Tropical Twisters Gymnastics owner and head coach Lisa Johnson knows how to compete. During her 15-year career as a gymnast, she became an Elite-level gymnast, was ranked in the top five in Florida, and was honored as an All-American and All-SEC teammate. From 1975 to 1982, she qualified for every regional and national championship, and in 1983, she received Auburn University’s Athlete of the Year award. Today, as head coach, she uses all that expertise to help gymnasts in levels 1–10 to sharpen their skills inside her 7,000-square-foot facility. She, along with fellow coach Mike Johnson, also introduces new students to the art of gymnastics through introductory classes, which keep them from executing uneven-bar routines in their parents' bedroom closets.
Jamie Griffitts knew she wanted to be a gymnastics coach even before she completed high school. Today, she has realized her dream by opening AcroFit Gymnastics Center, a gym that welcomes young tumblers ages 18 months to 18 years. Programs range from just-for-fun classes that help little ones get fit to more serious sessions that train for competitive events?and many of those students have gone on to take championship titles and somersault victory laps.
Lakewood Ranch Gymnastics’ husband-and-wife instructors unlock physical flexibility and springboard children into gymnastics education with sessions designed to stimulate curiosity and promote fitness. Each 45-minute class echoes with the pounding feet and tiny laughs of students ages 5 and younger as they twist and twirl upon equipment designed to accommodate their short stature and limited grasp of quantum physics. Parents and tots under 3 toddle together during 45-minute sessions that introduce the gamut of gymnastics equipment. Acrobatic acolytes ages 6 and up incinerate calories during 60-minute sessions, performing tumbles that end in sit-ups, backwards somersaults that end in push-ups, and triple-twist front handsprings that end in hiccups.
Bayside Gymnastics' experienced instructors are safety certified by USA Gymnastics, meaning they've never twisted any of their students into soft pretzels or forgotten about them in the oven. Committed to customer satisfaction, Bayside keeps class sizes small and intimate to facilitate individualized instruction. Classes are offered for all experience levels, from beginner to elite, and Bayside's spacious and well-equipped facilities provide the resources tots need for agilified acrobatic advancement. In addition to promoting flexibility, strength, and coordination, gymnastics has more ephemeral, non-heist-related benefits for children, such as increased self-esteem, determination, and the satisfaction of participating in an internationally sanctioned sport.