Emerald City Family
Steve – Owner
Steve opened Emerald City Gymnastics in July, 1996. The original location of Emerald City was at 87th and Farley in Overland Park and moved to the current location on Bond St. due to positive growth, in 2001. The idea behind opening his own gym was to establish a philosophy different from other gyms at the time. His dream was to keep gymnastics fun and foster an environment where kids felt good about themselves.
As a lifelong gymnast, Steve has continued his love for the sport, as a coach, for the last 40 years. He graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and was the first person on the men’s gymnastics team at NW to qualify for State. Steve pursued higher education at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign and earned a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.
Steve served as the Kansas State Chairman for USA Men’s Gymnastics for 25 years and was on the board for USA Men’s Gymnastics Region 3 for 30 years. He coached at the Olympic Training Center for developmental summer camps and coached numerous state, regional and national qualifiers and champions.
His love for kids and gymnastics is what drives Steve every day. He is known to drop in on classes to put a smile on their face and loves to be silly with the kids. Steve lists one of his greatest accomplishments as “putting up with Debbie at the front desk.”
Steve’s hobbies include photography in the Colorado mountains and hiking. He has two kids, Nick and Kelly. His pets include assorted lizards and snakes in his backyard. Steve also enjoys feeding his neighbor’s horses, Leo, Tardy and Apache five pounds of carrots each week. He hopes one day to visit Alaska. In the next 10 years, Steve sees himself as “tired.”
Debbie – Office Manager
Debbie, also known as the ‘Director of First Impressions’ has been the face and welcoming smile of Emerald City for 17 years. Family and Emerald City is synonymous for Debbie as her daughter, Christen, was a gymnast with Emerald City, a team member from 1996-2003 and is now a weekend Supervisor.
Her love for kids, talking to the parents and the camaraderie with her co-workers is what draws Debbie to Emerald City every day. While she has known Steve Glickley (Our Wizard of Oz) for 22 years, Debbie lists one of her proudest achievements as “putting up with Steve Glickley.”
Debbie is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West and attended JCCC to study business.
Debbie’s passions are her kids, her 5 grandchildren, 2 dogs Dexter and Max, 1 cat Gracie and animals in general. Her free time with family is spent shopping, eating out, playing Bunco or watching Sean (our Director of Group Activities) sing and play his guitar locally. Debbie loves road trips, especially the southwest United States. She hopes to one day retire and live on “acreage with lots of animals.”
To contact Debbie, email email@example.com.
Lee – Director of Custodial Services
Lee has been part of the Emerald City family for about 5 years. Lee loves coming to work because he loves watching the babies and toddlers have fun, the smiles on their faces and be entertained. He enjoys babysitting his nephew and niece and seeing them have fun in the gym.
Sean – Director of Group Activities
The ‘Director of Group Activities’ does not begin to describe Sean’s value to the Emerald City team. Sean began with Emerald City in the fall of 2001 as a birthday party and rock wall staff member. Over the years his talents expanded over coaching and maintenance as well.
Although his role at Emerald City is all encompassing and rewarding, his love for music is Sean’s true passion. Not only does he perform solo shows singing and playing guitar, he has lead a band since 2003 and even fills in on shows for other bands. Sean’s work has been enjoyed by audiences at the Starlight in Kansas City, the Plaza Art Fair, local Kansas City casinos and weddings.
Sean is a graduate of Shawnee Mission East and was accepted in to the Conservatory of Music at UMKC to pursue a music teaching degree. He later decided his love for performing outweighed his desire to teach.
Emerald City is a great fit for Sean as he loves working with kids and his real life love is a gymnastics coach at EC. Sean has two cats, Bonnee and Blanche. He loves working at Emerald City “because little kids crack me up,” and he can utilize some of the same conversational skills with 3-year-olds as some of his late night audience members.
To contact Sean, email Sean@emeraldcitygym.com.
Dustin – Girls Team Coach, Recreational Coach
Coach Dustin is a rare commodity in the world of gymnastics. With no personal gymnastics background, Dustin was introduced to the sport while assisting a girl’s high school gymnastics team. He was recruited by our very own Sean and never turned back. Immersion and his love for kids has kept Dustin with Emerald City for 4 years. During that time, Dustin learned the boys program, later worked with the Munchkins program and has grown in to an integral piece of the Girls Gymnastics Team, steadily working in to an Uneven Bars Specialist under the tutelage of Coach Russ. He is still a vital asset, and one of the most versatile pieces to the Emerald City puzzle. Dustin loves coaching as he loves bonding with the gymnasts and helping them through their struggles and triumphs in the sport.
