Michelle is a professional dancer, choreographer, and Kid Expert based in NYC! She has 18 years of experience teaching kiddos how to move their bodies through dance, gymnastics and fitness. In her gymnastics classes, she loves to incorporate movement games like Ship Shore as well as inspire a little healthy competition (with yourself!) by having kiddos track improvement in strength and focus. Michelle is one of our most booked and highest rated Kid Experts with 19 glowing reviews! Read on to learn more about Michelle and her focus on youth fitness.
1. Hi Michelle! Where are you from and what brought you to NYC?
I am from Austin, Texas. I came to NYC to pursue my dance career and get a taste of city life.
2. What is your experience with kids? Can you share a story?
I began teaching 18 years ago as a gymnastics coach and camp counselor at Bela Karolyi’s in Houston. Since then I have taught gymnastics, dance, and fitness to little ones. I have also played lots of characters at children’s events like fairies, elves, princesses, even Glinda the Good Witch. One of my most favorite experiences was playing a swimming mermaid at a 6-year-old’s birthday party. I told stories, played games and “swam” with the kids. They were enchanted. I love bringing magic to important days in kid’s lives!
3. When you’re booked for a regular Curated Care session, what is your process in terms of preparation/items you bring?
On the first session with a family I usually bring a game like ring toss or bowling, a craft like watercolor monsters, or I will teach a little intro for dance or gymnastics. Once I have booked a few sessions with a family, I know what the children like and I customize depending on the child or the space. I have taught kids to fly kites, bake bread, and braid their own hair in a cool fishtail braid. I have also built forts, obstacle courses, race tracks and taken kids on scavenger hunts. I like my sessions to always be different.
4. Families also book you for private gymnastics lessons in their home. Can you tell us how that works? What type of gymnastics work can you do in someone’s home?
Most of my in-home private lessons are with students ages 4 to 9. As long as there is space for a bit of running and a soft carpet we are good to go. We do a warm up with running, skipping, gallops and a lot of stretching. Then we work on forward rolls, backward rolls, cartwheels, handstands, and back walkovers. I do a lot of spotting to keep sessions safe (that means I use hands on assisting in new skills.) Most private lessons are between 45 minutes to 1 hour long.
5. What do you think is the benefit in hiring a Kid Expert vs a traditional babysitter?
Most Kid Experts are chomping at the bit to use their special skills and unique talents. It is a great way to introduce your child to lots of different activities without the pressure of signing up for a class. Plus Kid Experts have the benefit of working with lots of different families and thus gaining a lot of tricks up their sleeves.
6.What are you most looking forward to in the future?
Cheesy answer here! Having my own children.
Our fabulous gymnastics coach and dance teacher Michelle is available weekdays from 9-2pm as well as Wednesday and Thursday afternoons for private in-home lessons. Book or message her here. Check out this adorable video of one of Michelle’s classes: