Kids burn energy, learn gymnastics from Ms. Tara

If you are looking for a noncompetitive place you can take you kids to burn off some energy, you may want to keep reading.

"My daughter lives for gymnastics now that she goes to Learn and Turn," said Lori Ulrich. "When class is over, she doesn't want to leave.

"The next day she is asking, how many days till gymnastics? She loves Ms. Tara and the training she is getting."

"Ms. Tara" is Tara Henry, owner of Learn and Turn, a sports and recreation facility. Henry proudly considers herself a local girl, since just about all her education and work experience took place in this area. She is a graduate of Northwest Cabarrus High School and attended Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and UNC Charlotte.

Her extensive background in sports and education eventually led her to open her own business.

"I have participated in gymnastics exhibition teams, competition dance teams, played softball and basketball," Henry said. "After graduating high school I started teaching and coaching at Cabarrus County Gymnastics (on Central Drive in Concord, off Davidson Highway). I taught parent/child classes and coached summer camp competition teams.

"While in college at RCCC - where I studied early childhood education - I was also a nanny for several families. After graduating from UNC Charlotte in elementary education, I taught kindergarten for several years at Wolf Meadow and Cox Mill elementary (schools). I also tutored at Carl A. Furr and Rockwell (elementaries) and worked as a substitute teacher at Furr and Pitts School Road Elementary.

"After that, I got married and had a baby, but I wanted to stay home and raise her, so I taught part time, tutored and kept children in my home," she said. "I decided to open Learn and Turn when there got to be too many at my house!"

Henry describes Learn and Turn as a fun, noncompetitive place to learn. She offers various classes for kids' ages 18 months to 17 years. There is no pressure to join any team.

"I have been in gymnastics all my life, and I can still do most of skills. I have also integrated education into the gymnastics program. The teachers here are experienced, and the classes are small," she said.

"There is only one class going on at a time, which means less distraction, and the kids are having fun while they are learning."

Other programs offered are flag twirling classes for teens, yoga classes, self-defense classes for women and open gym hours and birthday parties. New classes and workshops are constantly being added.