Thanks to The Little Gym for inviting me to experience the fun of The Little Gym with complimentary sessions. However, I’m now a paying customer and couldn’t endorse them more. Except to have a Starbucks inside:)
This year has been one of learning lessons for our family. Especially in terms of our kids’ education.
Our mindset is that adding an extracurricular activity to the mix is key to creating well-rounded people. I’m not talking about booking their schedules from morning to night, but giving them something that allows them to grow, exposes them to a hobby or sport, creates discipline and allows them to socialize with others. While the focus for the last few months has been on big brother going to first grade, it was time to give little sister something she could have of her own.
My little Rose is always moving to the rhythm, so I thought dance would be right up her alley. But at the ripe age of three, you have to wonder if that’s too young to really “learn” something and most of all, would she even care. Not to mention if I would be “wasting my money.”
After research and recommendations from friends, I felt that putting in her an intensive program to start (read no Dance Moms here) was totally the wrong approach. We needed a program that would let her show her own inclination towards tap, ballet and even better, gymnastics. And best of all, something that wasn’t going to break the bank or sign us up for life.
The Introductory Experience at The Little Gym allows parents to select a multi-week experience that allows their children to sample several different The Little Gym programs. Offered at a significantly reduced cost (on average 25% off), children build their skills through its Three-Dimensional Learning approach:
- “Get Moving” for flexibility and coordination
- “Brain Boost” for listening and decision making, and
- “Citizen Kid” for teamwork and leadership.
Instructors focus on individual learning and accomplishments, rather than competition, allowing every child to feel challenged and successful. The Little Gym offers parent-child classes, to gymnastics and sports skills classes for children ages 3 and up.
Looking at the list of offers we chose the Jazzy Bugs class, a program for 3 – 5 year-olds that breaks down ballet, tap and gymnastics into three, 15-minute intervals.
So with a small investment in shoes and leotards (which I purchased at Payless Shoes, Walmart and a Just Between Friends consignment sale), we were in business and ready to try this thing.
I’ll admit: our first class my baby girl wasn’t Ginger Rogers. Honestly, she was SO far from it. She didn’t listen to the teach and actually ended up starting out the window and playing with a little girl instead of paying attention. I was absolutely mortified. (I was already planning our escape at this point.)
Funny enough no one else seemed to be.
Thankfully, another mom let me know that at the ripe age of 3, they all did that. She insisted she was doing fine and to make sure to keep coming.
So we did.
After four classes of seeing her learn to shuffle, tumble and pirouette through a window, I can say we signed up for the full program! Just like the other moms insisted, she got better. She listens. She smiles. And she dances (well as much as this 3-year-old can.)
As for the teachers, I can’t recommend them more! The patience they have is extraordinary and each one knows how to engage with the class as well as each child on a personal basis. Mr. Bobby, the gymnastics teacher, is now one of my daughter’s favorite people as he allows her to have a good time, but knows how to reign her in.