During high school, Dustin played football and ran track. He graduated from Shawnee Mission South in 2014.
In his spare time, Dustin enjoys working out, checking himself out in the mirror and generally being active. Dustin recently earned his EMT Certification and has hopes to join the Police Academy. He loves to watch KC Roller Derby competitions and is part of the men’s cheerleading/groupie group called the ‘Knockout Boys.’
One day Dustin hopes to regain his full head of hair, only originally lost by Coach Zach shaving it off.
To contact Dustin, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexis aka Coach Bubba – Girls Team Choreographer, Girls Pre-Team Coach
Coach Bubba has been part of the Emerald City family for about 5 years and brings over 30 years of dance experience to our program. Part of the family, as in her son, Dalton, is also a level 5 gymnast on the boys team. Bubba was a level 8 gymnast herself and a competitive dancer growing up. Coaching the girls pre-team and working alongside Coach Jana brings Bubba the greatest joy in the gym. Helping kids find passion in something is what drives Bubba every day. She hopes to be able to continue teaching the girls optional gymnastics choreography for their floor routines and coach pre-team each year. Participating in gymnastics and dance herself taught her life skills like discipline, work ethic and kindness to teammates which she enjoys watching develop in her own son and hopes she can pass on to her students.
As a proud graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School, Coach Bubba now coaches the Shawnee Mission East Lancer Dancers. In 2013, the dance team won the Large Varsity Jazz NDA National Championship.
Coach Bubba earned a bachelor’s degree in Management from Baker University. She and her husband Andrew have 2 kids, Dalton and Delaney, and 3 dogs. Her dream is to one day travel to Italy and Greece with her husband.
Nikki – Girls Team Coach, Media Strategist, Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Nikki was welcomed to Emerald City family in March, 2018. She is primarily the compulsories coach for the 2018-19 season and brings 20 years of coaching experience to the team. Nikki also coaches girls recreational classes and is the Media Strategist for the gym managing the website and all social media. Before Emerald City, Nikki experienced coaching the Xcel team program for Region 3. Since relocating to Lenexa from Chicago, she has enjoyed getting to know her new Emerald City family and coaching so close to home. In the summer, 2017, she was accepted as a team coach for a week at FlipFest, an elite gymnastics training camp near Nashville, Tennessee, ran by Olympians John Roethlisberger and John Macready, coaching alongside Olympian and UCLA team member, Kyla Ross. FlipFest is an awesome, positive learning experience that she hopes to expose her own team kids to next summer.
While attending the University of Colorado, Nikki coached recreational and pre-team girls gymnastics at Colorado Aerials from 2003-2006 in Colorado Springs. At her time with Colorado Aerials, she accompanied the boys team for two weeks to California (northeast of Los Angeles) to Camp Woodward, another premier elite summer gymnastics training camp ran by former Olympians. Besides learning from some of the best in our sport, Nikki was a gymnast until 17 years of age, when she decided to turn her love for the sport in to coaching.
Nikki has 3 daughters, ages 22, 19 and 15. Besides coaching, she works part-time as a paralegal and hopes to attend law school someday. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from UMKC and master’s degree in Business Administration from MNU. Nikki has experience as a newspaper reporter and editing and cherishes her time studying abroad in Central Mexico at the Universidad de Guadalajara. She spends her small amount of spare time traveling with her daughters and seeing the world. Nikki loves the family atmosphere at Emerald City and finding creative new ways to show recognition and appreciation for our team girls, team families and the entire EC staff to assist in the already inclusive, positive culture that is Emerald City.
To contact Nikki, email email@example.com.
Cara – Girls Xcel Team Coach
Cara brings 22 years of coaching experience to Emerald City. Of the 4 years she has been with Emerald City, she led the Xcel Gold & Platinum teams to the USAG Xcel Regional competition in the 2017-18 season. Cara has 4 years of specialized coaching in Tramp & Tumbling and attended Regional and National competitions with those gymnasts each year. She also coached Competitive Cheer Tumbling for 4 years in the Topeka area. Her love for the athletes and the sport is what drives Cara every day.
A graduate of Topeka High School, Cara continued her education at Allen County Community College and Washburn University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine with an emphasis on athletic training and sports injury rehabilitation in 2012.
Proud mom of 4, Cara has her hands full between coaching, being a Mom and her full-time job working in the banking industry. She is also the proud fur Mom to Bumpy Face Johnson, her American Pit Bull.
