Recreational and adaptive gymnastics for kids

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Balance 180 gymnastics coachesOur 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!

Stacy Gleim


gymnastics coachPosition: Board Member, Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Bachelor of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology and a Master of Science in Health Education and Behavior from the University of Florida. Completed the Physician’s Assistant Program at UF.

Background: During her career as a gymnast, she won several Indiana State titles and competed at the regional and national level.

Stacey went on to become a member of the University of Florida gymnastics team, and later became a team manager. She began coaching at age 14, and has coached several summer camps. Stacey also had the opportunity to coach gymnastics summer camps and clinics for UF.

She has dedicated numerous hours to volunteering at events in the community and to working with children with disabilities. She has previously worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) and currently is a Physician Assistant the University of Florida Sports Medicine Institute.

Coaching Goal: Share the joys of gymnastics with our community’s youth and not only each them gymnastics, but also lessons and abilities that they can carry with them through life.

Interests: Traveling, watching movies, running, and playing with her goats and donkeys.


Emily Reid


gymnastics coachPosition: Competitive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida and is currently completing her Masters in Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida

Background: Prior to coaching gymnastics, she was a level 9 gymnast. She has coached gymnastics for nine years across multiple domains. Prior to coaching at Balance180, Emily was a recreational and competitive gymnastics coach in South Florida. She was previously active in the adaptive and recreational gymnastics program and served as the program director for Balance180 for one year. She was also ranked under the Top 100 gymnasts in the state of Florida in 2010.

Coaching Goal: As a Balance180 gymnastics coach, her goal is make every athlete feel strong, confident and aid in development of life skills that they will carry with them years beyond gymnastics.

Interests: Aside from coaching, she enjoys working out, hiking, fishing, crafting and attending Gator Gymnastics competitions


Julie Foster


gymnastics coachPosition: Operations Director, Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Florida. Specialized in Sport 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.


Tori Wilson

gymnastics coachPosition:
 Program Coordinator and Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a specialization in Dietetics from the University of Florida. Plans to pursue a professional Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Background: Gymnast for 8 years and has been coaching for 5 years. Before Balance 180, she coached pre-school, recreational and some team classes at a facility in Tampa, FL.

She also served as a camp director for two years and was an assistant coach for a traveling camp run by former Olympian Svetlana Boginskaya.

Coaching Goal: Present opportunities and challenges to all athletes and encourage them to reach their highest potential.

Interests: Long-distance running, playing with her nieces and nephews, studying at coffee shops, and watching movies.


Julie Walter


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics Coach, Official Balance 180 Photographer

Education: Currently a Freshman 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.


Rebecca Thrift


gymnastics coachPosition: Balance 180 Special Olympics Young Athletes Program Coordinator.

Education: Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education.

Background: Taught general and special education for 8 years.

Coaching Goal: To get children with and without special needs working and playing together, building lifelong friendships.

Interests: Working with children, outdoors activities, spending time with family.



Mercedes Leguizamon


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Journalism at the University of Florida. Interested in magazine writing.

Background: She started gymnastics when she was 6 years old and then started competing at age 10. Mercedes was part of the first competitive team at her gym. She then began coaching at age 13 and still continues to help out whenever possible.

Mercedes is a member of the University of Florida Club Gymnastics team. She is now able to compete and continue to be passionate about the sport.

Coaching Goal: Help all of the athletes have the same passion that she has for the sport. She wants to make a difference in the athletes’ lives.

Interests: She loves writing, hanging out at the beach and re-watching old movies. She also loves both exercising and everything Disney!


Samantha Graham

gymnastics coach
Position: Competitive and Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Sam is a Sophomore at the University of Florida studying Applied Physiology and Kinesiology on the Pre-Med track. She is interested in Sports Medicine.

Background: Gymnast for 13 years, reached and competed Level 9. Currently training on the UF Club Gymnastics Team.


Before Balance 180, she did some coaching at Balcony Gymnastics in Ocala, FL during her free time.

Coaching Goal: To make every athlete accomplish a goal or learn something new every day while having fun.

Interests: Gymnastics (of course!), horseback riding, playing piano and saxophone, and playing different sports or exercising with friends.


Casey McLaughlin


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Studying Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida.

Background: She has done gymnastics all her life, but started on a competitive level at the age of 10. She continued the sport until the end of her senior year in high school.

During her high school career she competed in Xcel and made it to the equivalent of level 8 in this prep-op program. Now she is a student team manager for the UF Gymnastics team.

Coaching Goal: She has such a strong passion for coaching and would love to continue as a recreational coach, but gradually work up towards coaching on a competitive team level. Additionally, it is a dream of hers to stay involved with collegiate gymnastics – either as a manager, assistant, or coach.

Interests: She enjoys anything related to athletics and helping others. Specifically she loves exercising, studying medicine, learning about physical therapy, spending time with family, and coaching.


Andrew Fenton


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational 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


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational 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.

His goal as a Balance 180 coach is to help athletes grow and learn gymnastics in a friendly, encouraging environment.

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.


Catesby Willis


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational Gymnastics and Adaptive Gymnastics Assistant Coach

Education: Advanced Placement Experience Scholars Academy (APEX) 2009-2012 at Olympia High School. Senior at the University of Florida pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English and Film studies.


