If you haven’t heard of parkour, you’ve probably already seen it in action (regrettably) in your living room. With origins in French military obstacle course training, the sport of traversing environmental obstacles by running, climbing, or leaping rapidly and efficiently is an actual thing now — not just kids acting crazy. It’s a sport, an art, and yes, kind of a philosophy — practitioners say that assessing a landscape and its obstacles on the physical plane translates to the metaphysical. (It’s heavy, dude.) Whatever: do your kids have boundless energy? Are they literally climbing the walls? Here’s where to channel all that!
photo: The Movement Creative
The Movement Creative
The Movement Creative brings parkour to the people every which way, with classes for both kids and adults, after-school programs, parties and team-building events, the design and creation of parkour courses and more. Classes are scalable in intensity and complexity, so beginners are welcome — in fact, most students sign up with no prior parkour experience. Classes incorporate games as well as elements of strength and conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting, dance and beyond.
Classes, beginning Sept 12 take place in Hamilton Fish Park on Saturdays and are available for kids ages 7-10, and those 11-13. Cost is $25/per class or $100 for five. A winter session will also be offered with dates and location to be determined. E-mail info@themovementcreative for more information.
photo: Brooklyn Zoo
Kids as young as five years old are learning parkour at this mega facility of movement in Williamsburg. (In addition to parkour, Brooklyn Zoo also offers classes such as “Ninja Warrior”, tumbling, trampoline, tricking, capoeira, contortion, monkey bars, break dance, and “King Of The Jungle”, the last of which is a parkour-based class.)
Classes are offered at various times and days of the week. Click here for schedule and registration. Prices are $20/class in advance and $25 for walk-ins.
230 Bogart St.
photo: Everyday Athlete
With two locations in Brownstone Brooklyn (one in Brooklyn Heights, the other in Carroll Gardens), Everyday Athlete urges students to “make the world your playground.” The studio uses a progressive and systematic curriculum (i.e. kids should learn to “walk” before they “run”) to help students understand how their body works and develop a playful and fun attitude about movement skills. EA also stresses progress and achievement based on one’s own abilities and development, not as compared to others. EA’s Ninja Parkour for kids 4 to 6 years old incorporates basic parkour techniques as well as gymnastics and tumbling, while parkour classes for those 7 to 9 and over 10 years of age focus on indoor and outdoor obstacle courses. Kids who get really good (mostly teenagers) may join the invitational class. EA offers Fall and Winter/Spring sessions with pricing starting at $700; discounts are available for full-year enrollment and drop-ins are also welcome.
136 Union St.
130 Clinton St.
If you want your child’s parkour to have the imprimatur of the cultural intelligentsia, STREB is probably the choice for you. Founder Elizabeth Streb received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 1997, has delivered a TEDxMet talk, and is the subject of a recent New Yorker profile. She preaches and teaches “PopAction” for both kids and adults, which she describes as a fusion of dance, athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus and Hollywood stuntwork.
STREB is where the very youngest among us can begin to explore movement, with the class “Baby Action” designed for tots 18 months to three years of age. Additional classes for kids ages 3 to 5, 5 to 7 and 7 to 10 are also offered. For kids 8 to 12 years old, Parkour Plus provides an introduction to parkour, focusing on strength, endurance, alignment, efficiency, range of motion, artistry and teamwork. Fall semester runs from September 21 to February 6.
51 N. First St.
Does your child take parkour? Tell us where in the comments below!