This week's question of the week is: What age should my child start?
What age should children interested in cheerleading begin?
At Spirit Technique we recommend that littles join our cheerleading program at 5 years old. I know that they are absolutely adorable in their bling, sparkle and glitter. That they are capable of performing routines for 45 - 90 seconds. But what I also know is because we have a ton of gymnastics equipment and gymnastics classes surrounding our cheer classes, that children who are under 5 are often distracted by the fun they see happening in our gymnastics classes. Because of this we recommend that your littles start in gymnastics.
Starting your child in gymnastics provides your child with an advantage that others may not have. They will have the advantage of tumbling if they decide that they really want to do cheerleading, or even dance or majorette. So by placing your little into gymnastics before they develop fear you are increasing the likelihood that they will be open to learning more advance skills. By learning those more advance skills your child will have higher level skills that aid them in making the teams of their choice.
We want to make sure that when you sign up your child that they have an amazing experience in their program. For our preschool members we know that means having fun, keeping things fast moving, and giving them experiences that allow them to explore. Yes, they can do cheerleading but again will they have fun doing it.
What age should my child start gymnastics?
Spirit Technique offers gymnastics classes for children ages 18 months and older.
Busy Bees (18 - 36 months)
Our Busy Bee class is structured as a child and favorite adult class. It is designed as a shared experience between our littles and family members. Busy Bees work on rolls, handstands and cartwheels. To support our littles curiosity in gymnastics we allow children registered in Busy Bees free play after they have completed their assigned activities for the day. During this time parents and coaches have the opportunity to learn from our littles. What do they like, what do they not like, what do they love. Some of them love to build, others love to slide, maybe it's rolling, or the bar. The reality is if we don’t give them space to explore, we fail to open the doors to allow their minds to experience new possibilities.
But coach, my baby is ready for the big kids' class!
Okay I hear you. If you feel that Busy Bees may be a little to baby for your baby, no problem. During your littles time in Busy Bees, you will notice they begin to demonstrate classroom readiness skills. So don’t worry they aren’t stuck in this class until they are 4 years old. When your little one consistently demonstrates that they are ready for an independent learning class they will be invited for a preparedness evaluation. During the evaluation we check to see if your child demonstrates
Using language to learn
Social - emotional skills
If they demonstrate these skills, they will be promoted to our Technique Tots class. If not, we will have them continue in Busy Bees for additional time before re-evaluating them.
Technique Tots (3-5 years old)
Spirit Technique offers Technique Tots. Technique Tots is an independent learning class focused on the fundamental safety skills of gymnastics. In this class we focus on rolls, cartwheels and handstands. I can feel you saying that's all. Yes, ma’am that is all. Why? It is more than it seems. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of rolls:
Above you can see the breakdown of how we look at rolls. This doesn’t include navigating the complexity of fear of inverting, fear of rolling over, fear of getting hurt, fear of not feeling safe or lack of strength or lack of flexibility. The roll you're thinking of is the one you saw Susie do on IG, but she is 3 and has been doing gymnastics since she was 18 months, so she should be able to do that roll easily and correctly. Your little one is just starting formal training and is capable of rolling, but still needs a guide to help them learn the technique and execution to stay safe.
Similar to Busy Bees once your little one has been identified as having the required skill set to move up they will be invited to demonstrate their preparedness for the next class. No time restrictions, just the ability to demonstrate proficiency in their fundamental skills so that we can ensure their safety as they move on to more complex skills. The most important thing in every program and class we offer is your child’s safety. We want to ensure that your little one can cheer, flip or ninja for as long as their heart desires.
What age can my little start Ninja?
Our Ninja classes begin at age 3, Ninja class is a mixture of agility training, gymnastics, flexibility and strength building. It is fast paced and great for children with lots of energy or as a supplement activity to football, basketball, soccer, etc. Similar to cheer and technique tots, ninja programs require that littles are pre-k ready. What does that mean? That the child is potty trained (no diapers, trainers, assistance needed in the bathroom), able to follow instructions, and can work independently at a station for 1-3 minutes. This ensures a safe, and fun environment for all students. Though the structure of our Ninja class varies, the curriculum is set up similar to cheer and gymnastics. Each class has test out skills. Those test out skills are broken down into activities we teach during class. When a child shows proficiency in the required skills, they will be invited for evaluation. When they pass, we promote them.
Do you have a question you about cheer, gymnastics, or ninja? Or maybe a question about Spirit Technique? Post your questions in the comments, and we'll follow up.
We would love for your child to join our village at Spirit Technique. To learn more visit joinspirit.net .