Airborne Soldiers aren’t the only jumpers on Fort Bragg. Youth in the summer Tumbling Academy at Tolson Youth Activities Center do a little jumping of their own as well.
A group of 4 and 5 years olds held center stage during a class, July 16. Carter Langdeaux, a Fort Bragg Family member, said his favorite part of tumbling was an area known as “the pit.”
The pit consists of foam strategically placed in a circle that seems to beg to be jumped into by a rambunctious 5-year-old.
Tumbling Academy is a better place for jumping than the Family’s furniture at their home in Wade, N.C. said Jessica, Carter’s mother who also enrolled her 3-years-old son, Trevor, in the academy.
“I wanted to try some different things and see what the boys are interested in. They love it,” said Langdeaux. “I figure, since they do flips off my sofas at home, then they’d probably love them in a controlled environment.
“It’s (Tumbling Academy) my favorite,” Carter said.
The idea is to make tumbling fun for the youth, said instructor Leighann Kuchen. The academy includes activities from a floor routine and work on the balance beam to work on the trampoline.
Youth complete rolls, crawling and spider hangs (hanging upside down from a suspended bar) — all aimed at improving flexibility, mobility and coordination.
Improved coordination is one of the reasons LaShonda Jones, another Fort Bragg Family member, enrolled her daughter, Crystal, 5, in Tumbling Academy.
Jones said that she wanted Crystal to try something different from ballet and tap classes she has previously taken and to be able to have fun.
Like Carter, Crystal said she liked the pit, but she seemed to enjoy other areas of tumbling, too.
“It’s good. I like to go through the tunnel and walk the bar,” she said. “I like to do flips on my tummy.”
Kuchen encourages parents to enroll their children in the classes because of the social and physical benefits.
“I want them to have fun. I want them to leave with a smile on their faces,” said Kuchen whose grandparents are veteran retirees.
The times, dates and ages of those who may participate in summer Tumbling Academy varies, so for more information, visit the Child, Youth and School Services website at www.fortbraggmwr.com.