The Spark! – October 2018

A Note From The Director
Dear Parents,

The month of September flew by! We are finally on a full schedule here at Discovery after the holidays and are excited to get going on many of the plans we have made for the semester. Take a look at my Fall 2018 letter linked below.

Towards the end of the month, we will be saying goodbye to another staff member. Tori Champion, our Office Manager, will be moving to Seattle. In Fall 2019, she will be entering a Masters program for Art History with plans to eventually get a PhD to do curatorial museum work. She has been a member of our front desk staff for a year and half.  Besides her great organizational skills, Tori is a wonderful writer and photographer. Her photos, which captured so many beautiful moments at our program, are on our Instagram page and in many of our promotional emails. Please be sure to say goodbye and wish her well before October 22nd! We will miss her. 

This month, we highlight Coach Cristian. Cristian has the rare gift of being able to work with all different ages, from the little ones all the way up to the Team. I am grateful to have him as a member of our team and family here! 

Enjoy the start of a beautiful fall season. 

Warm Wishes,

Katie Kheel
Fall 2018 Director’s Letter
From Gymnast to Coach
Coach Cristian Quesada
Father, Athlete, Teacher
I’m a New York native. I was born, raised, and competed gymnastics in the Bronx. I was captain of the John F. Kennedy high school gymnastics team, made the PSAL All-City Gymnastics Team three years in a row, and trained with and competed against former Olympian John Orozco. Setting the record straight, John definitely had me beat every time. After I stopped competing, I immediately started coaching. I first started coaching men’s gymnastics, then toddler and preschool classes at The Little Gym, and competitive girls gymnastics at Asphalt Green before finding a home at Discovery. 

One thing I’ve learned from coaching all ages, from toddlers to teens, is that your coaching must always stay consistent, but your language has to change. No matter what age group, I always ask for 120%, create strong foundations, and keep everyone motivated and engaged through positive reinforcement. The only difference is that the younger children are making rocket ship jumps and the older ones are squeezing their ears with their shoulders. Since starting here, Discovery has had tremendous growth. Thanks to Katie, Mary, and everyone pulling together, we have been able to keep giving the children safe, caring, and individualized attention no matter how big the program gets. This year I became a father and my son Elias is already 8 months old. Since becoming a dad, I’ve learned to cherish every moment you get to spend with a child. Whether at home or in the gym, they’re only a part of your life for a short time. Make the most of it. 

Photo Op: Gymnastics Team Retreat!
Introducing…Holiday Gymnastics Camps!
Full Day Gymnastics Camp
Ages 5-13
Tuesday, November 6th 
(Election Day)
Monday, November 12th (Veterans Day Observed)
9:00am – 3:00pm
$125 per day

Gymnasts will start each morning with dance, movement, and stretching exercises to work on their artistic skills and flexibility for all four gymnastics events. After dance, they will enjoy crafts, games, and lunch. All afternoon will be spent in the gym working on their gymnastic skills!

Discovery Announcements!
Don’t Miss Parent Viewing Week!
-We will be having our first of two parent/caregiver viewing weeks in all classes throughout the week of October 15th-20th. The second opportunity to watch your child’s class will be towards the end of the semester, in early January. 
Fall Holiday Closings
– Discovery will be closed on the following dates this fall:
November 22nd, 23rd, 24th
December 24th-31st
January 1st-5th, 21st
Nutcracker Save-the-Date 
-Our annual Nutcracker Ballet Recital will be taking place on Sunday, December 16th.   

Student Spotlight

This month, we’re shining a light on two of our long-time students: Eli Lifton (Karate, Age 11) and Eleni Smith (Ballet, Age 9). We asked them both what they love about what they do here, why they continue to study as they grow up, and their favorite moves!
Eli Lifton
– Eli says, “I love karate because it’s fun to learn new moves and to become stronger.
I continue to study because I have a great sensei Karen who motivates me to keep practicing and improving.
My favorite type of movement is the hiza geri knee kick. I love the feeling when you slap your knee on your hand because it makes me feel strong.”
Eleni Smith
– Eleni first took ballet because her older cousin was also dancer and she wanted to be just like her.  She grew to love ballet because it is so graceful and beautiful. She continues to study because she likes to stick with things when she starts them and because she loves working with Ms. Katie and dancing with the other girls at Discovery.  She likes all the steps but jeté is her favorite. 

The Spark archive