• Classes Spotlight: Gymnastics

    Young gymnasts from local programs show off their favorite gymnastics skills

    By Danielle Sullivan

    Inspired by the #FinalFive at last summer’s Olympics, we asked young gymnasts from popular local programs to showcase their favorite skills!

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    • Zoe Chiweshe, 92Y
      Zoe Chiweshe, 92Y

      Venue: 92Y, 92y.org

      Event: Uneven Bars

      Gymnast: Zoe Chiweshe, 7

      “Gymnastics has made me more focused in my mind. Gymnastics has made my body more flexible. When I compete, performing gymnastics shows me the value of teamwork. I like uneven bars because you have to be strong to do the routines and I am very strong.”

      Photo by Marcus Photography

    • Abigail Losi, Chelsea Piers
      Abigail Losi, Chelsea Piers

      Venue: Chelsea Piers, chelseapiers.com

      Event: Floor Exercises

      Gymnast: Abigail Losi, 11

      “I love the floor exercise because it allows me to combine both my tumbling and dance skills. As I improve my skills, it is exciting to watch my routine get better and better. A lot of passion and emotion goes into each floor exercise. It’s fun to have the crowd engaged and play off of their reactions and excitement.”

      Photo by Andrew Schwartz

    • Julia Paskhaver & Evelyn Paskhaver, Columbus Gym
      Julia Paskhaver & Evelyn Paskhaver, Columbus Gym

      Venue: Columbus Gym, columbusgymnyc.com

      Event: Beam

      Gymnasts: Julia Paskhaver, 10 & Evelyn Paskhaver, 12

      “I like gymnastics, mostly because I learn to do many difficult stunts that not everyone can perform. I can fly between bars and I can flip on trampolines. Even when I fail, it drives me to be more patient and determined. However when I fail, I always have time to practice, and become more fit and flexible. The balance beam, in my opinion, is the most challenging event. This helps me, mostly with my balance and strength.” –Julia (pictured left)

      “Gymnastics helps me become more persistent and strong. At my country house I have a trampoline so that I can practice my skills while I am away from the city. Even when I don’t successfully complete each routine, I know that, with practice, I can do it! I like to stand and do tricks on the high beam because it makes me feel very important! The beam challenges me to try harder and makes me more coordinated. I have to make sure that when I do something like a cartwheel, my feet land on the beam instead of off to the side.” –Evelyn (pictured right)

      Photo by Karen Haberberg Photography

    • Mai Listokin, Discovery Programs
      Mai Listokin, Discovery Programs

      Venue: Discovery Programs, discoveryprograms.com

      Event: Vault

      Gymnast: Mai Listokin, 13

      “I really love the feeling of freedom and power I get when I do vault, and the fact that it is seemingly simple, and yet there are so many components in a good vault. I run towards the horse, I experience the exhilaration of carefully timing my steps to hit the springboard, and I’m jumping up! And it is that exact moment of flying above the horse that I really remember afterward. It takes focus, speed, strength, and flight combined to land on the other side with a smile.”

      Photo by Marcus Photography

    • Elise Aylward, Gymtime Rhythm & Glues
      Elise Aylward, Gymtime Rhythm & Glues

      Venue: Gymtime Rhythm & Glues, gymtime.net

      Event: High Bar

      Gymnast: Elise Aylward, 9

      “The experiences at Gymtime are incredible. I feel like nothing can stop me when I start. I like gymnastics because old skills can be perfected and new ones can be learned. Winning or losing doesn’t really matter to me. I’m just so glad to have such great coaches and friends at Gymtime.” 

      Photo by Karen Haberberg Photography

    • Lilah Bishko, Jodi’s Gym
      Lilah Bishko, Jodi’s Gym

      Venue: Jodi’s Gym, jodisgym.com

      Event: Floor Exercises

      Gymnast: Lilah Bishko, 10

      “I love gymnastics because it’s a fun way to get exercise. Also, I’m with my friends doing amazing gymnastics moves. I can cheer my friends on and they cheer me on. We support one another and work on new things every single week. The floor is fun because you get to do the most creative and fun moves. Back handsprings, cartwheels and handstands are all challenges that I have undertaken. Also, the year-end floor routine set to music that I choose with my favorite moves is one of the highlights of the year.”

      Photo by Marcus Photography

    • Gavin “Sonic” Volper, MAGIC Activity Center
      Gavin “Sonic” Volper, MAGIC Activity Center

      Venue: MAGIC Activity Center, magicactivitycenter.com

      Event: Rings

      Gymnast: Gavin “Sonic” Volper, 3

      “I like the gym because I like to run and jump. The zip-line and tumble track are fun! I hang from the rings and swing!”

      Photo by Marcus Photography

    • Cece Cooley, NYC Elite Gymnastics
      Cece Cooley, NYC Elite Gymnastics

      Venue: NYC Elite Gymnastics, nycelite.com

      Event: Floor Exercises

      Gymnast: Cece Cooley, 13 

      “I love gymnastics because it’s challenging. I like the challenge and it feels really good when you accomplish a goal. The Olympics made me want to come into the gym and work even harder every day to get new skills and become a better gymnast.”

      Photo by Karen Haberberg Photography

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