Forum: Gym / Gymnastics

What are the skills a girl who just turned 4 should have?
By twirlermom103
On Thu Oct 31, 2013 06:36 PM

My 4 year old can put herself onto the bar and lift her legs and touch the bar while handing. She is getting better at her cartwheels and backbend kick overs with help. She can do forward and backward rolls. She can do handstands, handstand straddles, and handstands over into a bridge. She can kick her leg up toward her face and hold it. She can also put up her leg to her head from behind and beside her.

What else should she know? Or what should she try next?

6 Replies to What are the skills a girl who just turned 4 should have?

re: What are the skills a girl who just turned 4 should have?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Thu Oct 31, 2013 08:43 PM
Being a dance teacher, I think you should make sure you're putting effort into exposing her to dance skills. If you are hoping for her to continue with gymnastics (and most gymnastics classes I've seen don't stress dance skills in their preschool classes) then she can have a leg up in arm coordination, footwork coordination, leaps and turns if she is exposed to the skill sets early. I work with gymnasts who have never taken a dance class until 10 and their scores suffer because they lack artistry, or because they struggle with 1/2 turns, or X, Y, and Z.

Other than exposure to dance skills, at this age I stress the basics more than "new skills". Especially since there are motor skills that haven't developed yet in a 4-year-old, basics like understanding good and bad stretching, keeping muscles tight (especially trying to keep the core/back tight in jumps), straight arms/legs, walking on toes are big things that develop strong and good muscle memory. I was actually surprised that your 4 year old does handstand fall to bridge, since I see many kids her age lack the control to land in a bridge with good form. (I make no comment on your daughter, of course, but want you to know that it wouldn't be a skill she learned at her age here.) Keep in mind that further progress will go faster if she doesn't need to unlearn bad habits. You want your daughter to learn, but don't want her to learn things that is going to be work to unlearn in 3 years when she starts competing.
re: What are the skills a girl who just turned 4 should have?
By twirlermom103
On Thu Nov 14, 2013 07:25 AM
Her gymnastics teacher says she does some things a little more advanced that she usually teaches. Fortunately, I was told she is doing them right. She is always watching her older sister. Anything her sister does, she copies. Her baton teacher is teaching her a little bit of dance each week. She loves her fan kick.
re: What are the skills a girl who just turned 4 should have?
By twirlermom103
On Thu Nov 14, 2013 07:34 AM
Sometimes the gymnastic teacher has to alter the class a bit for her. Other girls are still walking the wall into a handstand, but she can go straight up into one. Or, they are doing backbends on the rolly polly and the teacher pushes it aside for her. She still needs to feel like she has a spot, but just barely. What could she start next in baton or gymnastics?
re: What are the skills a girl who just turned 4 should have?
By imadanseurPremium member
On Thu Nov 14, 2013 09:33 AM
When I was teaching gymnastics we were teaching advanced 4 year olds how to do a pull over on the bar, we had skills they needed to know on balance beam (scale, knee scale, coupe' walks, passe' walks, high kicks), trampoline we had them practice tuck jumps, straddle jumps, split jumps etc.

We taught handstand roll downs before we did handstand fall to a bridge for many reasons, but once a child can do a handstand and go over it, we just start working on front walk overs. Generally we don't do that unless they are an advanced kid about age 6 because they don't have the development of their core muscles or the strength to bring themselves up in a safe manner.
re: What are the skills a girl who just turned 4 should have?
By lovin_to_dance
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:14 PM
If her teacher is saying that she is a little advanced, then I would not be concerned. Trust your teacher. You need not worry about what she is learning, as much as her teacher. Just sit back, and enjoy watching her. She is four, she has a lifetime of learning ahead of her. Be in no rush. :D
re: What are the skills a girl who just turned 4 should have?
By twirlermom103
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 03:42 PM
I have to look up some of the names for the balance beam work, but much of this is the same as she has been working on. She did do the handstand roll downs first. They are working on getting her handstands up for longer. She is working on the passé with her sister. She needs the passé for baton twirling, too.

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