A gymnastics exhibition at the Payson Public Library Saturday afternoon drew a crowd to watch gymnast Susie Watson and some of her students perform. This demonstration kicked off a series of interactive events offered through the library’s annual Art-rageous Art Fair that will continue through Friday, Feb. 22.
Watson, director of the gymnastic program at Triangle Academy, explained that gymnastics exercises both sides of the brain and develops strong hand-eye coordination. This exhibition featured only some of Watson’s 60 students, some as young as 4. The gymnasts are classified according to their experience into beginning, intermediate, and advanced or “stars.”
After warm-ups, the gymnasts demonstrated front rolls, front limber, the back/front walkover, handsprings and the cutaway, a one hand cartwheel. One of the
most impressive feats demonstrated by the “stars” was the aerial, a cartwheel without using the hands. This trick requires coordination and strength.
After the exhibition, Watson invited interested observers to practice some of the gymnastic moves. Watson and her assistant, Hannah Palandri, helped the children to achieve the correct form and have fun while performing several passes.
Watson extolled the benefits of gymnastics. “Gymnastics is one of those sports that strengthens your core and gives you ... durability and flexibility for a lot of other sports.” The skills learned through this sport will profit other areas of life, including self-discipline. At the Triangle Academy, Watson offers a variety of gymnastic classes for all ages and experience levels. They have future plans to expand their gymnastic programs to include other activities such as swimming and running.
Katie Sanchez, youth program coordinator at Payson Public Library, said that the gymnastics exhibition was “a big hit.”
The Art-rageous Art Fair is an opportunity for “kids to experience different types of art and they can decide what they might be interested in, in the future.” Sanchez helps to sponsor a variety of artists from different mediums to expose kids to new experiences. This week, the Art-rageous Art Fair is featuring courses in photography, drawing, jewelry, music and baking.
To sign up or for more information, stop by the Children’s Room of the library, 328 N. McLane Road.
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