How to Choose the Right Sport for Your Child

With so many different sports and programs offered for kids today, it can be overwhelming for parents to choose the right sport for their child. Do you want your kid to be a soccer star or tennis pro? Think they would crush it on the basketball court? It’s important to remember that you know your child best when making this decision.

Use the following questions as a guide to choose the right sport for your child.

Will my child enjoy participating in this sport?

Choosing a sport that your child shows a true interest in is the most important goal. Children spend several hours a week practicing and playing the sport, so make sure it’s something they can look forward to each week. Make the decision and open conversation between you and your child to hear what they seem most interested in. While kids tend to change interests quickly and often, they will be more likely to stick with something they wanted to do from the get-go.

Can I afford this sport?

Extracurricular activities often come with added costs, including team fees or lessons, uniforms and equipment, and competition costs. Make sure to do your research to see what extra costs will be required by looking online or talking to parents with children who participate in the sport. Sometimes the costs can depend on how serious or advanced your athlete is, but some sports require a big price tag upfront.

What am I looking for my child to get out of their experience?

Sports come in all shapes and sizes. Define the goal of your child’s sports experience. Sports like soccer, basketball and lacrosse not only develop athletic abilities, but also work to build values like teamwork and cooperation. If you are looking for your child to gain skills such as self-determination and personal accountability, consider individualized sports like gymnastics, swimming or tennis.

Can we try it out?

Many programs will allow you to sign your child up for a trial at little or no cost. The best way to make sure that you choose the right sport for your child is to let them try it out! Watch to see how they perform and if they are having fun. Chances are if they ask you to do it again after their trial, it is going to be a good fit!

Sports are a fun way for kids to get active and develop skills and values that last a lifetime, all you have to do is choose the right sport!

Fill out the form below to sign up for your free trial class for any youth programs class at the NAC!

#FitTipFriday Get your heart rate up! No rhythm required.

Dance How-To: Boogie Bop

Country Line Dancing instructor, Kathy, breaks down step-by-step how to perform the Boogie Bop.

Step 1: Right foot out









Step 2: Left foot out









Step 3: Point toes in









Step 4: Point toes out









Step 5: Left heel up









Step 6: Left heel hook









Step 7: Right heel out









Step 8: Right heel hook









Step 9: Left foot slide









Step 10: Feet apart









Step 11: Left foot cross behind









Step 12: Cross step and turn









Interested in country line dancing? This class is offered for both children and adults. Learn some of the newest country line dances to pop/country music. Bring sneakers or dance shoes and get ready for a hoe down stompin’ fun time. Great exercise without even realizing it! Fun dancing and a great time listening to some of children’s favorite artists in country music. Learn all the basic steps such as kickball change, boxstep, Grapevine, sailor steps and more. Requests will also be taken for special songs.

Fill out the form below to get information on this brand new class!

How Dance is Good for Your Health

Dance is a great way for individuals to express their creativity and have fun. While someone may love moving around to music just for fun, there are a ton of hidden health benefits to dancing. There are many studies that link dancing to a myriad of benefits such as weight loss, improved memory, flexibility, and more.

NAC Youth Programs Dance Coordinator Amanda Kimble has been a dancer for her entire life. “Dancing is a fun way to stay in shape,” explains Amanda. “It lets you express yourself while working muscle, getting a cardio workout, and improving posture.”

The New England Journal of Medicine also published findings that dancing improves memory and can help to prevent dementia. Scientists have found that over time, parts of the brain shrink with age, which lead to memory loss and sometimes dementia. Individuals who participate in dancing have been found to avoid or lessen this shrinkage.

Finally, dancing can help fight depression and reduce stress. In various studies, individuals who participated in upbeat group dance sessions had improved mood and showed less depression symptoms.

These are just a few of the benefits of making dance a regular part of your life. Here at the Newtown Athletic Club in Bucks County, we have dance classes offered for both adults and children of all ages. Whether you’re looking to find a fun way to stay in shape or have been a dancer for your whole life, there is sure to be the right class for you or your child.


Interested in trying dance classes at the NAC? Sign up for a free trial class today!

Adult Dance Classes at the NAC

The fall session for youth programs at the NAC officially began Tuesday, September 8. There are a variety of classes offered for children, including dance, gymnastics, tae kwon do and KidFit. These classes are a great option for parents who want their kids to stay active and learn new skills.

What many parents may not know about the Youth Programs department is that they can also take advantage of these amazing programs. The Academy of Dance at the NAC offers a variety of adult dance classes. Participants in these classes not only get a great workout, but also learn new skills and form friendships with others in their class. Additionally, dancing is shown to reduce chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease along with other benefits that come with staying active and fit.



