Head Over Heels Athletic Arts


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For your older child, Head over Heels gymnastics camp in Emeryville might be a good option! My 4 year old son did a summer camp there and loved it and he’ll be going back for their winter break camp. Unfortunately I don’t think they have camps for 2 year olds though.

Head Over Heels in Emeryville is fantastic.

Head Over Heels gymnastic camp in Emeryville! My two kids are there and love it. Convenient hours, and open that week. 

My 2yo is loving gymnastics at Head Over Heels in Emeryville. There is also a drop-in open gymnastics play at Cal Bears in Berkeley that we have done once that was fun.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Sept 2010

Re: Gymnastics for 14-year-old beginner?
Your daughter can certainly begin gymnastics at 14.

I recommend that you take her to Head over Heels in Emeryville on a Saturday between 10 and noon to check out what's going on there. You will see lots of tumbling and gymnastics classes for kids of different ages. You will also see the HOH Team working out, and you will notice that all different body types can do gymnastics; short to tall, rail thin to thick muscular; and all ages. Head over Heels offers both a Tumbling for Teens class and a Circus for Teens class on Friday evenings.

The chances are pretty slim that your daughter would end up on the competitive team, unless she was really really driven (like willing to work out 20+ hours/week). Most of those girls start out pretty young. But there is a lot of non-competitive fun she could have, learning to do gymnastics, tumbling and trampoline. If she likes the physical side of things, she'd probably prefer gymnastics, and if she likes performing you could check out circus.

I only have experience with Head over Heels, but I am sure there are also other gyms in the area you could look into as well. Good luck! Gym Mom

Feb 2010

Would love to hear your feedback on summer camp at Head Over Heels gymnastics (Emeryville) for my 4.5-year-old entering kindergartener. She's enjoyed gymnastics class in the past (not at HOH) and this will her first summer of camps. Particularly interested in whether it's a safe/nurturing environment, how well the summer camp instructors engage younger students in the activities, etc. Other full-day gymanstics-plus camp recommendations welcome -- thanks! -Anxious Summer Camp Mom

We sent our boy, then 6, to HOH last summer for quite a few weeks. As a fairly anxious mom myself, I felt comfortable going this route because he was already thriving in after school classes there.

That being said, I think the quality of care is slightly spotty. The coaches are nice young folks, and they have tons of experience in teaching 45 minute gym classes, but there's some variety in their level of expertise in handling kids throughout the day. As far as I know they don't have education and training in childcare - they are summer camp coaches. I sometimes saw, for example, a discipline issue handled one way by one coach and a different way by another coach. Both approaches were fine, but they weren't consistent with one another; in a more professional environment (such as a preschool/daycare), I think you'd see a more standardized approach. I also heard coaches regularly telling each other (not students) to ''shut UP!'' and using off-color language (with each other, not students). You just have to accept that the coaches are youth themselves and they'll act accordingly. This doesn't feel like a ''sheltered'' space.

If you're comfortable with a team of what amounts to young-20s or teenage ''babysitters'', who are following common sense and being very kind and decent to the kids, but not necessarily following a formal teaching/caregiving protocol, then this camp is really just fine. As a parent who mostly cared for my children myself, and had really high standards for caregivers, this was a stretch for me, but my son was happy and healthy throughout the summer, so I'm glad I did it. anon

Enrolling our daughter in Head over Heals last summer proved to be a mistake for our family. She didn't have much fun and it was expensive relative to our other options. It's a big operation, and many programs are going on simultaneously. Being oriented towards serving the needs of so many kids, it turned out that the needs of some, like our daughter, who felt overwhelmed and awkward got a bit overlooked. I can see how the facility would work well for a class that lasts a few hours, but the all day camp didn't provide the sense of community our child needed. -Berkeley parent

April 2009

Re: Gymnastics for 4-year-old
I have a four and a half year old son who also is not the most coordinated or the strongest guy (would much prefer to look at a book). Anyway, we have been looking at and trying classes for a couple of years now.

We first tried a session with Head over Heels and were very disappointed (this was about 2 years ago; as they moved in to their new facilities). The facilities are very nice, but they had so many classes going on at the same time that it was VERY NOISY and hard for the preschoolers to hear their instructor and to then try whatever they wanted them to try.

