A room full of preschoolers are corralled by their instructors at Heart of Texas Cheer & Dance, and are soon somersaulting and working on the basic tumbling skills they can build on for years to come. These tiny athletes are part of the gym’s Pee Wee Tumbling class, that meets Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and includes fun activities, themed days and of course, tumbling.
“It’s not as intense as your regular tumbling class,” said HOT Cheer & Dance owner, Cindy Herbst. “It has been really popular.”
Another new class that has become an athlete-favorite, is the Ninja class. It is modeled after the American Ninja Warrior TV show and puts the kids’ stamina to the test.
“it’s basically obstacle courses, but it’s different every time,” Herbst said. “it’s great for building strength, conditioning and agility.”
The gym owner said in many sports, like football and basketball, you must be quick on your feet and know how to fall safely. The Ninja course teaches athletes how to do this without sustaining injuries.
The Ninja classes are broken up by age and include Ninja Tots, which is for ages two to four, Little Ninja, which is for ages four to eight, and Ninja kids, which is for ages eight to 12.
“We’re adding new equipment all the time,” Herbst said. “Right now, we have a 10-foot warp wall and monkey bars, but next we will add a 14-foot warp wall and a cargo net.”
The gym owner said she hopes to someday offer Ninja classes for teens and adults as well.
While there is a lot to learn from the courses at the gym, HOT Cheer & Dance is at its heart a place where cheerleaders can come to hone their skills and become better, stronger athletes.
“In May, we have our All-Star Team tryouts and our season will start over,” she said. “And in June, we have our Prep Team sign-ups, which is a competitive program, but it’s not as intense. It’s great for beginners who want to see what it’s like.”
Herbst is also excited about a new program for high school cheerleaders called, HOT U.
“It’s going to be a program to help girls prepare for college cheer,” she said. “In the past, it was the tiny, flyers who were most likely to win a spot on the college cheer squad, but now there are a lot more opportunities and scholarships available for girls of all shapes and sizes.”
For more information about HOT Cheer & Dance, visit them on Facebook @HeartofTexasCheer or call them at (254) 666-7470.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.