To contact Cara, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senna – Girls Xcel Team Coach, Girls Recreational Coach
Senna came to Emerald City at the age of 14 and competed for 2 years as a Level 7 & 8 gymnast. She competed in high school gymnastics and recently graduated from Johnson County Community College with an associate’s degree in liberal arts. Senna is currently working toward a degree in social work at the University of Kansas. She began coaching at Emerald City over the summer and she loves working here as she feels that the staff really makes you feel like you’re part of the family.
Through the years Senna won many competitions including gold on bars and vault at Pink Ribbon and won first place on every event one year at the Land of Oz meet. During her high school competition years, Senna won 2nd place all-around at the Kansas State gymnastics meet her first year as a varsity gymnast in 2011. Although bars is her favorite event, she was most proud to be able to do back flips on high beam as well as doing double fulls on tumble trak.
Senna loves coaching because she gets to help gymnasts develop their skill and strives to individualize her coaching style to bring out the best in every athlete. One of her biggest dreams in life would be to make a meaningful difference in at least one person’s life. As a younger coach, Senna loves that she is still able to demonstrate quite a few of the skills to assist the gymnasts in learning and refining their skills and techniques.
In her spare time, Senna loves drawing and photography. She says art is her thing and enjoys it immensely. When she was 2 years old, Senna and her older brother, Jonathan, also a former high level gymnast here at Emerald City, were adopted from the Philippines. When asked where she sees herself in the next 10 years, she replied, “In the Olympics, just kidding, I’m retired.”
Tiffany – Girls Team Coach, Girls Recreational Coach
Coach Thomas – Boys Team Head Coach
Coach Thomas has been the Boys Team Head Coach for Emerald City for about 14 years. He grew up as a gymnast and excelled in high school and college, serving as team captain at Kansas State University. Coach Thomas moved here from Las Vegas to be closer to his family in Topeka.
Coach Thomas has qualified gymnasts to over 30 national championships and coached 7 national champions. He served on the Junior National Team Coaching staff for 10 years and was Head Coach for team USA against Canada and Japan. Coach Thomas also led the USA Junior National team in Madrid, Spain and the Gym Master International meet in Brussels, Belgium. He has experience coaching upper level girls team gymnastics as well.
Outside the gym, Coach Thomas enjoys riding his bike, reading, watching TV and movies and participating in church activities.
To contact Coach Thomas, email email@example.com.
Coach Zach – Boys Team Coach, Boys Recreational Program Director
Coach Zach is another one of Emerald City’s lifelong gymnasts, starting at the age of 3. Zach joined the competitive team at age 7 and competed through his Senior year at Basehor-Linwood High School. Qualifying for the USAG Junior Olympic National Championship twice was a career highlight during his last four years as a Level 10 gymnast. He went on to be a cheerleader with the University of Kansas from 2012-2015.
Zach began coaching at the age of 15 and loves to bring positive, fun vibes to the gym every day. He now coaches the boys team from which he originated.
Miramel, Zach’s 2-year-old daughter, is his primary focus outside of the gym. He “enjoys every minute of being a father and can’t believe how fast she has grown up.”
Coach Cesar – Boys Team Coach
Coach Cesar started gymnastics at the age of 3 in Mexico. He qualified for the Mexican Junior National Team at 8 years old. Upon moving to the U.S. at the age of 9, Cesar began competing for Emerald City at Level 6 and continued his career through his Junior year of High School. Cesar competed on the High School wrestling team for 2 years and qualified for State during his last year. He graduated from Blue Valley West High School in 2009 and continued on to Kansas State University to earn his bachelor’s of science degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology in 2014. In 2015, Cesar earned a National Certification as a Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise. He also became a Certified USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach and earned a CrossFit Level 1 coaching certification, both in 2016. Although Cesar has 9 years of gymnastics coaching experience, he has been part of the Emerald City family for 3 1/2 years.
Of the numerous talents Cesar possesses, his extensive background in gymnastics combined with education about bio-mechanics, exercise and how exercise affects the body helps in understanding skill development and injury prevention in our athletes, is an asset to the Emerald City team. Cesar loved practicing gymnastics and making his body do things his mind never thought it could. He loves to help make his athletes become stronger both mentally and physically. “Building up their confidence and watching them achieve their goals makes being a coach the most rewarding job there is!”
Cesar lists his greatest accomplishments as coaching Emerald city’s USAG Boy’s level 6 and 7 state championship winning teams for several years.
