HARKER HEIGHTS — Kids are flipping out in after-school gymnastics classes at Texas Tumblers in Harker Heights.

Texas Tumblers in Harker Heights has partnered with SKIES Unlimited for close to five years and allows Fort Hood youth to take gymnastics classes in a competition level gym. Since some gymnastic equipment must be secured to the floor, there is not a place on post where youth can practice gymnastics.

“We partner with the off-post places because we don’t have a facility where we can hold down the equipment,” Brenda Brown, instructional program specialist with Child and Youth Services, said. “This is a competition-level gym where they can grow and advance and get to competition level.”

Kim Walsh, owner of Texas Tumbles in Harker Heights finds it rewarding to be able to partner with SKIES.

“I just think it allows us to meet some families that we haven’t been able to get through advertising,” Walsh said. “I mean, when they come to Fort Hood, they ask about gymnastics and SKIES immediately says Texas Tumblers and so it kind of gives us a great way of getting our name out there and allowing us to do something for the kids.”

Texas Tumbles have met wonderful military families by partnering with SKIES.

“We like to provide a service to our military. We’ve met some great families and we’ve kept some families through it (SKIES),” Walsh said. “We’ve had some kids go to our gymnastics team and we’ve got lots and lots of military families, so we like to give back as well.”

For Brown, it is important that CYS provides a variety of instruction programs for Fort Hood youth to participate in and give them opportunities to excel in those programs.

“Every kid likes something different. Some kids want to dance around and be pretty and some kids want to jump and bounce and be energetic and active,” Brown said. “There is something different for every child that’s their thing that they want to do. Gymnastics is something that gives them that activity that they can burn off a lot of energy and this builds their strength, agility and stamina.”

The classes are not limited to only gymnastics. Youth can also participate in cheer, tumbling, tumble and tramp, and aerial silks classes.

Brown believes that gymnastics is especially challenging and allows kids to tap into muscles that they wouldn’t be able to work out under normal circumstances.

“Gymnastics takes an incredible amount of strength, so these activities all build muscles they haven’t used before and gives them the ability to move in new ways. The kids really enjoy being able to do a back flip or round off or a two and a half gainer off the top bar,” Brown said. “Their bodies are built to do all kinds of incredible things and with gymnastics, they can push the physical limits of these capabilities and do something really beautiful. Children want to test their limits and try things like climbing and jumping and flipping that parents would normally not allow, but here in the gymnastics environment, with the appropriate mats, equipment and trained personnel, they are able to try anything.”

For more information on the classes offered for kids at Texas Tumblers or other instructional programs for kids visit https://webtrac.mwr.army.mil/webtrac103/wbwsc/hoodcyms.wsc/wbsplash.html?wbp=1 or call 254-287-4592.