Recreational and adaptive gymnastics for kids

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Our coaching team works very hard to make gymnastics a great experience for each of our athletes. Our team is friendly and nurturing, and LOVE working with our athletes to help them achieve their goals and reach their potential. Thank you for trusting us with your kids, and see you in the gym soon!

 

Julie Foster

Position: Operations Director, Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Florida. Specialized in Sports Management and minor in Entrepreneurship.

Background: Began gymnastics in elementary school and competed through her sophomore year of high school. Prior to Balance 180, she coached recreational and compulsory level classes in Fort Myers, FL and in college she competed with UF Club Gymnastics Team. Has volunteered with her church’s children ministry.

Coaching Goal: Set a positive example for the athletes, help them discover their potential, and encourage their passion for gymnastics.

Interests: Exercising, spending time with friends and family, reading, and attending church.

 

Julie Walter

Position: Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics Coach, Official Balance 180 Photographer and Blog Writer. 

Education: Currently a Sophmore at the University of Florida majoring in Public Relations and Minoring in Innovation.

Gymnastics Background: She was a gymnast for 10 years. She competed in Belgium at age 11 on the Junior National Team. She is currently on the University of Florida Club Gymnastics team. Certified Special Olympics Trainer.

Coaching Goal: Instill confidence, determination, and self-discipline in the athletes, while still emphasizing the fun aspect.

Interests: Writing, reading, photography, exercising and anything outdoors!

 

Andrew Fenton

Position: Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Currently a Junior at the University of Florida majoring in Physiology and Kinesiology.

Background: Gymnast for 10 years, reached Level 6. Before Balance 180, he coached 3 years of coaching kinder-gym, Boys 1 and 2 gymnastics at Tousdell Gymnastics Center in Tallahassee, FL. He is also an American Fitness Institute certified Personal Trainer.

Coaching Goal: I want athletes to have fun and enjoy learning new skills.

Interests: Weightlifting, cycling, Super Smash Brother Melee video game, and loves peanut butter.

 

Christian Wong

Position: Recreational Gymnastics and Competitive Adaptive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Pursuing a degree in Computer Science in the College of Engineering at the University of Florida.

Background: Christian was a competitive gymnast and retired after level 7. A fun fact about Christian is that he is a FL-licensed EMT.

Coaching Goal: To help athletes grow and learn gymnastics in a friendly, encouraging environment and above all, have fun!

Interests: He enjoys working with computer programs, listening to music and biking in his free time.

 

Rebecca Zawrotny

Position:  Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Rebecca is a sophomore at the University of Florida majoring in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology and she is looking to go to PT school for a Masters in Prosthetics and Orthotics. 

Background: She did gymnastics growing up and is now on the UF club gymnastics team and holds two executive board positions. Before coming to Balance 180 she coached at a gym in her hometown.

Coaching Goal: Her goal as a coach is to see the kids she works with achieve their goals and make their experience as positive and fun as she can.

Interests: She has an interest in ethics, specifically how it relates to medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling and doing gymnastics.

 

Alyssa Harris

Position: Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Alyssa is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a Dance Minor on the Pre Physical Therapy track at the University of Florida.

Background: Alyssa did gymnastics growing up and was a competitive cheerleader at Top Gun Cheer and Dance Training Center in Miami, Fl. She then became passionate about dancing and attended New World School of the Arts, a performing arts high school. She was a company member and dance teacher at the dance studio, Artistic Soul Studios. Alyssa has been a dancer for the past 10 years and is currently dancing as a Dance Minor and with University of Florida’s dance company, Danza. She is also certified in Pilates Mat I and II. 

Coaching Goal: To Inspire and motivate young athletes to be the best they can be in and out of the gym.

Interests: Dance, photography, AcroYoga, coaching and teaching children and spending time with family and friends

 

Robyn Williams

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Recently graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences and plans on pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy. 

Background: Robyn did gymnastics for about 8 years when she was younger and also did competitive cheerleading for 12 years. She has experience coaching children in both swimming and gymnastics.

Coaching Goal: To give each athlete the best gymnastics experience while building their confidence and strength.

Interests: When she isn’t coaching,  she loves practicing yoga, working out with friends, and going on long walks with her dog.

 

Kortney Gauger

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Currently a senior at the University of Florida pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. She is on a pre-med track, interested in becoming a pediatrician. 

Background: Kortney was a gymnast for 6 years growing up, competing through level 6. Afterwards, she pursued dance and cheerleading. Before joining the coaching staff at Balance 180, Kortney was (and still is) a volunteer for the Adaptive Gymnastics Program. 

