By Dijon Rolle, USAG Baden-Wuerttemberg Public AffairsOctober 13, 2010
LANDSTUHL, Germany - By all accounts young Nathaniel Greene looks every bit the part of a future Olympic gymnast. He can stretch, twist and tumble with the best of them, but he requires a little help from mom Arianna and dad Christopher, to maneuver the balance beam.
The red-headed dynamo is all smiles and giggles dressed in a tiny blue Nike T-shirt and matching sweatpants. Nathaniel is only 14 months old.
He and his 3-year-old sister Lilanna are students in the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills Unlimited "Mom, Pop and Tot" pre-gymnastics class offered on Landstuhl.
The family joined the SKIES Unlimited class about a month ago.
"I wanted them to be involved in something and because it's mom, pop and tot, I can be here with both my kids at the same time. Right now, this is the only thing that Nate is able to do so this is perfect for them," Greene said.
"I think it's the opportunity for us in the military community to have the same opportunities as they do in the states, and I love that. I think it's great that they are able to have this here. Otherwise you'd have to go out on the economy," she said. When Greene is not busy twirling and tumbling with her children in class, she's out teaching others a few moves.
The military spouse and mother of two has taught pre-tap, pre-ballet, jazz, ballroom and hip-hop dancing for SKIES Unlimited Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg for the past five years. Two years ago she also started teaching in Landstuhl.
Her daughter Lilanna, recently became one of her students.
Greene says despite the long commute she loves her job both as a parent and as an instructor.
Nearby, 2-year-old Elizabeth Tran giggled as she bounced on a tiny trampoline. Her little brown ponytail bobbed up and down as her mom, Jackie, looked on and cheered.
Tran said she found out about the class from her neighbor and wanted to sign her daughter up to give her a chance to interact with other children. "I was her best friend and I needed her be exposed to other kids. SKIES classes are important because it teaches her ways to interact with others and social learning. She loves playing with the other kids. The environment has been wonderful and welcoming to children, and she needed that."
Tran admitted that she, too, needed a little interaction of her own. She and her husband moved to Germany a few months ago and she saw the class as another way to meet other parents and to learn about her new community.
SKIES Unlimited is part of Child, Youth and School Services.
It provides children access to instructional classes in areas such as music, dance, gymnastics, sports, martial arts and more. The selection of classes can vary by individual communities.
Children must be dependents of active-duty military, retirees, DOD civilian employees, or DOD contractors who are currently registered with their local CYSS Parent Central Services Office.
For information on SKIES Unlimited classes in your community, visit webtrac.mwr.army.mil/webtrac/heidelbergcyms.html.