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 Beckwith.
• For $39, you get one month of boys' or girls' beginning or intermediate gymnastics classes, held once per week (up to a $107 value, including $25 registration fee). • For $49, you get one month of boys' or girls' beginning or intermediate gymnastics classes, held twice per week (up to a $148 value, including $25 registration fee).
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old?12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine.
Danita Rigert has spent more than 19 years teaching gymnastics to boys and girls of all ages—many of whom went on to win state championship titles. At Rigert Elite Gymnastics, Danita and her staff of coaches teach youngsters of all experience levels in gymnastics, ballet, and cheer classes and lead competitive boys' and girls' teams. The gym is packed with professional equipment, including a 40-foot tumble track and an above-ground pit.
The staff of fitness instructors at Endurafit Training Facility leads both group classes and private sessions designed to tone muscles and burn fat. The group classes feature full-body circuit-training routines with students performing 45?54 different exercises during each session. The private sessions include one-on-one training in addition to custom nutrition plans and monthly measurements.
Metro Dance Academy helps create a love of dance and cheerleading in students through a robust slate of classes. With a wide variety of classes for students of all skill levels, the instructors at Metro Dance Academy strive to help dancers grow as individuals and as a group by fostering a positive, encouraging atmosphere. The dance program offers a curriculum that spans jazz, tap, ballet, princess ballet, hip-hop, technique, musical theater, and contemporary dance. The dance schedule runs from September through June and culminates with an end of year recital in the spring.