Golden Bears Gymnastics

Community Subscriber
Berkeley, CA
gbgym [at]

Parent Q&A

  • Development gymnastics programs?

    (1 reply)

    Does anyone have any experience with the development classes at Head Over Heels gymnastics in Emeryville or the development gymnastics classes at Golden Bear at Berkeley? We are looking for a class that teaches more skill and technique than the recreational classes have to offer but also keeps the classes fun!   My daughter wants to learn more and has has natural talent, but we don't want anything too intense or stressful for her right now. Any insight into those gyms would be appreciated! Trying to decide between the two...or some third option....or just staying recreational.


    My daughter was on a compulsory team at Golden Bears, and it ended up being too demanding timewise for her and she chose to switch to the Xcel program. If you are not familiar with it, Xcel is a competitive program, but much less demanding and more relaxed than the Junior Olympic compulsory levels. They still compete, but the system is more flexible in terms of what skills you learn when, and the practice time every week is a third of her former team. She is loving it and having a great time- it's a perfect medium for kids who are serious about gymnastics but don't want it to take over their whole lives. Both Head Over Heels and Golden Bears offer Xcel teams. We've been very happy with the program at Golden Bears.

  • Fun classes for under 2 years old?

    (6 replies)

    I'm looking for a Saturday/Sunday morning class for my 16 month old, and am most interested in music, gymnastics/dance, or swim classes.  Most of what I'm finding online so far seems more geared toward parents who are available during the work week, but am hoping for a weekend class in the Oakland/Berkeley/Alameda areas. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


    I highly recommend Ruby's Tumbling in Alameda for gymnastics. My older child went there since she was almost 2 yrs old. She is 7 and still sometimes takes an older kids class, although it's mostly geared towards younger kids. I also take my 2 yr old daughter and she loves it. There are Saturday classes.

    Have you looked at Gymboree on Lakeshore?  We took our son there most weekends from 16 to 24 months old and we all really enjoyed it.   

    Our daughter attends UC Berkeley's Gymnastic program Saturday morning. Perhaps you should swing by and take a look. To attend the program, I think you are required to be 18 months. Our daughter absolutely loves it. Outside of gymnastics, we do a lot of family events and look for places where she can explore stepping up and down and exploring spaces/places.  I think most of the things that are available start at 3 years of age. We go to the Discovery Museum in Sausalito and Lawrence Hall of Science on a frequent basis -- but they are both remodeling this month. Hope this helps. 

    Aquatech in Alameda offers Saturday/Sunday swim classes that are great for little ones. Ours has been going since she was 10 months old. Indoor heated pool, so year round classes. 

    I really enjoyed the classes at Kinetic Arts Center in West Oakland. Small and fun with great teachers. I appreciated that the class attendance is flexible - you can pay for a certain # of classes and then just show up to whichever ones you want - without losing money on unattended classes. They have the same class on Sat and Sun just at different times so you can choose what works best for you. 

    They also usually have some older kid classes going on during so your child can be exposed to other types of circus/gymnastics. 


    The UC Village recreation facility has a gymnastics class on Saturday mornings for children that age. I don't know if there are any more open spots for this session but in about a month or so there will be a new session starting. We go to a class during the week and my 23 month old daughter loves it.

Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2009

Re: Gymnastics for 4-year-old
I am not sure where you live, but Kids In Motion in Oakland on Piedmont is terrific. What is nice about that facility for beginners is that there is a seating area right in the gym for parents to watch the classes. And Golden Bear Gymnastics has good classes as well. A bigger facility and ultimately, a competetive program for older children. I would encourage you to try one of these over a community center program, as there is more equiptment available to the children in the classes. Trampoline, bars, ropes that may not be offered in a communtiy center room where mats, etc. are brought in by the gym teacher. Mom of a gymnast

March 2007

Re: Gymnastics camp for 6 year old novice
Also Golden Bears Gymnastics offers summer camp. Their schedule is already out on their web site. ( -- click on Youth Programs). anonymous

Jan 2007

Re: Gymnastics for toddler in Piedmont or Rockridge

My daughter attended Kids in Motion Gymnastics classes and camp programs from age 3 until she grew out of Kids in Motion and joined the Golden Bears Gymnastics team located on UC Berkeley campus. While I loved Kids in Motion for many reasons, if your child really loves gymnastics and wants to compete you will need to move them to Head over Heels in Emeryville or Golden Bears in Berkeley. If they truly want to compete the sooner you move them to a team the better off they will be. Kids in Motion is a non- competitive gym and is a great, safe, place for your toddler to have fun and learn the basic moves for gymnastics. But if they stay there too long they will not get the skills to compete at the higher levels -- at least that is what we found. Mom of a jumping bean

Sept 2004

I'd be interested to hear anyone's experiences (good or bad) with Golden Bear Gymnastics classes, specifically beginning boys for an 8-year old. We're not looking for anything too intense, just good fun. Thanks. joan

My son who is now five has done Golden Bear for over a year now. He loves it. He tends to get tired of things -- particularly physical activity -- but he's consistently enjoyed this class and asked for more. It is definitely ''fun'' and not hardcore. Fran


We started our daughter, who is now 4, at Golden Bear Gymnastics earlier this year when she was 3 1/2 and she loves going. I believe there are classes for 18 month olds with parent participation.

There are six children per class, and during the week classes are not always full. The instructors are very nice, yet can keep the children focused on the activity. Classes are 45 minutes long and are conducted at various times and days. Golden Bear Gymnastics is up at the Dwight Derby complex at the top of Dwight Way and they can be called for schedules and enrollment forms. Sessions are eight weeks long and continuous during the school year. Denise

We did the Cal Golden Bear program for our son for one session and it wasn't a good fit for him... He started late (for them) at almost five, and all the little boys around his age were in a more advanced program, sort of pre-competition. His class was full of very little girls (around 3-4) all of whom were better at the class than he was. I found the space very loud, so a more introverted child might find it somewhat disconcerting.