When did NES form? March 2006
What were some struggles you faced when NES first started? Location was difficult, a little out of the way as well as not handicapped accessible. The next location allowed us to add a special needs team. Also people weren’t familiar with competitive cheerleading so we had to get a lot of information out.
How many teams did you start with and how many do you have now? We started with 12 athletes and performed at the Salisbury Festival in April 2006. By August 2006 we had 2 teams, youth and senior. We now have 8 teams including travel teams, prep teams, dance, and special needs.
What was it like being awarded small gym of the year in 2015? Thrilling and shocking! From the video everyone could see I had NO idea. I was so humbled and blessed to be chosen. It’s hard as a small gym to know if in some way you can stand out and be recognized for your efforts in educating athletes in cheer and in life. To have been chosen from some of the best small gyms in the nation still has me in awe. And then to have been at the USASF awards with the best of the best coaches and gyms just made me even more proud.
You also won the IEP award, what was that like? The IEP award was just as surprising. It was so wonderful getting that award because being recognized for integrity in a sport where many put winning before responsibility is challenging. I can’t help but enjoy giving children skills in both cheer and life. IEP stands for everything I hold dear and it makes me proud to know I had shown this in the industry.
Tell us about the new space and addition of gymnastics? Many don’t know I come from a gymnastics background. I have never coached it but when one of my past cheerleaders Chelsea Lahey, now coach, came to me and said “Lets add gymnastics.” It seemed like the right time. She has had both cheer, she cheered for MD Twisters F5, and gymnastics experience where she competed and coached. We realized what better time to start with the Olympics this past summer, and many people asking me about gymnastics over the years. We are moving from a 10,400 sq ft facility to a 16,000 sq ft faculty. All new gymnastics equipment and much more cheer equipment to build better skills for our current athletes as well. In the first 3 weeks of registration we have had 50 athletes join for gymnastics instruction. Our grand opening is October 1 and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
What is next for NES? What is next?? To be honest I never know. I have a strong faith and I go where God leads me. I’ve been blessed to have amazing parents and athletes that support my every endeavor. They have poured their heart and soul into this new idea and I’m forever thankful. Without the amazing family, friends, parents and children along the way this and everything would not have been possible. So I suppose what’s next would be to make this new facility something everyone can be proud of. A place they encourage other families and athletes to come. A place to be the best athlete or person you can be.
Any other fun info you’d like to share? Years ago I visited Charlotte Allstars and met Kevin Brubacker. His facility of both cheer and gymnastics had always amazed me. I think I have always had the idea in my head since then and am proud it’s now becoming a reality. I also have to give kudos to Jon Rolle and Derric Stotts. They were at our gym for choreography and I told them I was trying with the gymnastics idea. Well when they saw the space they pretty much told me it was a no brainer lol. They were talking us through how to best utilize the space and what we could do to generate more revenue for it. I can’t say enough how God just puts people in my life that help me along the way. It may not be today or tomorrow but somehow what they tell me helps me along the way. I always tell my kids that you are always learning. I am always listening and learning from everyone in my life.