbles to back handsprings, looking to their coaches and recorded videos for feedback on their form. An 8 to 1 ratio of tumblers to teachers ensures that they each receive personalized, positive attention.
Certified in personal training, corrective exercise, and performance enhancement, Mike Lauzon teamed up with certified trainer Sean Rhinard to help patrons work toward health and aesthetic goals. Mi-Fit, located within Michigan Academy of Dance and Music, begins training programs with a free consultation to assess weight and body fat and build a program tailored to one's schedule and well-being. The trainers build varying workouts, which burn calories and sculpt sinews through resistance training, core building, and stints with Ropes Gone Wild gear featured on The Biggest Loser. For those not able to make it to the gym, Mi-Fit works to create a personalized, self-guided program built around the equipment already in the patron’s home or the boulders available in a mountain goat’s home.
Most training packages include nutritional plans and food logs, which help clients keep themselves on a dietary timeline as they work toward preset goals. Trainers can connect clients with vitamins and nutritional supplements from Optimum Nutrition or help design and install a home gym to fit the space requirements of a basement.