When little girls watch the Olympics, dreams begin to form. Dreams of competing, stepping up on the podium and getting a shiny medal placed around their neck. Gymnastics is a wonderful sport to dream about but it is also a great activity that builds strength, agility, flexibility and self-confidence in girls of all abilities. We are proud of our Gymnastics program at OCSC, one that has produced nationally ranked Gymnasts, so we thought we would take a closer look at our world of gymnastics.
First a brief history of Gymnastics
Gymnastics was first introduced to the United States in the 1830s but at the time it was more a form of physical conditioning rather than a competitive sport. It became an Olympic Sport for men officially in 1896 when 5 countries competed for medal contention. In 1903 the first world championships were held which began to pave the way for gymnastics as we know them today. 1936 was when the United States formed the 1st US Woman’s Gymnastics team. By 1954 the standardized format we know today came into effect. The US Gymnastics Federation, now known as USA Gymnastics, was formed in 1962 and is the umbrella organization for both men and women’s gymnastics.
Artistic Women’s Gymnastics is broken down to 4 events. Below is a brief description of each exciting event.
- Vault – Speed, focus and intensity are key to a successful vault. In this event, gymnasts sprint down an 82 ft runway and use a spring board to propel themselves over the table in various body positions landing solidly on two feet without taking any steps.
- Uneven Bars – Tremendous upper body strength and courage are what it takes to perform a routine on the uneven bars, transitioning from a bar 8 ft off the ground to one 5ft 4in off the ground. In this event the gymnast looks to flow effortlessly from one bar to the next and perform a dismount that includes exciting twists and flips that get the crowd excited and impress the judges.
- Balance Beam – Performing a 90 second routine filled with tumbling sequences and dance moves on a four inch wide beam 4 ft from the ground takes intense concentration and courage. When falling off the beam means a 1.00 deduction, even the most prepared gymnasts get a bit nervous!
- Floor – The floor exercise is when the gymnast gets to share with the world a bit of who they are in a 90 second routine set to music. Gymnasts are expected to blend tumbling runs with dance moves in a routine that exudes energy from start to finish!
Classes we offer
OCSC’s Gymnastics program begins with classes for children as young 15 months and progresses as your child progresses. Below is a brief rundown of our classes offered:
- For the Youngest Gymnasts – Our classes at this level are all co-ed.
- Gym Babies & Gym Tot are 45 minute classes designed to get the little ones familiar with the gym environment. Parental guidance is required for both of these classes
- Tiny Tumblers is class for 3 year olds and it is the first time our little gymnasts are independent of their parents.
- Lil Gymmies is a 60 minute class that is great for the 4 & 5 year old who has never taken gymnastics before.
- Combo is a great class for beginners. It is half dance and half gymnastics. We offer 2 separate times for the 3 – 5 & 5 – 8 age groups.
- Pre-K Jump is a new class for 3 – 5 year olds on the trampoline.
- Girl’s Gymnastics
- Level 1 & 2 are 60 minute classes for beginners aged 6 and up. They start with basic skills and build up to the use of all 4 apparatus. There are classes for the 6-7 age group, 8-10 age group and 11+ age group.
- Intermediate is a 60 minute class that is by invitation only for girls who have achieved an understanding of the basic skills but not yet ready to move up to the advanced level.
- Level 3 is a 90 minute class for those who have mastered the beginning and intermediate skills. Teachers recommend students for this class.
- Trampoline Level 1 & 2 and now 3 & 4 are beginner and intermediate classes on the art of the trampoline. Students for the Level 3 & 4 are recommended by teachers.
We are excited to be members of the two main organizations governing Gymnastics throughout the world. This gives us the opportunity to expose more girls to the world of competitive gymnastics.
- USA Gymnastics – is the umbrella organization for both the Men & Women’s sport of Olympic competitive gymnastics. There are different levels of competition including developmental (levels 1 – 3), compulsory (levels 4-5) and optional (levels 6 – 10).
- USAIGC – Is a competitive program that poses fewer restrictions on its gymnasts, one exception being that vocals are allowed in the music for floor routines.
New Trampoline Team – OCSC has recently been named a Trampoline Development Center by USA Gymnastics. We are in the process of recruiting for the formation of a competitive team. OCSC invites you to find out if gymnastics is the sport for your kids! Our All Access Pass allows your children to each try one class while you get to enjoy 3 days of access to our fitness center and 7 days of all you can take group fitness classes! Contact a membership consultant for details.