Online extra-curricular gym classes provide a measure of routine

Recently, Dana Frack said in the empty gym at Tumble Techs Gymnastics Academy in Fairfield, New Jersey: "The best gymnastics class you’ve ever, ever had." 

She wasn’t talking to herself. She was teaching a lesson and streaming her class via Zoom to students quarantined at home.

"We just want to make sure we're in a safe space," she said to them, knowing many of the kids may be in their own living rooms trying to navigate around couches and chairs.

"We all just miss gymnastics so much," she told FOX 5 NY. "The coaches miss gymnastics just as much as the kids."

Tumble Techs, like so many businesses that offer extra-curricular activities for kids, has modified its whole operation to keep parents and kids engaged.

"We’ll be giving them assignments per week, challenges per week, activities outside, activities inside," Frack said. "If it's a rainy day, we have rainy day activities. We try to give them as much as we can because we know they’re going stir crazy in the house."

It is unclear when facilities like this will be allowed to fully reopen.

In Cedar Grove, New Jersey, instructors at Master Cho's Talium Taekwondo are also finding ways to offer classes to students.

"It’s not as good as being able to actually face each other," owner Aeja Lee said. "But they're trying to learn, trying to follow the direction and do the good exercise. We make them really sweat."

The martial arts school and family business even offered belt graduation ceremonies online. A chance for the students to advance and feel a sense of accomplishment.


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Like so many small businesses offering extra-curricular activities, neither of these businesses charges for classes. Instead, they ask families to give what they can. They know keeping some type of usual routine can mean structure and much-needed sanity.

"We try to [balance] between physical and mental as best to make a good family life at home," Lee said.

Frack said she has been pleasantly surprised by how much parents have helped kids stay enrolled. Tumble Techs offers classes and competitive teams ranging from kindergarten up through high school.

"We get to see them and they get to see us," Frack said. "We have that normalcy and that connection and that community that we've always had."

Whether the quarantine classes could become summer camps is still unknown. No matter what happens, with social distancing guidelines likely included in any return to normalcy, things could look different when we all get back out there.