Oct 2008

Re: Gymnastics Class for 18-month-old
My daughter and I (parent participation until 3 years old) have been taking gymnastics classes at Head Over Heels (www.hohgymnastics) for the last 9 months. A new session starts in early November (although you can also join a class mid-session (tuition in pro-rated). The coaches are great. My daughter works hard, but has a good time too. Gym Mama

August 2008

Re: Gymnastics Class for 5 year old boy

My boys (3 and 5) have done a few sessions at Head Over Heels in Emeryville and love it there. They do gymnastics and also circus classes, which include some trapeze, clowning, juggling, etc. More info at www.hohgymnastics.com Gotta Tire Them Out Somehow

My daughter has been attending gymnastics at Head Over Heels in Emeryville for a year now. They have great coaches from beginners gym tots to the competitive classes. happy with Head Over Heels' offerings

Jan 2008

Re: Gymnastics Class for 2 year old
My 2yo has been doing Head Over Heels in Emeryville since last fall and we love it. Lots of variety in activities; fun, friendly teachers; accommodating of his various 2yo moods. The best thing for me is that we can take both kids (ages 2 and 4) to classes at the same time in the same big room, and I stay with the 2yo while the 4yo does his thing. Mom of Two Bouncing Boys

Nov 2007

Re: Gymnastics class for a toddler/preschooler?
Head Over Heels in Emeryville. Just google Head Over Heels to get to their website. My 2 year old is in their gym tots class. It took 4 or 5 classes for her to display interest. Even though she's paid attention to everything they've done there. Because when you ask her to show you the stretches, she can do them. Now she gets excited when we head over to class. Crystal

I have to say we have tried both HOH gymnastics and Kids in Motion. We LOVED HOH, the instructors are amazing and the facilities are primo!!!

Sept 2007

Re: Gymnastics class for toddlers
Head over Heels Gymnastics in Emeryville has great classes for toddlers. Boys and girls attend; parents must stay with child until they are 3. Classes vary a lot in size but are always fun. The coaches have been great and the kids get to play on ''real'' equipment - trampolines, bars, tumble tracks, beams, etc., as well as the more typical gym tot obstacle courses. Find out more at hohgymnastics.com Happy at Head Over Heels

March 2007

Re: Gymnastics camp for 6 year old novice
Head over Heels in Emeryville offers classes for all levels and will have summer camp, too. They do not have summer schedule out yet, though. Their website is www.hohgymnastics.com

Nov 2005

My five year old daughter wants to take gymnastics. Has anyone had any experience with Bay Island Gymnastics in Oakland? Also, can anyone comment on Head over Heels Gymnastics in Emeryville? What's on the website about Head Over Heels is somewhat dated. Any other gymnastics recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you. CD

My almost 4 yr old has been taking gymnastics at Head over Heals (HOH) for the last several months. We've been happy there. The classes teach them ''real gymnastics'', not just playtime or games, and the kids always have fun. My daughter loves the trampolenes and has already spent time on the balance beam, the bars and the vault (all in a very introductory way). They also move thru obstacle courses on the floor. I've heard that it quickly progresses to competitive style gymnastics around five or so, but we haven't experienced any of that yet. For now, she's learning the basics in a fun way and getting a good workout too! Thumbs up for HOH

RE: Head Over Heels gymnastics - our daughter, now 8+, has been taking classes at HOH since she was 3 1/2, and really enjoys it. Our son, soon to be 5, has been there for about 1 1/2 years. (Both started in ''parent participation'' classes.) HOH is not for everyone, but it is a well-equipped gym, and has a competitive track as well as the recreational classes. They are also affiliated with Splash Circus (who will be performing at Julia Morgan Center over the Thanksgiving weekend, if you want to check them out.)

I believe you can do a ''try out'' class at HOH, before committing to the session - call the office to arrange a time. If you go on a Saturday morning, it will seem really chaotic, as the classes are full, and there are quite a few running simultaneously. But, overall, we have been very pleased with the instructors (some are 'seasoned vets' of the gymnastics world, some others are older team members who are doing some teaching, so you have a wide range of styles), and the level of instruction. I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you might have,just email me. Leslie

Both of my kids, a 6 yo girl and an 11 yo boy, are very happy with HOH. The older one has been going since he was 3. Kids can be in the recreation only track, so not being groomed for the olympics, if you aren't into the team thing. They also have the team, if that is what you want. The teachers give my kids a great workout, and they are happy at the end of the class. You can go for a free trial class, and parents can stay and watch. They emphasize safety, which I really appreciate. jeff

