YMCA staff member Christian Simon spent her Sunday afternoon teaching dance routines she’d choreographed as part of the Paula G. Manship Y’s Hip-hop Dance for children.

The classes started in January, she said, and have been well-attended. The class is relatively new at the Manship, Simon said, and started when she noticed there were no youth dance classes offered at the Y when she started working at the front desk about six months ago.

“I’m a dancer, also,” Simon said.

Dance helped her develop her communication skills and get over her shyness as a kid.

“I think it was finding a way to express myself that didn’t require talking,” she said. She hopes to spread that vision to her students, who are ages 5 to 15.

It’s one of many classes offered at the YMCA for children, said Kristen Hogan, marketing director for the organization, and a great way for parents to get their own workouts in while their children are home for the summer.

The Y also offers a variety of summer camps, Hogan said, including:

YMCA Youth Sports Leagues: Designed for children of all ages and stress development of skills, teamwork, sportsmanship, and positive competition in a fun environment. All participants will play equal amounts of time during the games and will have the opportunity to play at all different positions throughout the season.

Sports leagues include basketball, flag football, soccer, baseball, T-ball, tackle football, volleyball and cheerleading.

YMCA University: This summer camp helps children learn physical wellness, team building, and extracurricular activities, including swimming, arts and crafts, games and field trips, and more.

In addition to a variety of summer swim classes, summer camps and sports camps being offered this summer at Capital Area YMCA locations, the Y offers several programming options for residents of East Baton Rouge Parish.

One such option is the Synchronized Swimming Team, which began practices at C.B. Pennington Jr. YMCA. The practices are designed to teach the fundamentals of synchronized swimming including sculling, basic figures, and choreography to music. This is ideal for beginners who are interested in learning a new sport and enjoy dancing, swimming, and gymnastics, Hogan said.

Hip-hop Dance for Adults is also in development, Simon said, and will be offered at the Manship Y beginning in July.

Barre Blend Group Exercise is offered at the Southside YMCA. This class brings exercises from group fitness into the mind/body experience by fusing exercises from ballet, cardio training, Pilates and yoga into one class to challenge and tone the entire body. It is designed to improve body awareness, flexibility and stabilization. No dance experience required. It is offered from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays; and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays.

For information about what’s happening at the Y, visit the closest YMCA branch, or the organization’s website, http://ymcabr.org.