Kristi's Tumbling and Trampoline has cultivated stage performers, 81 Junior Olympic National Champions, and two national champions 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.
PoleKittens Fitness offers fitness-focused females fun alternatives to conventional workout classes and methods. The 90-minute aerial silks workshop starts by warming up the muscles used for anti-gravity maneuvering, then embarks on a tutorial of basic climbs and aerial skills aboard a dangling expanse of fabric. Students hone their abilities close to the ground to avoid accidental collisions with bald eagles, and the class winds down with conditioning exercises used by professional aerialists to promote strength and flexibility. Each student receives a free souvenir photo ideal for showing off their silk-scaling skills to friends and prospective employers.
American Turners Circus' agile aerial coaches guide students through midair twirling exercises on five types of equipment in Intro to Mixed Aerial Apparatus workshops. Students bring along a friend to jointly extinguish gravity's hold during one-hour sessions, which begin by schooling students in basic stretching and conditioning to prepare for introductory aerial techniques. Twirl and fly on up to three types of aerial circus gear, including trapeze, hanging silks, coiled Spanish webs, lyras, and ladders without the avian road rage of traditional flight. Students rehearse midair acrobatics and prove their ability to think while hanging upside down under the vaulted steel-beam ceilings of the Turners' massive gymnasium. By studying the art of circus with the American Turners, visitors keep up a legacy that began in 1849 when their predecessors, the Louisville Turners, began their above-earth performances on Market Street in what would become the city's first gym.
As a former Level 10 gymnast and University of Louisville cheerleader, Ashley Stratton has become a spokesperson for the physical and mental benefits of gymnastics. She hopes to pass the sport's character values—confidence, discipline, and a tenacious work ethic—on to children at Competitive Edge Gymnastics. With a coaching staff that includes nationally qualified judges and competitors, she leads classes, team programs, and clinics that challenge youngsters to build bodily awareness.
Ashley has outfitted the air-conditioned, 2,000 and 16,000-square-foot gyms with a wonderland of fun environments for kids, including circus silks suspended above sprung flooring and a foam pit that, unlike ball pits, does not invite bites from Pac-Man. Events such as Parents' Night Out allow guardians to drop their children off for a night of play, and classes for toddlers explore the parent-child bond to enhance motor skills.