Does your daughter spend her free time cartwheeling? Does your son treat the couch as his own trampoline? Have they outgrown your local parks and rec or afterschool gymnastics programs? Or is your toddler ready for his or her first class experience? Perhaps it is time to try classes at a gymnastics school. Gymnastics schools' classes are not all about the tricks. Kids build strength, stamina, and flexibility. They learn about self-discipline and the importance of practice. Students may start with toddler classes, and as they get older kids can choose a purely recreational program or an evaluation for team competition. And, as with most things, Los Angeles offers a variety of options.
Most gyms offer prospective students one free class; take advantage of this opportunity to find the gym that best suits your family's needs. LA's gyms offer a variety of other classes, too, as well as team competition, parents' nights out, open gym, and cheer. If students want to compete, there are both USAG (many hours a week in the gym) or USAIGC (fewer hours per week) girls' teams. Not as many gyms offer boys' teams, which are USGA. Most gyms also offer camps and birthday parties. Many gyms work with Big Fun Gymnastics to provide special needs classes, or offer their own. For pricing, contact individual gyms. Gymnastics pricing is complicated, as each increase in level often means an increase in price and class length, and often more classes per week as well.
Josephson Academy of Gymnastics (JAG Gym)
8640 Hayden Place
Culver City 90232
JAG Gym offers classes for ages 2 and up. True gymnastics and tramp classes start at 1st grade. JAG uses the character counts program, and has recreational classes and girls' USAG and USAIGC teams for the more advanced gymnast. JAG is not an Olympic training facility, and there is no longer a boys' team. JAG Gym does offer one of the Westside's most hopping Kids' Night Out programs every Saturday night.
Broadway Gymnastics School
5433 Beethoven Street
Los Angeles 90066
Broadway offers classes for students aged 1.5 and up and fields both girls' and boys' USAG gymnastics teams. Classes in dance, stunts and tricks (great for the skater in your life!), tumbling/tramp, circus, cheer, and tumbling for cheer are also available, as are special education and adult classes. There is also a program for homeschoolers. Broadway has a variety of camps and sleepovers, and offers special ed camps for ages 4-9 and 10-20. Broadway also has a well-known school group program with transportation from local schools.
Los Angeles School of Gymnastics
8450 Higuera Street
Culver City 90232
LASG offers classes for 18 months (Parent & Me) through adult. There are both girls' and boys' USAG teams, as well as a strong girls' rhythmic gymnastics team. Ballet, tumbling/tramp, karate, parkour, cheer, tumbling for cheer, and special education classes are also available. Parents can watch classes from a second-floor observation area. Parking can be difficult here, so plan ahead.
7735 Haskell Avenue
Van Nuys 91406
Founded in 1974, Gymnastics Olympica is a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting the highest standards of gymnastics while teaching the habits of success. G.O. has toddler through adult classes, homeschool classes, recreational and tumbling classes, boys' and girls' USAG teams, a girls' USAIGC team, and homeschool and adult classes. They also offer occasional Kids' Nights, and the annual G.O Games (when all students are invited to show their parents what they have learned).
Golden State Gymnastics
1828 N Keystone Street
Another non-profit, Golden State concentrates on youth gymnastics, offering classes for toddlers through elites. There are USAG and USAIGC girls' teams, as well as recreational programs for both girls and boys.
Monarch National Gym Training Center
5331 Derry Ave Ste C-H
Agoura Hills 91301
3599 Old Conejo Road
Newbury Park 91320
This gym is much more than "just" competitive gymnastics. There are classes for babies through adults; classes in tumbling, rhythmic gymnastics, fitness, cross-training, and parkour and stunting; both boys' and girls' teams; a competitive girls' cheer team; open gym; and weekly parents' night out. There are also programs for homeschoolers and special needs students.
9518 9th St
Rancho Cucamonga 91730
Precision Gymnastics offers classes from Mommy & Me through Girls' Elites. There is no boys team, but there are boys' recreational classes and the Urban Acrobatics class series (ages 6 through 20). There are also homeschool and special needs programs (both through age 20). Precision even offers school fundraising nights, monthly Kids' Night In, and monthly Lunch Bunch (walking to 6).
The Klub Gymnastics
1683 Blake Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031
In addition to toddler, recreational, and a team that focuses on statewide competitions, the Klub also has a Demo Team. The Demo Team performs intermediate and advanced tumbling at a variety of community events. The Klub has also been voted Best Children's Gym in LA by Los Angeles Hotlist 4 out of the last 5 years.
All Olympia Gymnastics Center
13041 Cerise Ave.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
All Olympia offers classes from Mommy and Me through Elites. The school is home to a large girls' team, a boys team, and a demo team, as well as offering cheer, tumbling, and adult classes. All Olympia also has a smaller location in Calabasas.
American Gymnastics Academy
1901 Obispo Avenue
Signal Hill 90755
Mommy & Me classes start at age 1 at AGA, and classes go on through the girls' and boys' USAG teams. This is a gymnastics facility without dance, cheer, and tramp classes—and the prices are lower than most other gyms.
Eric Will Gymnastics Center
341 W Imperial Hwy
La Habra 90631
Eric Will Parent & Me Classes start at age 2, and there are gymnastics classes through adults. Both boys and girls can compete. There are also Kids' Nights In/Parents' Nights Out. Eric Will also offers teen tumbling, which is specifically geared toward cheerleading.
26601 Cabot Road
Laguna Hills 92653
Olympica has qualified many girls to the national level. In addition to girls' and boys' recreational classes, the gym offers homeschool and tumbling classes, girls' USAG team, and the G.Y.M. team (for level 3-4 girls). Special needs classes are organized through Big Fun.
385 Clinton Street
Costa Mesa 92626
With a huge 45,000 square-foot facility, Team OC is a one-stop shop! From Parent & Me through (girls) USAG team gymnastics, to dance and voice classes, to cheer, to tramp and power tumbling (including a co-ed team!), you can find it all here. Adult classes are also available.
South Coast Gymnastics
17850 Sky Park Circle
The most serious gym on this list, the goal of South Coast is to produce Junior Olympic national team members, and currently 2 of the school's boys are on the national JO team. Classes are for kids ages 3 and up, and tumbling and adult strength and conditioning classes are also available. South Coast has both girls' and boys' USAG teams.
Top photo courtesy of Los Angeles School of Gymnastics
Originally published May 2012