My boys have been going to Head Over Heels for about 2 years now, and we really love it. Huge, wonderful facilities, and great teachers who have a real gift for working with children. I wholeheartedly recommend checking it out. Sara

A great place (especially for younger kids) with a non- competitive gymnastics program is Kids in Motion on Piedmont Ave. At some point if your child stays with gymnastics and wants to compete they would need to move to another ''competitive gym'' like Golden Bear Gymnastics (gym is on UC Berkeley campus) or Head Over Heels. Both of these programs are very good and I would recommend you try one class at each place and then see which one your child prefers. They are very different and can change again when the coaching staff changes. bouncy kid who did gym

Editor note: a review was also received for Bay Island Gymnastics .

Oct 2004

Re: Circus school in the East Bay?
Head Over Heels Gymnastics (and Splash Circus) in Emeryville has an excellent circus program directed by Chelsea Zephyr. You can view general info. at http://www.mindspring.com/~hohgymnastics/ or call 655-1265. They do a few shows a year that are absolutley amazing. I believe the circus program does summer camps for beginners ages 8 and up. anonymous

My daughter (age 8) took circus classes at Head Over Heels in Emeryville, and loved it. She also attended their circus summer camp and will again this summer - it was great. There's an amazing place in West Oakland called Trapeze Arts that teaches flying trapeze (both my 8 and 12 year olds had great experiences), as well as more grounded circus arts classes, but we haven't tried those yet. The teachers all seem great though. good luck! Lucia

Sorry if this is a repeat, but you could try Head over Heels Gymnastics in Emeryville. They are also the 'home' of Splash Circus. Haven't seen them perform, but we watch them practice every week while our daughter has class, and they always seem to be having a good time. Leslie

Nov. 2003

Re: Full-day winter break camps?
Head Over Heels Gymnastics and Circus in Emeryville offer winter camps (and camps that coincide with all or most school vacations!). They also offer extended care. Information on these camps can be found at http://www.hohgymnastics.org/html/wscampsframe.html and http://www.hohgymnastics.org for info. on regular classes. angela

Re: Full-day winter break camps?
Head Over Heels Gymnastics and Circus in Emeryville has full day and half day winter break camps. See the website www.hohgymnastics.org. Also you can call (510) 655-1265. There is usually gymnastics in the morning and a variety of activities in the afternoon- arts & crafts, games, capoeira, etc. Head Over Heels is a very large facility (20,000 square feet) with lots of trampolines and other good stuff. Leesa

Nov. 2003

Re: Afternoon Mom/Toddler Classes
Head over Heels gymnastics in Emeryville has parent participation classes for young children in the afternoon. Based on your child's age level, the structure and expectations vary, but the class format is essentially the same. Free play, warm ups in a circle, ''structured'' skill building, and then free play again. The classes are month to month, so the enrollment is on a rolling basis. You can take a class without any obligation. I've been taking my child since he's been around 18 months and he's now 31/2 - we've had a great time and his agility is clearly visible. http://www.hohgymnastics.org/ or call 510-655-1265. kiita

March 2003

Re: Evening Drop-In Childcare?

Head Over Heels Gymnastics on Piedmont Avenue has Parents' Night Out every other Friday night. My kids used to go there once or twice a month and loved it. They play around, have a snack and watch a movie. http://www.mindspring.com/~hohgymnastics/html/frame1.html

Been There

Nov 2001

Re: Winter Break camp
Head over Heels, a gymnastics program in Emeryville, has winter & spring break camps that my girls (not gymnasts) have enjoyed a lot. You can check it out at http://www.mindspring.com/~hohgymnastics/ or 655-1265. mcherman

Sept. 2001

Re: Gymnastics for Older Boy

Head Over Heels Gymnastics has a great facility and program in Emeryville. That's at least a little closer to you than Windmill lynn

Try Head Over Heels in Emeryville on 45th and Hollis. They have a few recreation classes for boys. If your son is ready to give competitive gymnastics a try, see Coach Ron Bell of East Bay Elite (he curently rents space at Head Over Heels)and works only with boys gymnastics. Currently, he works with around 35 kids at various levels. He is highly experienced. You can visit the gym to see the boys program M-F 4:30-8pm or Sat 10am-2pm. Both my sons (ages 15 and 11) have been training with him for the past 3 years and are extremely happy with his program. He is planning, however, to move to a facility in Berkeley sometime in the next few months. victoria