Background: 2004-2012 competitive gymnast, United States Gymnastics Association (USGA)/ Trampoline and Tumbling. Competed at Florida State Championships 2006-2012:

-2012 Gold medalist: tumbling and double mini

-2010 Gold medalist: tumbling and double mini, Silver medalist trampoline

Competed USGA National Junior Olympics, 2006-2010:

-2010 USGA National Champion, Virginia Beach, VA: Gold medalist double mini

-2008 National Junior Olympics, Kansas City, MO Silver medalist tumbling

-2007 National Junior Olympics, Memphis, TN Silver medalist double mini

Coaching Goal: To challenge the athletes while having fun and motivating young gymnasts to reach their full potential.

Interests: Film (watching, directing, producing), cats and volunteering for animal rescues.


Ashlyn Johnson


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Oak Hall High School Student

Background: She is currently still competing nationally as a level 10 gymnast.

Ashlyn has worked at gymnastics summer camps in the past and has also helped around her club gym with the recreational kids.


Coaching Goals: To share my love of the sport with others in a positive and nurturing environment while using my years of experience as a gymnast to help younger athletes improve.

Interests: Listening to music, Netflix, gymnastics


Rebecca Zelmanovich


gymnastics coachPosition: Gymnastics coach for Pre-Team, Recreational, and Adaptive classes

Education: Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida. She Plans to obtain an medical degree with an interest in pursuing a career in Neurology.

Background: Gymnast for about 10 years, competing through level 7.


Prior to Balance180, she coached recreational and pre-competitive gymnastics classes at Twisters Gymnastics in Boca Raton, FL

Coaching goal: She works to foster talent and provide a positive atmosphere for athletes, allowing them to reach their full potential.

Interests: She enjoys studying medicine and neuromedical sciences and likes to spend her free time reading, exercising, doing yoga, and enjoying the outdoors.


Rebecca Zawrotny


gymnastics coach

Education: Rebecca is a sophomore at the University of Florida studying Sports Management.

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 home town.

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.


Natalie Ziev


gymnastics coachPosition: Volunteer Coordinator for Adaptive Gymnastics and Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences from the University of Florida. Interested in Occupational Therapy.

Background: Acting camp counselor, babysitter, soccer coach for children under five. Currently, she works with YAP, Adaptive and is a Behavioral Technician for children with Autism.

Coaching Goal: To see the children improve their gymnastics skills, social skills, as well motor control and confidence.

Interests: Dolphins, the beach, soccer, skateboarding and working with kids with special needs.


Sharon Medina


gymnastics coachPosition: Assistant Coach Mentor.

Education: Bachelor of Health Education at the University of Florida. She is currently pursuing a Master in Occupational Therapy.

Background:  Sharon has been dancing since 3 years old. She has danced on both competitive and noncompetitive teams such as UF dance teams including Extreme Dance Company and Stomp the Swamp. Sharon has also studied arts in medicine in Ireland and Scotland where she had the opportunity to dance with an inclusive dance company.

Coaching Goal: To facilitate inclusive sports and a positive social environment for the children in the Gainesville community.


Alyssa Harris


gymnastics coachPosition: 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: She went to a performing arts high school called New World School of the Arts in Miami, Fl.

She was a company member at the dance studio, Artistic Soul Studios. Alyssa has been a dancer for the past 9 years and is currently dancing with University of Florida’s prestigious 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

Interests: Cycling, running, hiking and gymnastics.


Gaby Perez


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Disabilities in Society at the University of Florida

Background: She has a strong background in dance and enjoys working with some of our youngest athletes.

She started working with children when she was 15 years old at a fun summer camp job in Miami. In 2014, she worked with children at her dance studio and realized how much she loved it.

Coaching Goal: She loves to make kids and families happy! Her favorite part of being a coach is seeing the kids light up and improve in the gym.

Interests: She enjoys hiking, putting up her hammock and reading books.


Areila Maturell

gymnastics coach
Position: Recreational Gymnastics and Adaptive Gymnastics Coach

Education: Currently studying Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology at the University of Florida.

She plans to graduate in December 2017 and plans to attend graduate school to earn her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Background/Accomplishments: Started gymnastics at the age of 4 and continued until her junior year of college finishing out her career as a gymnast on the Florida Club Gymnastics team. Reached level 9 in Junior Olympics for USAG.

Before Balance 180, she helped lead gymnastics summer camps and has volunteered with a camp for ventilation assisted children.

Coaching Goal: Help each athlete realize that they can overcome obstacles and challenges in sports and to help them have fun.

Interests: Running, exercising, doing puzzles, spending time with family and friends, and playing with her dogs Spot and Gunner.


Noelle Perry


gymnastics coachPosition: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Noelle is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Florida

Background: When she was younger she did gymnastics for about 10 years. During her freshman year of high school she started coaching at Upper Keys Gymnastics.

She is currently on the University of Florida Club Gymnastics team.

Coaching Goal: Her goals as a Balance 180 is to see every child enjoying him or herself and to help every child accomplish their own goals.

 Interests: In her free time she likes to play soccer and do crafts.


Hope Fischer


DSC_0083(1)Position: Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Education: Pre-med at the University of Florida with a major in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology and a minor in Spanish.

Plans to attend graduate school to become a pediatric physician.

Background: Did gymnastics growing up and competed Level 9 for 2 years. Currently trains on the UF Club Gymnastics Team.

Coaching Goal: Encourage young athletes to try their best both in and out of the gym, and to love the sport.

Interests: Camping, traveling, reading, drawing, working out and being with family.

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