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 the sounds of stuck landings echo off gym walls, owner and former University of Kentucky cheerleader John Ireland and Lexington Gymnastics and Cheerleading’s seasoned instructors share show-stopping routines and techniques with aspiring athletes ages 5–14 years old. One-hour daytime or evening classes fill kids with body-moving know-how, from beginning cheer’s introductory rah-rah routines to gymnastics classes’ balance-improving bar and beam work. Beginning tumbling lessons prepare bodies for the turbulent world of floor exercises. The trained staffers at Lexington Gymnastics and Cheerleading can accommodate special-needs children, ensuring a welcoming environment for a diverse crowd.
Day camp sessions focus on gymnastics, cheerleading, all sports, or circus activities. Summer camp instructors supply lunch every Friday, and take kids on field trips every week. During field trips, students may play laser tag, hike through scenic areas, or mount horses and gallop into the sunset and back.
In Premier Athletics of Lexington's state-of-the-art gym, trampolines propel acrobats toward ceilings more than 20 feet tall, while tumblers practice somersaulting over spring floors that go easy on joints. Helmed by Lexington Gymnastics and Cheerleading's John Ireland, the former University of Kentucky cheerleader is dedicated to one-on-one, individualized instruction.
In these environs, coaches lead courses in cheer, gymnastics, tumbling, and dance for kids 18 months and older, teaching moves that range from the basics to competition-ready stunts, such as holding up a cue card with ?10? on it before starting your routine. As home to the Kentucky Elite Allstars and the Gym Cats, instructors train gymnasts and cheerleaders of every age and skill level. As youngsters learn to tumble?or participate in laid-back courses taught during birthday parties?parents can cheer from a designated viewing area.
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.
A cheer and tumbling school, GymTyme instills athletes of all ages with the skills necessary to complete and even lead dynamic, gravity-defying routines. Coaches lead cheer camps and six progressive levels of classes that begin by covering basic tumbling form and jumps, then work up to full twisting layouts, bounding, and other advanced choreography. Open gym sessions provide a less-structured opportunity to practice technique on padded areas under the supervision of a coach instead of a remote camera controlled by B?la K?rolyi. No matter how intense the flips and spins get, though, the school follows all USASF safety guidelines. In addition to education, the gym's other specialty is choreography: staff design moves and choose the soundtrack for routines from the middle school to collegiate level.
Jennifer Hurst leads Hatha Yoga Flow and Warm Yoga Flow classes within her independent yoga studio, focusing on breath work and the release of bodily tension. At Mommy & Me classes, she often brings her own two children to stretch alongside entire families. Hurst's devotion to cheerful teaching also leads her to host complimentary sessions on the lawn outside of Spalding Hall, where students perfecting their tree poses can look to actual trees for inspiration.