Youth center offers several gymnastics classes

KinderGym teachers Deann Dangelmayr (left) and Sarah Bristow assist student Meredith Johnson in completing the gymnastics movement “skin the cat” on the 
uneven bars at the Madrigal Youth Center Tuesday. The center offers various classes in different skill and age levels, for information call 676-2342. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jacque Lickteig).

KinderGym teachers Deann Dangelmayr (left) and Sarah Bristow assist student Meredith Johnson in completing the gymnastics movement “skin the cat” on the uneven bars at the Madrigal Youth Center Tuesday. The center offers various classes in different skill and age levels, for information call 676-2342. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jacque Lickteig).

Shane Donovan jumps while participating in the KinderGym class at the Madrigal Youth Center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jacque Lickteig).

Shane Donovan jumps while participating in the KinderGym class at the Madrigal Youth Center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jacque Lickteig).

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Shane Donovan, a KinderGym gymnastics student at the Madrigal Youth Center, sees the world upside down - literally. 

When he and about 59 other students attend one of the gymnastics classes the youth center offers, they see the world from a plethora of angles. 

Pliable pair Deann Dangelmayr and Sarah Bristow teach five levels of classes, ranging in ages and skill levels. 

Combined, they have about two-and-a-half years experience teaching gymnastics at the youth center. Bristow also teaches at the YMCA. She competed when she was 12, and gained what would be level seven in gymnastics. She won 10th in state on the uneven bars. 

Both agree they enjoy teaching gymnastics because of the children, which was apparent during Tuesday's KinderGym class. The offered positive reinforcement and encouragement to both class members throughout the session. They even awarded them with stickers afterward. 

The two teach an 18-month-old to 2-year-old class Wednesday from 5 to 5:30 p.m. and one Thursday from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. It costs $30 a month. This class is more of an introduction, and it's a parent and child class, the youth center's Xan Kahn said.
The 3- and 4-year-old class is $35 a month and it is Tuesday from 5 to 5:45 p.m. and Wednesday from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. 

Dangelmayr and Bristow teach class members basic gymnastics like tumbling, getting comfortable on the low beam and getting used to the uneven bars. 

KinderGym, for 5 and 6 year olds, is basically the same program as the 3- and 4-year-old class, with more activities on the springboard. It costs $35 a month for youth center members and $40 for non-members. 

The two teach this class Tuesday from 4 to 4:45 p.m., Wednesday from 6:35 to 7:20 p.m. and Thursday from 5 to 5:45 p.m. 

They also teach levels one and two out of a possible ten levels in gymnastics for ages 7 and up. These classes are $40 a month for members and $45 for non-members. 

Level one is for beginners and it is Tuesday and Thursday from 5:50 to 6:50 p.m. Level two is an intermediate class Tuesday and Thursday from 
6:55 to 7:55 p.m. 

They can teach level-three students during the level two class, but there isn't a separate level-three class, Kahn said. 

The classes are year-round, and anyone can register for them at any time. Students take one class a week. 

The youth center will host an open gymnastics program June 16 for children who want to try the sport out for two hours. The cost is $8 per person. 

For more information about the youth center gymnastics program, call 676-2342.