Children have flipped, tumbled, jumped, and hurled themselves into the air for more than 20 years at The Gymnastics Place. Kids practice their all-around skills on equipment that includes the vault, beam, and bars. They can also break out into specialized classes that focus on tumbling and trampolining, cheerleading, and hip-hop dancing. The center encourages adult involvement, with Mom & Tots classes—in which tots as young as 18 months old begin learning the basics of gymnastics—and boot-camp classes that ramp up fitness. Or moms and dads can get a night to themselves with Footloose Fridays: kids play and eat pizza at The Gymnastics Place, and parents can stay at home and debate the pronunciation of "Nadia Comăneci."
The instructors at Excite! Gym, Cheer, and Dance fulfill many roles for each child, from leading dance, gymnastics, cheer, and tumble classes to ushering fun programs. They work with students preschool aged and up, focusing mostly on the physical skills needed for tumbling, cheerleading, and dance. They hold regular classes for kids to attend, and also conduct more succinct summer and holiday camps. All the while, instructors monitor their charges' progress carefully, regularly promoting them to more challenging classes as they master the skill requirements.
Equipment: Trampolines, tumble mats, foam pit, bars, beams, all spring floors.
Students should bring: Comfortable clothing, pack a lunch and drink.
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 25+
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
At University of Gymnastics, you won't find professors and lecture halls. Instead, you'll find a Learning Academy that melds academics, fitness, and music into a cohesive program for preschoolers. Kids can also take part in a gymnastics program that instills discipline while boosting agility and coordination. All of this was created by Dave and Lynda Rose, who passed it on to their daughter and former competitive gymnast Dayna DeProspero. DeProspero heads up a team of veteran gymnastics instructors and academic teachers who challenge students both intellectually and athletically to help them reach their goals, from competing in the Olympics to reciting a Shakespearean monologue during a balance-beam routine.
Recently opened, Texas Champion Gymnastics offers regular classes that help hone kids' athletic skills while building their self-confidence. Tumbling and conditioning classes strengthen the muscles and motor skills needed to pull off the tricky moves for vaulting up to the cereal cabinet, and recreational gymnastics classes focus on the discipline and techniques of nailing specific routines.
The gymnastic experts at Eagle's Wings Athletics's Allen, Prosper, and Anna locations aim to help their students build both physical skills and self-esteem. Instructors? many of whom boast competitive backgrounds and gymnastic championships?help children as young as 18 months develop motor skills in pre-school classes, preparing them for boy and girl programs. As students cartwheel into each new class level, their gymnastic teachers help them hone skills in Olympic events such as floor exercise, pommel horse, and the horizontal bar. Staff members can also teach kids to flip during trampoline and tumbling courses.
In addition to the standard class lineup, competitive opportunities take gymnastics and cheer teams to regional, national, and interdimensional competitions. Day camps attempt to build lifelong social skills through challenges in areas such as gymnastics and rock climbing. The camps also enlist 7th and 8th graders for its counselor training program to help them learn leadership skills.
United Cheer's coaches train aspiring cheerleaders aged 3 and older, teaching skills from basic forward rolls to more advanced back handsprings and standing tumbling. Along the way, they follow a "perfection before progression" approach, ensuring safety by requiring students to perfect basics before moving on to higher-level moves.