Coaching Goal: Facilitate a positive learning environment in which athletes can overcome challenges, achieve their goals, and learn life skills that will aid them in and beyond gymnastics. 

Interests: Spending time with friends and family, working with children, reading, playing piano, and anything outdoors. 

 

Casey McLaughlin

Position: Recreational Gymnastics and Competitive Adaptive Gymnastics Coach, Program Coordinator

Education: Casey has a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from the University of Florida.

Background: Casey competed as a gymnast for 11 years, making it up to level 8. She started coaching recreational and competitive gymnastics when she was 14 at Tampa Bay Turners in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. Casey was the team manager for the Florida Gators Gymnastics team from 2014 to 2019, during which she also gained experience working in collegiate gymnastics. She has experience coaching adaptive gymnastics, as well as developing the competitive adaptive program.

Coaching Goal: Casey hopes to instill life lessons in Balance 180 gymnasts that they can take with them in life after gymnastics. She also wants to educate them on the importance of mental health, as well as the physical health component of the sport.

Interests: Casey enjoys spending time with friends and family, exercising, and learning more about health education.

 

 

Dawson Houghtaling

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach:

Education: Studying evolutionary biology at UF.

Background: Did gymnastics competitively, up to level 9, eventually began coaching men’s gymnastics.

Coaching Goal: Help athletes progress and develop a love for the sport I have been involved in my whole life.

Interests: Painting and working with animals

 

 

Elayne Nash

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Rising sophomore working towards Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering at UF.

Background: Competitive gymnast for five years, after retiring became a recreational gymnastics coach. Began volunteering with Balance 180 in 2018.

Coaching Goal: I hope to provide a good foundation in not only basic gymnastics but also a fun environment for children to learn and grow.

Interests: Dancing, studying and relaxing with friends.

 

 

Eric Lamare Harris

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Rising sophomore at Santa Fe College.

Background: Coached tumbling and gymnastics at Sun Country Sports Center in Gainesville.

Coaching Goal: To help and inspire every kid that I can.

Interests: Soccer, tumbling, and music.

 

 

Cara Trench

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Rising junior studying biochemistry and minoring in Spanish.

Background: Gymnast for 13 years, trained at level 10 for three years.

Coaching Goal: To help others find a home in the gymnastics community.

Interests: Reading, hiking, road trips.

 

 

Emily Shelest

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Rising sophomore earning Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Background: Gymnast for 14 years, competing up to level 9. Coaches gymnastics for over five years.

Coaching Goal: To create a great relationship with the staff and gymnasts.

Interests: Photography, travel, crafts, working out, other sports.

 

 

Emily Donahue

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Degree in microbiology and cell sciences from UF with a minor in disability in Society.

Background: Did gymnastics growing up as well as other sports, began coaching gymnastics in Naples, FL, before joining the Balance 180 team.

Coaching Goal: To create a fun environment that enhances the development of the athlete’s strength, coordination, and confidence.

Interests: Zumba classes at the gym, going to Disney World, hammocking around campus, and spending time with my friends!

 

 

Lillian Zeman

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Rising senior at UF, pursuing a bachelors and Master of Public Health.

Background: Began gymnastics at age two and continued competing throughout high school, training as a level 10 for four years. Coached recreational gymnastics in Clearwater for three years.

Coaching Goal: To create a positive learning environment where the athletes can develop a love and passion for the sport, while having fun and achieving their goals.

Interests: Spending time with family and friends, gymnastics, painting and traveling

 

 

Taylor Maderazo

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Bachelor’s Degree from UF in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology.

Background: Worked with adults with special needs through the AIM Adaptive Clinic, volunteered with Aces in Motion teaching children about healthy lifestyles and began working with Balance 180 as a summer camp volunteer.

Coaching Goal: To encourage healthy lifestyle habits and serve as a mentor/guide/friend to the wonderful children who are a part of the Balance 180 program!

Interests: Working out, playing ukulele, cross-stitching, and playing video games like Super Smash Bros.

 

 

Tyler Riley

Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Rising senior at UF studying microbiology and cell science on the pre-med track.

Background: Grew up doing gymnastics and has been volunteering with Balance 180 since 2017.

Coaching Goal: My goal is to have fun teaching athletes various skills and help them improve each and every week!

Interests: Baseball (I’m on the club baseball team at UF), draw, paint, workout, and do just about anything else outside.

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