The Kaplan JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly has a gymnastics program, but it is not a training program for competitions, according to Joe Agosto, the JCC’s athletics director.
Twenty to 30 children – overwhelmingly girls – participate in the program. The 3- to 5-year-olds do tumbling; the older ones practice rhythmic gymnastics. “It’s a combination of gymnastics and dance,” Agosto said.
The goal is to “get people moving; with the younger kids, it’s to teach them about their bodies.”
Some girls in the program compete, but they do it using outside programs.
Irina Shevchenko teaches aquatics at the JCC, but her daughter, Francesca Levine of Ridgewood, 12, and her good friend, Daniela Kaim of Washington Township, 13, both are rhythmic gymnasts.
“They work with ribbons, hoops, jump ropes, clubs, and balls,” Shevchenko said. It’s all done on the floor. “It’s beautiful,” she said.
Recently, the two girls went to a regional competition in Ohio, where Daniela won first place overall and Francesca came in second in the floor routine.