In his spare time, Cesar enjoys the outdoors including rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and camping. He also enjoys traveling, experiencing new cultures and eating just about anything. Cesar lives in Lawrence and has a cat named Ash that knows how to sit and meow on command. He aspires to never stop learning about the human body and movement, and to one day have a healthy and happy family.
To contact Cesar, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach Ghan – Boys Team Coach, Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Cameron – Rock Wall Director
Cameron has been climbing at Monster Mountain since 2010 and a part of the family since April, 2015. He has been setting routes for about 9 years. Cameron hopes to climb El Capitan in Yosemite Valley one day! Among his most recent climbing accomplishments are: Flashed 5.11c (Balrog) at HCR, flashed V4 outside, and red-pointed a 5.12a, helped in developing boulders, built trails and landings in Swope Park and the Blue River Basin and contributed to the All Missouri climbing guidebook, MO Beta. After two years of projecting, Cameron sent (completed) Lavender Eye, a 5.12A in Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, Arkansas. He cares a lot about the kids he teaches and enjoys sharing the sports with others. Cameron sees coaching as an incredibly rewarding way to witness students work hard at their routes and help them find a way through and grow as climbers.
Cameron is a graduate of Olathe East High School and earned an associate’s degree in Residential HVAC.
Grace – Climbing Instructor
Grace has been a student at the Monster Mountain climbing school for 6 years and a staff member for 2 years. She loves being a part of the climbing community as it offers an incredible amount of support for climbers of all abilities. Grace loves that climbing combines incredibly powerful movements with delicate ones and there is a mental aspect to planning out routes, managing fear and trusting yourself. One climbing achievement she is proud of is setting for the vertical challenge competition last year and she went to divisionals for bouldering last season. Grace also has a brother that works at Monster Mountain.
Grace participates in the robotics team at her school, Lincoln College Prep. She also plays the violin and hopes to attend college to eventually earn a PhD in mathematics.
Luke – Rock Wall Instructor
Luke is one of our newer rock wall staff members but has been climbing here since 2013. While proud to be on the Monster Mountain climbing team, Luke also loves to coach as he can help kids conquer some of the same struggles Luke experienced earlier on. Luke is a student at Lincoln College Prep and enjoys working with computers. He hopes to become a Computer Engineer one day. Luke also hopes to live in London one day and continue climbing for fun.
Virginia – Director of Rock Wall Education
Virginia has been climbing at Monster Mountain since 2006 and a staff member since 2008. She began managing the rock wall and climbing school program in 2011. Climbing in many area across the country, Virginia has experience in both sport and traditional climbing but prefers outdoor climbing in Colorado. She recently competed in an endurance climbing competition at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch called the ‘24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell.’ The competition is very difficult to get into and requires lottery entry or qualification from a previous year. This year Virginia got into the 12 hour event by lottery and competed with the goal of both qualifying for next year’s 24 hour event completing at least 60 routes each within 12 hours. Completing 80 routes put her team in 7th place out of 30 teams for points, and 3rd place for most feet climbed. Virginia also finished in 6th place for women in her category and 11th place for men and women overall.
Virginia loves coaching as it makes her happy to see her students reaching their goals and discovering what they are capable of as climbers. She also loves the life changing confidence that she sees climbing bring to climbers of all ages, especially young people. Virginia sees climbing as more than a sport, it is a community and the climbing students are the future members of that community!
Some of her most memorable climbs have been the Bastille Crack and Yellow Spur in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado, Otto’s Route in Grand Junction Colorado, and the Durrance Route on Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.
Virginia earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Central Washington University and a master’s of music degree in flute performance from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. Outside of Emerald City, Virginia is a flute instructor, freelance performer and teaches flute classes in a public school system. Virginia lives in Lenexa with her husband and daughter. In the next 10 years, Virginia hopes her daughter, Annika, will be climbing and adventuring with her.
To contact Virginia, email email@example.com.
Coach D – Rock Wall Instructor
Coach D has been climbing since 1974 and part of the Monster Mountain family for a few years. He moved to Las Vegas for climbing and was there about 8 years before coming back to KC to be near family. Coach D’s wife is also a climber and they’ve participated in the ’24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell’ climbing competition for the last 13 years together.
Blake – Rock Wall Instructor
Jana – Girls Recreational Gymnastics Program Director, Special Needs Coach
Jana has been with Emerald City for 7 years of her 20 plus years of coaching in the sport. She began coaching in her high school years, coached at a couple of clubs in Kansas City and even owned her own program before she settled in to her home here at Emerald City. Jana was a competitive gymnast as a child and was involved in competitive dance and diving as a teenager.
