NEWPORT — There are still spots open for gymnastics and ninja warrior classes in sessions that begin this week in Newport.

Ocean Floor Gymnastics owner and coach Rebekkah Garcia said there is something for every skill level. “We offer everything from tiny tots for 1 and 2-year-old kids, to silks for adults,” Garcia said. Aerial silks are stretching yoga-style exercises that combine strength training, balance and posture work. 

The silks classes have been very popular, according to Garcia, who says they are fun for mothers and daughters and for couples. “Couples don’t get to do a lot of things like that,” she said. “It would be a nice excuse to do something fun together.” She is offering Valentine’s Day gift certificates for the next class session, which will start Feb. 19. “We are going to learn beginner skills on the yoga slings. We’ve had some requests to do a Cirque du Soleil-type class, so it’ll be a lot of fun.”

“Cheernastics” is another class offered at the studio. Intended for students trying to hone their cheerleading skills, for either trying out for a squad or cheering competitively, this class offers cheerleading basics and tumbling lessons. 

Tot Time is an open gym time where children can learn basic skills like jumping, log rolls, balancing and swinging. This class allows children to get physical while getting comfortable with the equipment. 

Tot Tumble is for 3 and 4 year olds. This is a guided lesson with parent participation, focusing on coordination, balance and skills with open gym play and prepares tots for basic gymnastics, which begin at age 5. Those children are taught basic tumbling and crab walks. In the past session, they learned a small routine.

Basic gymnastics lessons on beam, bar and floor are offered for any beginner or intermediate student ages 5 through 13. Each class starts with light flexibility and a strength workout. All students are encouraged to practice daily outside of the gym. 

Those gymnasts on the competitive team just attended their first invitational meet on Jan. 8, and several gymnasts won medals. 

But it isn’t just gymnastics at Ocean Floor Gymnastics. Garcia’s husband, Paul, runs ninja warrior classes for eight weeks. Students in these classes do a lot of push-ups, jumping, swinging and rolling in a challenging, timed obstacle course. They are also installing a rock wall as a part of that class.

The growth of her business has been steady. Garcia originally started with a few pieces of equipment and an idea in August of 2020. When her job as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the Newport Recreation Center was eliminated when the rec center temporarily closed during the COVID pandemic, Garcia knew she needed to do something else. 

“I bought a bar and a beam and brought it home,” Garcia explained. “I started with my daughters at home, and it was a lot of fun.” She offered an eight-week class with a skills day show at the end of the session. She had about a dozen students sign up. When that class ended, she wanted to do another. The second class was a 12-week session with about 25 students. At the peak, there were about 80 students in all the classes.

She decided they needed a bigger, permanent space, so started renting a spot in Newport’s Deco District at 434 SW Coast Highway in April. As the interest in the classes grew, she bought more equipment and added additional classes. Now outgrowing their current space, the next step for Garcia is relocating to a new building. “We want to get fundraisers started with car washes and bake sales in the spring,” she said. She has been working with a developer who will build the structure and rent the space to Garcia. She hopes the building will be completed and open in the fall. 

Garcia said having gym classes for kids is very important. “Some kids don’t fit into group sports like basketball, football and cheerleading. A lot of kids that come here are shy, and getting them to focus on something they can do well allows them to advance really fast.”

The space can be rented for special events like birthday parties. Go to Ocean Floor Gymnastics on Facebook and request to join their private group, or call 541-819-9382.

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