Gymnastics, Dance and Cheer Programs Take Root and Thrive in The Apex Simms Street Center

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On November 19, community members celebrated with staff, participants and officials from Apex Park and Recreation District and the City of Arvada at the Apex Simms Street Center ribbon cutting ceremony and open house.

The center is on the west side of Christ Community Covenant Church. Apex Park and Recreation District began an extensive renovation earlier in 2011, in collaboration with the City of Arvada, which annexed the property to enable Apex PRD to get city water and sewer services at the site. Apex PRD will lease the eastern half of the building to CCCC, its current occupant.

Apex PRD completed about 40% of the renovation work with its in-house staff, saving taxpayer dollars and creating a high-quality magnet center for the popular programs it houses. These programs all continued seamlessly during the move from the Garrison Street Center to the Apex Simms Street Center.

“We have some exciting new equipment that will be a big draw to new and existing customers,” said Alli Mortensen, gymnastics, dance and cheerleading coordinator. “Of course, the foam pit gets a lot of interest and attention.” The pit is a 10’x10′ area filled with soft foam blocks where students can practice tumbling skills. Leading up to the pit is a long springy track where they run and spring into midair moves. The pit can also be used with a vault and other gymnastic equipment. “It’s a lot of fun to use and also to watch, and it’s invaluable as a safety feature,” Alli added.

All ages will benefit from the foam pit – from toddlers improving their gross motor skills, to adult gymnasts in search of a softer landing.

Another important new addition is a twisting belt, which is a device to assist gymnasts and cheerleaders when they’re learning new moves; full twists, for example. The twisting belt is attached to a pulley, which the instructor/coach uses to add assistance and support. Again, this is an effective learning aid that also improves safety. “It makes it much easier and safer for both the students and the spotters,” Alli said.

These two features, plus the extensive gymnastics equipment already in use at the Garrison Street Center, allow for a complete program offering comparable to any gymnastics studio in the area. Apex PRD brings even more to the table with its high quality instructors and affordable, accessible classes.

Down the hall is the dance room, a spacious area with wood floors, excellent lighting and a spectator area for parents and friends. The room also features a floor-to-ceiling mirror on one wall.

All of these improvements give the program huge potential for growth, Alli said. “This is a great new venue for all the popular classes we offer now. It also has so much to offer for adult gymnastics and dance programs, rentals, private lessons and competitive programs.”

Besides contacting the gymnastics, dance and cheer communities, coaches, schools and customers with information about the Apex Simms Street Center, Alli has also planned some special programs, including free activity days in January, to highlight the new facility.