Adult Tap | Tuesdays at 11 am

This class is for dancers of all levels. Participants have fun while getting a great workout. Throughout the year, dancers will learn various tap steps and techniques. By the end of the session, participants will have learned several routines.

Adult Ballet | Fridays at 9:30 am

This class is structured as a typical ballet class, with barre work, center work, adage and allegro steps. Come and learn classical ballet technique, which will give you great balance, better posture, and a strong core. This class is for dancers of all levels. Beginners are welcome!

Belly Dancing | Beginner: Tuesdays at 7:30 pm | Intermediate: Mondays at 7:30 pm & Wednesdays at 9:30 am | Performance: Wednesdays at 7:30 pm

Spice up your workout! Learn the ancient art of belly dancing with this full body workout focusing on core strength and flexibility. The class consists of core isolation drills, basic dance movements, and easy to follow choreography patterns. This class is offered in three levels: Beginner, Intermediate, & Performance. The performance class is invitation only and the class is used as practice for the group’s various performances throughout the year, including the NAC dance recital and other exhibitions around the east coast.

Country Line Dancing | Thursdays at 7:30 pm

Learn some of the newest country line dances to pop country music. Bring your dance shoes or cowboy boots and get ready for a hoe down stompin’ fun time.Great exercise without even realizing it! You’ll be able to go out dancing at a country western club after you take this class. Learn all the basic steps such as kickball change, boxstep, Grapevine, sailor steps and more. Requests will also be taken for special songs.

Meet the Instructors: 
Kathy Peoples | Country Line Dancing

Kathy has been teaching country line dance in the Philadelphia area for the past 10 years with a great reputation for patience. She has a knack for teaching even those with two left feet! A study at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. found dancing to be the only regular physical activity associated with a significant drop in the incidence of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies have shown Line Dancing in particular to be a great help in areas of memory, balance, cardiovascular and vertigo. And at the same time you get to have lots of fun!

JoAnna Hopkins | Adult Tap & Ballet
JoAnna Hopkins has over 30 years experience in teaching dance. She is the owner and operator of Ballet Workshop 11, and she is a Grade 6 Certified ballet instructor by the Cecchetti Council of America LCCA. JoAnna teaches both the Adult Ballet & Adult Tap classes.
Anne Jeronis | Belly Dance
Anne has studied tribal style belly dance and performed at many venues over the past 12 years. Wanting to share her passion for the dance as well its physical benefits, she began teaching belly dance movement classes at the NAC in 2005. Anne is also a certified Pilates instructor and an ACE certified fitness instructor with over 25 years in the fitness industry.

To enroll in adult dance classes, visit the Program Desk. For more information about these classes, email or call 215-968-0600 x112.

Academy of Dance at the NAC Recital 2015

Early in the morning on Sunday, May 17, staff and volunteers arrived at Council Rock North High School to prepare for the busy day ahead. The dancers from the Academy of Dance at the NAC had been preparing all year and the 2015 recital day had finally arrived.

Dancers in the first show began arriving shortly after 9:30 a.m. to check-in and join their class to wait backstage. Families and loved ones were able to purchase flowers, candy, and jewelry to give as gifts at the end of the show. When everyone was in their seats and the dancers were in their places at around 10:30 a.m., the show was ready to begin!

The audience was greeted by Linda Mitchell, Director of Public Relations and Community Partners at the NAC, who was appointed emcee of the day. The first show opened with Miss Kimberly’s Thursday 7:30 Hip Hop III class, whose performance to “Boss” was a fantastic way to kick off the recital. From that point on, the audience was wowed by every performance, from the tiny ballerinas to the more mature and amazingly talented dancers in level three classes.

The second show, which began at 2:30 p.m., was equally as impressive to both the audience and instructors who have guided and helped the dancers throughout the year. Beyond the skill shown on stage, one of the most apparent things was the amount of fun each dancer had performing for their family and friends.

The dancers and audience had a special surprise announcement waiting for them at the end of each show. Two special guests, Minnie & Mickey Mouse, joined the instructors on stage to share the news of the upcoming Disney Dance the World program. This new program would be a special class of dancers ages 7 and older who would visit Disney World in June 2016 to dance in a parade!

The 2015 Academy of Dance recital was a huge success, with over 1,500 friends, families, and loved ones coming out to support the dancers. Youth Programs co-directors Jessie Westfall and Amanda Brown, Dance Coordinator Emily Howard, and all the instructors and dancers did an amazing job putting on two fantastic shows. Click here to view pictures from the recital.


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