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Since 2002, Tim and Tamara Smola have opened the doors to Central City Dance and Fitness Center. Priding itself on being “A Leap Above the Rest,” it has grown quickly to serving more than 1,250 dance students! One of the greatest additions to the studio was ACRO, which the couple introduced three years ago in 2014.
A friend left a copy of the September 9, 2017 issue of Time Magazine on my desk with a sticky note that said, “You’re not alone!”. On the cover, a little league baseball player at bat above the words, “Crazy travel, Crazy Costs, Crazy Stress - How Kids Sports Turned Pro”. After reading the article, I didn’t feel quite as “crazy”.
The sport of gymnastics is very much like the game of life: there are many paths that come “full circle” but it takes many years to get anywhere- and often it comes with many unexpected twists, turns, and falls. And when we fall, we hope to land on our feet.
Coach Dirk Ooijkaas from Rotterdam, Netherlands is very familiar with both the game of life and the sport of gymnastics. As a 4x National Champion, World Championship competitor, and Olympic Team qualifier, Dirk was drawn to the state of California by the warm sun and laid back lifestyle. He moved to the United States in 1988.
Riddle: What piece of equipment stretches from floor to ceiling, can be used by preschoolers and Olympians alike, and is strong enough to hold up the roof? (Hint: Some kids like to drive teachers UP IT, also.)
Answer: A wall.
Life is full of choices. Some folks deliberate decisions, others are impulsive. In recent days, the nation has watched as devastating disasters struck many communities with an impact that was unfathomable. The Emerald City Gymnastics Team did not hesitate in their choice to jump into action and help. In just 48 hours, their gym community came together and raised $26,000 for Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts.
Contributed by Carrie Spender, Tumbl Trak Education Coordinator
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. Or can you?
Many parents of young athletes understand this proverb as we encourage our active kids to drink enough water to stay hydrated. Summer heat and long sweaty workouts are a dangerous combination for kids who are not taking in enough fluids to replenish what they lose. Water is essential for all major body functions, and key to peak athletic performance.
Contributed by Bethany Friedrich, Tumbl Trak Special Needs Coordinator
Tammy Fitzpatrick, on the coaching staff at Grand Rapid Gymnastics, recently contacted Tumbl Trak in search of advice on ways to adapt bar drills and activities to accommodate one of her athletes with special needs. Tammy’s ambition to ensure the success of her young athlete thrilled and inspired us. Needless to say, we were eager to help! Adapting gymnastics skills and movements to accommodate children with various needs is an imperative part of offering a successful special needs gymnastics program. Although activity adaptation is important, developing this skill can seem daunting when just starting out. DO NOT FEAR! We are here to share with you advice we gathered from several experts in the field. Read on to hear tips from gymnastics coaches whose backgrounds vary between adapted physical education, applied behavior analysis, and physical therapy.
When you strive for excellence, how do you know when you have achieved it?
Augga Hawkins spent her own youth pursuing excellence as an accomplished performer in Beijing, China, graduating in the top of her class from the Central University of Nationalities and earning the lead dancer position at the prestigious National Chinese Ballet Company. After moving to the United States, Augga has dedicated her adult life to sharing her passion for dance and teaching in her studio, Northwest Dance & Acro in Arlington, Washington.