Gymnastics center expands into Carson

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Carson City parents will get a chance to find out what Minden parents have been flipping over for years when Tumbleweeds Gymnastics opens Saturday on Research Way.

"What we think sets us apart is a strong foundation of love for kids and love for sports," said Tumbleweeds owner Nikki McClain, who operates the business with her husband Ed. "We really believe in our mission. We do great things for kids - for self-esteem and motivation. We don't just teach cartwheels, we teach life skills."

A soft opening was held last weekend at the gym on Research Way off College Parkway, but the grand opening will be Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

The afternoon includes exhibitions, a bounce house, music, appetizers, juice and creative centers for youngsters. The Carson City Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

Tumbleweeds has been in operation in Minden for seven years on Meridian Boulevard. It has grown from 50 youngsters the first year to more than 500 today, McClain said.

"But we know each and every one of those kids. The second any child walks in here, we get down at their level. We understand what each child needs," she said.

In addition to offerings from trampoline and tumbling to cheerleading and mobile preschool, Tumbleweeds believes in integrating education and music into their programs, McClain said.

"We have different educational themes, like numbers, where we might combine fun music and an obstacle course," she said.

Nicole Johnston of Genoa brings her two children, 2-year-old son Keller and 5-year-old daughter Kayce, to Tumbleweeds and says the classes have done wonders for her youngsters.

"Kayce excels because of what she's learned here and my little guy goes to 'Gym 'N Learn' three days a week for three hours. He's learned music and alphabets in preschool-based gymnastics," Johnston said.

"While my 5-year-old's athletic ability has improved a lot, my little guy is learning basic tumbling," she said. "It's really quite impressive, and there's a great upstairs viewing area for parents so we don't distract them."

Classes are offered from six months old to age 18, McClain said. The tiniest tots roll on balls, jump on the the trampoline with their parents and start developing confidence in their physical abilities.

As youngsters gain in strength, focus, coordination, flexibility and aerial awareness, they are able to join competitive teams.

"We have a very competitive crew, and travel around the country to regionals and nationals, and we always place first, second or third," she said. "They are very team-oriented, and can end up competing with 1,700 kids at some places, but our kids here in little Minden do really, really well."

Another popular program at Tumbleweeds is called Moxy Fitness, a women's boot camp, where moms can get together for circuit training. The Moxy groups, known as the "Dawn Patrol," meet at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The decision to open a second location in Carson City was not made lightly.

"We are definitely feeling the economy like everyone else, but we're opening at our new location with the belief that the synergy will build both businesses," McClain said. "We believe in communities and in giving the best to our kids."

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