Gymnastics is a multifaceted sport that improves endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as grace and poise. Few sports challenge participants in so many areas.
A gymnastics class also helps a shy child to express him or herself in a whole new way. It's a great way for children to build confidence and overcome fears in a joyful and nurturing environment. There are many class options available, from mommy-and-me programs for younger kids to beginner and advanced instruction for older students.
For additional class suggestions, see our classes and activities Guide for Long Island kids.
Gymboree Play & Music — Islandwide
Gymboree is one of the few places offering classes for very young children. Children begin as young as 0-6 months and continue up through 5 years old. Play & Learn classes use games and activities to enhance body and mind development. All classes include free access to unlimited open-gym time, which is a lifesaver during winter months. There are locations throughout Long Island, and participants can attend open-gym sessions at any location. Demo classes are also available. Be advised: Gymboree recently filed for bankruptcy and announced it is closing 450 stores nationwide although none for the moment are on Long Island.
Mid Island Gymnastics — Hicksville
This large facility offers a range of classes for all ages, including gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, and a flip-and-learn preschool class. Qualified gymnasts can join a competitive team. Instructors strive to build character along with muscles. Even ittles ones in the mommy-and-me classes can participate in gymnastics.
Infiniti Elite Gymnastics — Syosset
Boys and girls participate in various classes in this state-of-the-art facility. Classes include tumbling, cheer and dance, competitive gymnastics, mommy-and-me, special-needs classes, and the popular Elite Warriors Ultimate Obstacles. Owner and head coach Tammy Marshall is an award-winning former college gymnast. The center is open to children and young adults of all abilities eager to have fun and learn new skills.
All American Gymnastics and Totnastics Too — Bellmore, Oceanside
These fully equipped training centers feature programs taught in a positive atmosphere by certified coaches. Classes include preschool gymnastics, cheerleading, karate, dance, and men’s and women’s competitive gymnastics. A fun feature is the gym’s cross-gym zip-line that is available for class participants and birthday parties.
Gold Medal Gymnastic Centers — Islandwide
Fully-equipped facilities at six Long Island locations offer classes for all ages and abilities. In addition to gymnastics classes, Gold Medal also provides tumbling, trampoline, and cheerleading instruction. The focus is on athletic skills, goal setting and achievement. Instructors are certified and provide plenty of individualized instruction. Children younger than 3 enroll in mommy-and-me classes, and there's even a drop-off option for preschoolers 3-6 years old. Kids ages 5-7 who show a serious interest in gymnastics can join a Gold Medalists class, which meets twice a week and includes optional fun competitions in an informal environment.
Elite Gymnastics — Amityville
A variety of classes are offered at this studio, including gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, and dancenastics, which is a blend of dance and gymnastics. Little ones begin developing gymnastics skills in the tiny tots program, which is for ages 18 months to 5 years. Older children enroll in gymnastics classes for all levels, as well as compete on several dance, gymnastics, and cheer teams.
Little Gym — Islandwide
The Little Gym provides multiple classes for children ages 4 months through 12 years. The program is designed to get kids moving, encourage problem-solving skills, and to develop cooperation, listening, and leadership skills. Parent/child classes for kids younger than 3 combine music and movement for a fun and interactive experience. Kids 3 and older register for gymnastics, dance, or sports skills classes. Free introductory classes are also available.
Kidnastics — Center Moriches
Classes are offered for children ages 6 months through 8 years. Kids ages 6-24 months are grouped based on mobility, with options for crawlers, walkers, and tumblers. Mommy-and-me classes are available for those up to 3 years old and separation classes begin at age 2. Classes encourage a host of skills, including verbal communication, color recognition, and increased attention span, along with motor skills and muscle coordination.
Gym-Nest Gymnastics and Cheer — Medford
The Gym-Nest program provides gymnastics instruction based on age and ability. Coaches work with children to improve skills and strengthen self-esteem and confidence. From mommy-and-me classes all the way to competitive gymnastics, Gym-Nest offers something for the beginner to the advanced gymnast. Gymnastics and ninja warrior summer camps are also offered in addition to birthday parties.
Gymnation New York — Riverhead
This multisport training facility has a variety of equipment such as in-ground trampolines, an in-ground foam pit, tumble track, multiple bars, and spring surfaces. Younger participants can take part in mommy-and-me, tiny tumblers, and junior gymnastics, while older kids and more experienced participants can take part in trampoline, athletic agility, and competitive gymnastics and cheer. Gymnation New York hosts parties as well as summer camps.
This post, originally published in 2012, was updated in August 2017.
Photo by rain0975 via Flickr