One of the best things about being an NYC parent is that no matter what your kid is into — someplace offers a class in it. Now, a brand new 15,000-square-foot facility on the Lower East Side is aiming to be almost a one-stop-shop for your all your junior extracurricular needs. Looking for ballet classes? Mandarin? Krav Maga? Evolution Enrichment Center offers all that and more.
Rhythmic gymnastics class photo: Alina Adams
Dance, Dance, Baby
No one is too young to strut their stuff at Evolution Enrichment! Starting with Mommy & Me Dance Appreciation and Stretching & Flexibility Classes for ages 12 to 24 months, your budding ballerina or bounding boy can then move up into Classical Pre-Ballet for 4 to 6-year-olds, followed by Ballet for 6 to 9- year-olds. The classes are taught by members of the prestigious Brighton Ballet Theater: School of Russian Ballet in the company’s only Manhattan location.
Ballet not your kid’s thing? Evolution Enrichment also offers classes in Ballroom Dance for 5 to 6-year-olds, General Ballroom Dance for 6 to14-year-olds, Contemporary Jazz for ages 7 and up, and Modern Dance for ages 10 and up.
Krav Maga class photo: Evolution Enrichment
Super (Solo) Sports
What do you do if your child just isn’t a joiner, and the idea of team sports makes them wrinkle their noses and go “Eww”? How about introducing them to a team sport — that requires individual training?
Rhythmic Gymnastics demands the strength and flexibility of a Gabby Douglas alongside the dancing prowess of a prima ballerina. Plus, practitioners get to twirl ribbons, bounce balls, spin hoops, toss clubs, and swing a rope. (You probably know rhythmic gymnastics from seeing it in the Olympics.) While NYC is full of competitive and recreational gymnastics programs, Evolution Enrichment is one of the only places to offer a Rhythmic Gymnastics option for girls ages 5-11 years old, and the class is taught by a European medalist.
Looking for less twirling and more kicking? Try Krav Maga. This Israeli martial art teaches kids self-defense through a combination of techniques re-purposed from boxing, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and grappling that uses an opponent’s strength against them. The discipline focuses on dealing with real-life situations and, most importantly, self-control and the wisdom to know when to walk away from a fight.
You Gotta Have Art
For kids who gotta sing and dance, check out the Kids Theater Arts Workshop and Performance class for children ages 5 to12, in which young actors not only engage in scene study and movement, but also receive helpful tips in articulation, projection, poise, and self-confidence — great skills both on stage and off.
Budding visual artists (or lawyers) may enjoy Creative Art, a hands-on painting workshop beginning at the kindergarten level that also incorporates critical thinking and public speaking components. ( Just what every parent needs: a kindergartner who can argue better.)
Art class photo: Evolution Enrichment
If intellectual gymnastics are more your child’s speed, Evolution Enrichment provides several ways to keep his or her little mind engaged, including chess and Mandarin classes for kids five and older, and computer programming and debate for those in middle school. (It also offers Specialized High School Admissions Test and SAT prep on the premises for the older set.)
Pre-school class photo: Evolution Enrichment
School’s In Session
In addition to a menu of specialized individual classes such as the ones above, Evolution Enrichment also offers a preschool program of half and full days Monday through Friday. Developed for children ages 2-5, the Center’s early childhood preschool program utilizes the movement, sports, chess and language class resources of the facility, and also incorporates a specially-developed science and math curriculum.
Evolution’s space features sixteen classrooms freshly-decorated with over-sized cartoon characters and a private outdoor play area, and the center will be running summer camp programs when school lets out.
Evolution Enrichment Center
38 Delancey St.
Lower East Side
Where do your kids get enriched? Tell us in the comments below!
– Alina Adams