The Spark! – March 2019

A Note From The Director
Dear Parents,
We are in full swing for summer camp registration. This year, we will continue to offer morning preschool camp and half/full day gymnastics camp, and we have now added a dance camp. Our dance program is thriving and I would love to see our dancers here this summer! Each year the age range in our ballet classes expands and I am thrilled to see this progress. I hope to be able to build upon this and be known as a place children can continue to dance all year around as they grow up.
Speaking of progress, this month, we highlight Coach Denise who works on gymnastics recreational classes, team and Parkour. One of the joys of my job is seeing growth in the staff. When coaches and teachers come to work at Discovery, they usually have teaching experience, but sometimes it can be fine tuned even more. We often remark how we mold many of our teachers to the “Discovery way,” which includes being truly present, making connections with their students, giving positive constructive feedback, and sharing their own passion for what they love about their art or sport.  Denise has been growing in this aspect each year and it’s been wonderful to see her progress as a team coach!

Warm Wishes,

Katie Kheel
An Interview with
Coach Denise White
Coach Denise has been at Discovery Programs for two and a half years. She started coaching recreational gymnastics classes and now, in addition to recreational gym, she also coaches team and Parkour! 
What is your background in gymnastics?
I grew up doing gymnastics recreationally from age 4 or 5, then I took a break for a few years because of an injury and I did other sports. Then I joined my high school team, so I did competitive high school gymnastics.
What inspired you to become a coach?
I have a cousin who I really look up to. He’s a gymnastics coach and a yoga instructor. Now he’s doing his own thing, he’s backpacking through the U.S. He had a gym in Brooklyn and I always wanted to coach [there]. He was such a great coach in my eyes and he kind of inspired me.
What has your transition to a larger role at Discovery been like, from recreational gymnastics to team and Parkour? 
It was tough at first, but it’s definitely very inspiring, the fact that I’ve been given this opportunity to take on a larger role. It’s made me reevaluate my coaching style. Now that I am coaching higher skill levels, it’s also made my recreational coaching even better. I’m looking for form and thinking about my wording with the gymnasts. 
What are some of your favorite Discovery memories so far?
I have a lot. I don’t know if it’s cliche to say the team gala, the first one that I was being recognized as a team coach by Mary, Cristian and Katie. Another memory was the first meet that Copper won States. Also, learning how to coach Parkour. That’s a cool thing, [it’s] a unique trait and now I’m kind of multi-versed in not just gymnastics. Watching children develop as gymnasts is such a great memory just in general…watching a child get their first kickover or their first back walkover. Seeing their joy is so joyous for me. 
What do you love about working with your students?
I love watching the children develop as gymnasts, some of them young adults. The girls on team, they’re 12, 13, they’re growing into themselves, and they’re not children anymore. At that age they have things going on at home, it’s not just gymnastics and sports. Now they’re learning about life. Just beyond gymnastics, having a bond with children is special. Even though I’m in the gym with them a number of hours a week, they’re still able to talk to me about outside things.
What have you learned from the other coaches?
I’m super appreciative of Mary and Cristian. Joe also, when he teaches Parkour it’s very avant-garde and different and [I think], “I never thought of things like that, I can put this in my gymnastics class.” Mary and Cristian have taught me so much team-wise and coaching and spotting harder level skills. Sometimes I’ll stick around and just listen to their wording or just watch their drills and they’ve taught me a lot. Everyone is super welcoming, no one criticizes you or tries to overstep. I feel like we all work well together.
What are you looking forward to most this semester?
I’m looking forward to just watching the development of all my gymnasts, whether on team or in my recreational classes.
Photo Op: Highlights from Early Childhood!
Photo Op: Gymnastics, Parkour, Dance!
Discovery Summer Camps!
Discovery Announcements!
Upcoming Closings
-Discovery will be closed on Wednesday, March 20th.
Spring Break Gymnastics Camp
-This month, we have full day Gymnastics Camps for ages 5-13 from 9am-3pm. 
-March 18, 19, 21, 22 (closed 3/20) 
-March 25-29
Summer Camp Launch!
-Summer Camp registration is now open! We have day camp offerings for ages 2-13. Sign up now!
Spring Recital Save-the-Date
Our annual Spring Recital will take place on Sunday, May 19th. The theme is Circus: Under the Big Top! Performances will be at 11:00am and 2:00pm. Information on ticketing and your child’s show time TBA. 

Student Spotlight

This month, we’re shining a light on three of our students who share their favorite part about their sport and what they hope to learn in their classes this semester.
Lucca, Age 6, Gymnastics
My favorite gymnastics move is cartwheels. I hope to be perfect at front tucks at the end of the year.
George, Age 7, Karate, Advanced Blue Belt
My favorite thing about Karate is when we learn the katas, [which are] when you put moves together into a fight. I hope to learn the second kata that I’m working on.
Freya, Age 7, Gymnastics and Ballet
My favorite part about gymnastics is doing the Tumble Track. I want to be able to do a roundoff and have my hands up before my feet go down. My favorite part about ballet is what we do at the end: we work on the dance and we do leaps. I want to be able to jump high!
Check out this article about the importance of dance!

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