Jana is a graduate from Shawnee Mission West and attended both Haskell Indian Nations University and JCCC.
Patience and understanding for all types of personalities and the “love for finding alternate pathways to help a child overcome a challenge” is what Jana brings with her every day to work.
While Jana is SafeSport certified through USA Gymnastics, she is most proud of her of ‘Stewards of Children’ certification through Aly Raisman’s ‘Flip the Switch’ campaign to help prevent childhood sexual abuse.
One achievement Jana is most proud of is bringing the special needs program to Emerald City. “I think that gymnastics has so much to offer kids on so many levels of mental and physical development. I love seeing kids set and reach goals no matter how big or small. I enjoy helping kids realize that they can overcome fear, and do hard things. I love watching them work harder than they knew they could. Showing kids that the only limitations are the ones they put on themselves is an important lesson for life. My favorite part is seeing the pride in a kids eyes when they have accomplished something that they have worked hard for, or have been afraid to do.”
In the next 10 years, Jana sees herself right here at Emerald City. She hopes to continue her role in the growth of the gym, welcoming new families and teaching other coaches to love it just as much as she does.
Jana also hopes to be able to travel and see the world. Currently, her free time is spent with her 2 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 bearded dragon and competing roller derby for the Kansas City Roller Warriors.
To contact Jana, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kylie – Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Kylie has been an asset to the Emerald City Recreational program for about a year but has been coaching for 4 years. She competed in gymnastics until the age of 7 and switched to competitive tumbling and trampoline. In her last year of competing, she qualified for Nationals and was able to travel to San Francisco to compete. Kylie coaches because she loves the moment when a child learns a new skill and can see the happiness in their eyes. She loves the process it takes for a gymnast to work so hard to learn a skill and finally see it pay off.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Kylie moved to Kansas City last May to attend Occupational Therapy school in the University of Kansas Medical Center. She earned her bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Kylie hopes to work in pediatric rehabilitation as an Occupational Therapist upon graduation.
In her spare time, Kylie loves doing puzzles and spending time with family and friends. She is an asset to the Emerald City family as she brings a happy, positive attitude to ECG every day. Kylie loves to research new ways to teach skills kids are struggling with.
Sarah S. – Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Sarah has been coaching at Emerald City for about 10 months. A couple of her proudest gymnastics moments was when she earned a 10.0 on floor exercise as a Level 3 and when she won state as a Level 5. Sarah is a graduate of Olathe East and currently attending the University of Central Missouri studying dietetics.
Outside of the gym, Sarah is very involved in her church and likes to compete in triathlons for fun. She loves watching and helping gymnasts reach their goals and get new skills.
Christina – Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Abby – Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Trey – Boys & Girls Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Trey has been a boys team gymnast for 6 years and came to the sport of gymnastics by accident. He played competitive soccer next door and quickly fell in love with gymnastics. Trey is proud that he has worked his way from level 4 to level 10 in 3 years. In that time, Trey has been state champion in level 4 and 6 and medaled at regionals for the past 2 years. Besides competing, Trey now coaches boy’s recreational gymnastics classes because he loves to teach others about strength, balance as well as the fundamentals of gymnastics. He believes teaching is also part of his own gymnastics learning process.
Currently a sophomore at Basehor-Linwood High School, Trey is an ambassador, participates in cross-country, science Olympiad and powerlifting. He hopes to go to college, compete in college gymnastics and later become a physical therapist.
Trey has two sisters, one brother and two “amazing parents.” His dog siblings include a 3-year-old Rottweiler lab mix, Cooper, and a 2-year-old pitbull lab mix, Holly. Trey also loves running and drawing.
Gabby – Girls Recreational Coach
Trinity – Boys Recreational Coach, Event Staff
Trinity is another one of Emerald City’s lifelong family members! She began as a student at Emerald City when she was 7 years old and started competing a year later. Trinity began coaching for Emerald City when she was 14, with the girls recreational and munchkin classes. At 14, she decided to compete for her high school, Shawnee Mission North, and qualified for all-around and state 3 years in a row. 3 years ago Trinity substituted for a boy’s class and instantly clicked with them. Having grown up at Emerald City, Trinity feels it’s natural to be in the gym every day and hopes to continue learning the boys program and growing as a coach within the sport. Trinity believes that learning and knowing the boys program helps her stand apart within our program.
