Building Healthy, Confident Kids Through Movement
Based on this article featured in Forsyth Family Magazine
Tumble, kick, flip and roll. These basic skills of childhood are losing ground to sedentary ExerSaucers®, kids’ television programs and handheld screens. “The changes prohibiting child movement in the last few generations are a detriment to children’s fitness and well-being,” said Salem Gymnastics owner Beth Morphis. “Children have grown accustomed to being visually entertained without movement and that sets a pattern for life.”
The Importance of Moving Early
Swim classes for children begin at 6 months, and gymnastics movement at 12 months. “It is very important to get kids moving early,” explained Beth. “Preschoolers are little sponges and can learn so much. They pick up on non-verbal cues to learn what the world is like and how they fit into it. Young children do not judge social status by success or intelligence, for example. Rather, they judge social ranking using physical markers, such as ‘Who can get all the way across the monkey bars?’ ‘Who can swim without floaties?’ Or, ‘Who can swing by themselves?’ Sadly, many kids see themselves as being awkward, clumsy, or non-movers before they even start kindergarten, and that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. So it is important for children to gain these skills at an early age for their own self-confidence.”
Variety of Classes
Toddler and preschool gymnastics classes teach fundamental movement skills that are building blocks to enhance ability in other sports and activities, such as balance, flexibility, coordination, racquet skills, kicking, being upside down without fear and over- and underarm throwing. As children grow in gymnastics, they learn basic moves such as rolls, cartwheels, and handstands. School-aged gymnastics includes instruction on all Olympic apparatus, offering recreational classes and girl’s team as well as co-ed tumbling.
Swimming lessons are offered in both private lessons and in a small group setting for ages 6 months-adults. Our warm water environment and proven curriculum not only teach a life saving skill, but can help your child excel academically, too!
Totally Kids Camps are offered in the summertime, winter break, and spring break and offer the most imaginative and amazing experiences for boys & girls ages 3+. Speed Week Swim lessons are also offered during school breaks, giving your child over one month’s worth of lessons in just one week.
With various programs for different ages going on at one time, many families enjoy the convenience of “one-stop-shopping'” of activities for the whole family at once.
Parent and child classes offer an opportunity to connect with other parents with children of the same age group. In addition, adult classes are offered in learn to swim and Aqua Movement.
Building Character & Confidence
Salem Gymnastics & Swim emphasizes not just how good a child’s cartwheel or split is, but focuses on the whole growth of the child, building character and confidence through individual athletic achievement, camaraderie and focused learning. Although the gymnasts of Salem Gymnastics have won numerous awards, “We count our success by the smiles on their faces and the twinkle in their eyes, which is why our tag line is ‘Where Confidence Soars!'” said Beth. “When a child learns to move well, they want to move and are not afraid to try other activities and sports, and that leads to a healthier life.”
About the Owners
Salem Gymnastics & Swim is locally owned and operated by husband and wife team Kenny and Beth Morphis and Beth’s father, Frank Minter. They have been building healthier bodies and confident kids for over 38 years. Beth was an award-winning gymnast herself, competing on scholarship at Illinois State University. Several of their current instructors grew up as students at Salem Gymnastics, and many former students now bring their children to Salem, which they consider the greatest compliment they can receive.
Salem Gymnastics & Swim is located at 4870 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem, NC. Course descriptions, more information and easy registration are all available online at www.salemgym.com or call (336) 765-4668.
Visit our Programs page for more information.