London Academy of Gymnastics & Dance | Review

Kensington Mums reviews

Having heard so many wonderful things about the London Academy of Gymnastics and Dance, Kensington Mums decided to try it out for ourselves. We attended the 10-11am Saturday class at Marlborough Primary School which is suitable for children in Years 1 and 2.

Location

The class held in the heart of Chelsea at Marlborough Primary School on Draycott Avenue, in-between South Kensington and Sloane Square. Classes are also held at Chelsea Methodist Church on the Kings Road.

The Warm up 

The class began with a fun warm up which involved the children creating bean themed shapes with their bodies. My five-year-old son especially liked pretending to be bake beans, beans on toast andFrench beans who say “ooh la la”.

They then moved on to basic fundamental gymnastic shapes such as tuck, pike and straddle.

The children were also given special Halloween-themed shapes such as Pumpkin, Skeleton and Ghosts to practice. Teacher Danni called these out at random times during the class when all children would freeze and make the shape called out. I was impressed at how the children remembered these shapes even when they were concentrating on other things later in the class. It was. great memory practice.

The class 

After the warm up, the class progressed to exercises on the springboards, vault and beam. The children were divided into smaller groups so that the teachers could work with the children individually and so that they wouldn’t have to wait too long for their turns.

We started with the spring boards – my son’s face was a picture of sheer delight as he jumped on the board. We then progressed to jumping from the springboard onto a vault for a forward roll. This was followed by turns doing tuck jumps and star jumps on the trampoline.

I was hugely impressed by the way the children waited patiently and quietly for their turn on the bar despite how excited they were for their turns. They held onto the bar practicing holding their bodies in tuck, pike and straddle shapes. The strength and coordination displayed by the children who had been attending the class for longer was incredibly impressive.

The children then moved to a higher bar, again using impressive strength and stamina to move sideways along the bar, stopping half way to do a chin up. They then jumped their way to a beam, hanging upside down on the beam holding on with their legs and hands to move down the length of the beam.

The great thing about having a set of things for the children to complete was that by the time they got back to the start it was almost time for their next turn, so they weren’t sitting around waiting. A teacher was on hand at each station of this sequence helping the children appropriately based on their own abilities, so the class was just as much fun for a first timer such as my son as it was for the children who had been attending since they were toddlers.

Air Track finale

The class finished with children taking turns on the Air Track mat. This was clearly a highlight for the children who loved the lightness and springy-ness of the Air Track to do their jumps and forward rolls on.

Teachers 

The teachers Danni, Shania and Anna were fantastic, perfectly judging their style to suit each individual child and their abilities. A teacher was on hand for each single move our children made, ensuring they were always perfectly safe.

All the teachers are qualified British Gymnastics coaches and they are all DBS checked so you can rest assured that your child is in the best hands. A trained First Aider is also always present at the venue.

Kensington Mums verdict 

The class was a fun way for children to get fit and active, developing their balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination as well as endurance, control and stamina. My son was beaming throughout, he said his favourite part was all the types of jumping he did. There was also clearly a wonderful sense of anticipation around the types of exercises the children were doing as it was more exciting and adventurous than many other activities can be.

While girls are traditionally encouraged into gymnastics more than boys, my son loved it and he wasn’t the only boy there. I would definitely recommend thee classes to boys as the strength the children displayed was very impressive and the activities were bold and daring.

Overall, I would highly recommend these classes. So many gymnastics classes seem to focus more on play and games while these are more skills based, developing children’s strength and stamina.

When your son runs up to you shouting: “this class is amazing!”, you know you have found something wonderful. He’s already asking me when he can go again.

And given the fact it gives me an hour to myself on the King’s Road, this class seems to be a winner all round!

Useful information

Booking

Booking can be made online www.lagad.co.ukor call 0208 8834675.

Age

Classes are suitable for children aged from 3 ½ – 16 years oldfrom beginners level to advanced.

Childcare vouchers

Parents can pay with childcare vouchers as London Academy for Gymnastics and Dance is OFSTED registered as a childcare provider.

Parties and Holiday camps

London Academy for Gymnastics and Dance also offer holiday camps, birthday parties and gymnastics for children with disabilities.