Rock climbing team, dance class are new highlights of Y's spring programs

Published on Tuesday, 13 February 2018 21:42


PLAINVILLE – Dance classes and a new rock climbing team are just part of the fun starting up soon at the Wheeler Regional YMCA.

The YMCA, located at 149 Farmington Ave., has opened registration for its Spring Session of indoor activities, which will be held from Feb. 26 through April 22. This seven week period of activities includes basketball, martial arts, indoor soccer, a newly formed rock climbing team that competes with other YMCAs and a new dance class.

Tim Gabbard, youth development director at the YMCA, said that the dance class will be led by Alexa St. Jean, who also coordinates birthday parties at the Y and is a counselor for the summer camp.

“We created this class because of the high demand that we have been getting for the past two years,” said Gabbard. “Alexa has been dancing since she was five years old and she has been teaching for the last four years. We have had 15 kids sign up so far this year, many because she’s the one who’ll be teaching.”

The dance class will cover jazz, hip hop and ballet dancing and it will be broken up by age groups of 3 to 6 year olds, 6 to 8 year olds, 7 to 9 year olds and 9 to 11 year olds.

The rock climbing team will include nine children from grades 4 to 9. The team has competed in past program sessions and recently traveled to the Farmington Valley YMCA for an event.

“The instructors keep track of the kids’ times so that they can show them how much they have improved from the start of the season to the finish,” said Gabbard. “We have had a rock climbing wall for a while, but this is the first year we will be having competitions. These competitions may eventually branch out to include other organizations with climbing walls such as Boys & Girls Clubs.”

Overall, Gabbard said that the Plainville YMCA has been seeing significant growth in program participation. He attributes this success to instructors that are dedicated to helping children learn and grow while stressing the YMCA’S four core values of honesty, caring, respect and social responsibility.

“The energy of the whole building is going up and up,” he said.

Gabbard said that registration for any of these seven week programs varies but typically falls at around $50 for Wheeler Regional YMCA members and $100 for non-members.

Those who wish to register for these programs can stop in to the YMCA’s front desk, call 860-793-9631 or visit

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Plainville on Tuesday, 13 February 2018 21:42. Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2018 21:44.