New Kid on the Block: Paul Ruggeri Gymnastics

“Gymnastics—especially for kids—is my passion,” says Paul Ruggeri, whose Paul Ruggeri Gymnastics is now open on Broadway. “I wanted to bring it to New York City to share the experiences and opportunities that I had.”

Ruggeri started doing gymnastics when he was very young, and he was competing by age 8. Before retiring at 28, he earned a bevy of medals, including at the World Championships. More recently, he has been participating in season 10 of “American Ninja Warrior”; he’ll be in the Philadelphia division finals, which air next Monday, August 13, on NBC.

“Most people want to train Olympians, but it’s important to me that this is not competitive,” he says of his new venture. “Gymnastics can be pretty strict and I don’t want it to be like that. It should be about having fun.” The gym certainly looks like it’d be a blast, with a tumble track (to learn on before moving to a hard surface), trampoline, parallel and uneven bars, rings, balance beam, vault, cargo net, climbing rope, and, for birthday parties, a big bounce castle. He points out that the benefits of gymnastics are plentiful—strength, balance, and coordination, to name just three—and that the skills kids learn will help them throughout their lives, in activities both physical and mental. “You learn to work hard, to fall on your face in front of other people, and to get up and try again.”

The emphasis is on kids, with Mommy & Me and Preschool classes in the morning, and afternoon sessions organized by skill level. (Children older than 12 can come in for tumbling.) All of the classes are open to boys and girls, but Ruggeri expects that his Ninja class will likely appeal more to boys—a direct effect of the “American Ninja Warrior” show’s popularity. “Ninja class is indoor obstacle training that improves agility, problem solving, and endurance. It’s a more relaxed, free-flowing form of gymnastics. You don’t have to be beautiful.”

Adults, meanwhile, can start with classes in tumbling (i.e., the floor exercise) and handstands. Ruggeri thinks he’ll probably add conditioning classes and, because CrossFit aficionados have been asking for them, back-flip clinics. And through this Friday, kids and adults can get 25% off fall tuition.

Paul Ruggeri Gymnastics is at 356 Broadway (between Franklin and Leonard); 212-966-6817;

Recent New Kid on the Block / First Impressions articles:
Holy Ground
Interlude Coffee & Tea
A Summer Day Café



  1. Hello,
    I’m interested in the mommy and me classes. My son is goinng to be 5 months next week. Is this too young? Please send me schedule and class prices.

    Thank you!

  2. I had set up a Ninja trial class for my very excited son this past Saturday. I am certain I confirmed the date. We went to the gym to find an “open” sign in the window of a darkened, locked storefront. My son was very disappointed and so was I. Hoping this was just a communication problem. I have yet to hear back after leaving a message.

    • Apologies for the miscommunication. We experienced a family emergency on Thursday and had to leave the city early on Friday. A few attempts were made to call you back and reschedule, but the number you called from was bouncing back to Manhattan Youth.

      Please call the office to reschedule a trial for your son!