Dynamite Gymnastics

Gymnastics helps build strength, flexibility, balance, endurance and gracefulness

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Alexis Ough becomes a see-through arch as the girls do some stretching warm-ups. The other girls, from closest to farthest away, are; Kailey Carnes, Karsyn Ross, Chloe Beeler and Raegan Ashby. Dynamite Dance & Gymnastics holds classes from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 1505 Red Baron Rd. in Payson.

From the moment Dynamite Dance and Gymnastics opened in Payson a few months ago, Kamae Carnes knew immediately she wanted to enroll her children in classes.

Her interest in the sport was piqued as a youngster when she took dance and gymnastic lessons from Dynamite owner and operator Karen Smith.

The studio, however, was then called TNT Dancers.

"I remember it so well, taking dance really helped me," Carnes said. "This is actually second generation for many Payson residents, including myself, who danced many years with same instructor."

In the 1980s, Smith taught gymnastics in the Rim Country, but then moved away before returning last September.

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Moving the low balance beam, photo above, into position are from left to right; Makiah Taylor (not able to be seen), Raegan Ashby, Ariana Anderson, Rylinn Neace, Karsyn Ross (long sleeves), Chloe Beeler, Kailey Carnes, and Alexis Ough.

"I'm excited to be back, teaching children," she said.

Of Carnes' three children, two girls, Kailey, 4, and Kaylee, 6, are currently taking after-school lessons.

The classes, however, are not limited to girls.

"We have a lot of boys and they love it," Smith said. "Boys love to jump around."

Karnes said she planned to enroll her son as soon as the youth football season ended.

The difference in Smith's previous offerings in Payson and those available now is that the current classes include most all the artistic gymnastics, including vault, balance beam, pommel horse and floor exercise.

"We have all the equipment now," Smith said.

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Karen Smith, of Dynamite Dance & Gymnastics, steadies Ariana Anderson on the balance beam, as she stands on one leg.

In returning to Payson, Smith is confident there will be plenty of interest in gymnastics, mostly because the sport is fun, builds skills, increases confidence and is one in which all ages and abilities can participate.

"It (gymnastics) improves strength, flexibility, balance, endurance and gracefulness," Smith said.

Gymnastics has its roots in beauty practices and fitness used by ancient Greeks, including skills for mounting and dismounting a horse and circus performance skills.

For more information, call Smith at (480) 385-8896.

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