World Olympic Gymnastics Academy's instructors employ expertise as tumblers to elicit youthful shrieks of glee at trampoline stunts or arts and crafts successes while parents take time to treat themselves. Pizza, drinks, music, and games engross the minds of petite patrons during Friday's semi-regular parents night out, which grants patient guardians peace and a long-awaited turn on the swing. Tykes ages 3 and older tumble and twirl at the Day After Thanksgiving camp as other family members brave the madness of Black Friday shopping sprees or scarf the remaining stuffing. Antics on colorful padded mats introduce chips off the old block to the fundamentals of gymnastics or bestow them with the coordination and agility to begin dabbling in other sports. Winter and Spring Break camps tie up the interests of students with two days of training in gymnastics blended with entertaining exercises such as tumbling, trampoline, and artistic activities.
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.
Metroplex Gymnastics & Swim caters to wee ones' experiential education, providing a plethora of classes geared toward having fun, being active, and earning life's merit badges. Certified staff members lead toddlers or school-age children through increasingly challenging gymnastics classes ($50–$140), instructing little legs in tumbling, balance-beaming, and vaulting over prison walls. Adventurous kids can plunge into new hobbies at one of the themed summer camps ($30–$200), with half days of testing out jumping prowess on the trampoline and full weeks of swinging, bending, and swimming on the gym's fun and functional course under the watchful care of the USA Gymnastics–certified instructors.
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.
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."