The owner of Gymtex, Christina Zhou, attained China’s highest honor for sports—Sports Master—before moving to the United States 29 years ago. At Gymtex for the past 12 years now, she helps young Texans boost both their confidence and fitness levels with gymnastics classes divided by age or skill level. The hour-long group or private classes teach fundamental skills, which kids are welcome to show off at open-play sessions or birthday parties. Coach Christina also heads up competitive gymnastic teams, which consistently perform well at State competitions.
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.
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.
It might be fun to clamber onto the trampolines, balance beams, and other apparatus that fill Katy KIPS Gymnastics Club's 7,000-square-foot facility, but it's also beneficial: USAG-certified instructors guide students through routines on that equipment, helping them to build confidence, fitness, and a foundation for other sports. Although many of the school's classes are tailored for children, adults can attend classes that incorporate stretching, flexibility work, and cardiovascular exercise.
Small student-to-teacher ratios and individual attention—these are just two elements that make Gulf Gymnastics a sought-after destination for the graceful sport. Here, students as young as 3 begin building skills that boost their self-confidence, strength, and coordination, helping them whether they're turning cartwheels on the balance beam or vaulting to the front of the school cafeteria line. Students can also join competitive teams at Gulf Gymnastics, and work toward another win to match the boys team's first place at the 2011 Bryan Invitational and 2011 Juergens Invitational.
Groupon Asks: What inspired you to run this business?
"After all my years in gymnastics, what I have come to realize is that this sport is an incredible medium for teaching and learning life skills. It can help children learn responsibility, teamwork, self-discipline, tenacity, goal setting, and success principles. Regardless of the level of gymnastics the child is working, he or she has many opportunities to set goals, work hard, and achieve them, and the intrinsic rewards from this process is invaluable. At MEG we want to provide as many opportunities as possible for children to say, “I did it!” And to me, that is the greatest gift."
-Mazeika’s Elite Gymnastics Manager
The instructors of Lobo Gymnastics build a positive foundation for little ones to grow athletically, socially, and emotionally during dance classes, gymnastics, and afterschool activities. Across the enormous, bi-level gym, little leapers clamber through obstacle courses, spring across trampolines and into pits full of foam blocks, dangle from a rope swing, and whoosh down a two-level slide that resembles a giant yellow curly fry. As children and their burning desire for trophies grow, they can enter more structured tumbling and dance classes or join a gymnastics team led by former Chinese Olympic team coach Jian Hua Xiao.