Upon high school graduation in 2017, Trinity decided to continue her education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, majoring in psychology and spanish. Her goal is to earn a PhD and become a child psychologist with a specialty in trauma. One of Trinity’s biggest dreams in life is to help as many people as she can. In the gym, she hopes to help students feel confident in themselves, through gymnastics, and build friendships, much like it did for her growing up. Besides earning a degree, in the next 10 years Trinity hopes to continue coaching, while helping students set goals, work hard to achieve them and love the sport as much as she does.
Trinity has two rescue dogs, Bear, a german shepherd husky and Teeka, a black lab beagle. She and her fiancé also have a ball python named Arby’s Fries, because he is so curly.
Mike – Girls Recreational Coach
Sarah G. – Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Sarah has been involved in gymnastics since 2009. She started in a recreational class, competed for Emerald City through Level 5 and high school gymnastics all four years. Sarah graduated from Shawnee Mission West in 2016. She has continued her education with the University of Kansas studying Secondary English Education and hopes to become a high school teacher. Sarah has been coaching recreational classes and Girls Pre-Team at Emerald City for 5 years.
In her spare time, Sarah loves to read and write and hopes to write a book one day. She loves coaching as gymnastics has always been a part of her life. Her love of working with kids drives her as she enjoys watching the light in their eyes when they learn something new. Sarah is an asset to Emerald City as she relates well to the gymnasts and plays a key role in the smooth operation of our classes each and every night.
Chance – Boys Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Chance is a competitive gymnast with Emerald City for the last 7 years and has been coaching boy’s recreational gymnastics for the last 6 months. Chance was the 2017 All-Around USAG Level 9 State AND Regional Champion, the 2018 USAG Level 10 State Champion and placed 4th at the 2018 USAG Level 10 All-Around Regional Championships.
As a Junior at Blue Valley Southwest High School, Chance hopes his remarkable achievements in gymnastics continue in to college gymnastics. Chance is proud of his dedication to the sport and his sacrifices to continue gymnastics in order to reach his full potential. He began gymnastics at the age of 9 and cannot imagine his life without it.
Chance is part of a large family including 3 brothers and a sister. He has a 3 month old puppy named Oakley and his favorite thing to do outside the gym is go to Table Rock Lake with his friends and family.
Traveling the world and experiencing life outside of Kansas is part of Chance’s hopes and dreams. He also hopes to be involved in gymnastics in some way as he knows it will always be a part of his life.
Bergen – Recreational Gymnastics Coach, Special Needs Coach
Bergen has been a gymnast for the last 8 years and a part of the Emerald City family for 3 ½. She currently coaches our special needs classes and rec program. Bergen coaches because she wants to give kids the same opportunities she had growing up and hope they feel that Emerald City is their second home too. Her biggest dreams are to make an impact on people’s lives, never be seen as a negative person and be an example that people can look up to.
As a varsity gymnast and cheerleader at Shawnee Mission South, Bergen is sad this is her last year of competition as she will soon be a high school graduate. One achievement she is most proud of is placing 5th on bars at the state meet last year.
Bergen has plans to attend Kansas State University next fall to earn a degree in special education. She hopes to change the way people look at special needs kids and how they are treated in and out of school.
She hopes to continue coaching gymnastics through and after college. Bergen credits her fellow Emerald City coaches and staff as having a huge impact on her life and will be sad to be without them when she leaves for college. The positivity and fun Bergen brings to the Emerald City family will be a difficult void to fill as she is away gaining higher education. Good luck Bergen!
Carlos – Girls Recreational Coach
Carlos has been coaching recreational gymnastics since he was in high school in Texas. He assisted another coach in opening and running a small gym there. As a coach, Carlos hopes to inspire and help produce strong individuals at a young age with abilities and qualities they may be able to carry for a lifetime. Gymnastics was always an outlet for Carlos and taught him about discipline, dedication and how to have fun on a more intense level. His favorite skill to perform is a double back tuck.
Graduating from the University of Texas, San Antonio, in 2011, Carlos earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He now works for the National Marrow Donor Program – Be The Match BioTherapies where he facilitates training throughout the U.S. in support of immunotherapy research and treatment.
In his spare time, Carlos participates in recreational leagues in sand volleyball and darts. He enjoys reading his favorite novels, the Harry Potter series and is still awaiting his invitation to Hogwarts. Carlos has one dog, a Frenchton (French Bulldog/Boston Terrier), named Shyla. The first time Carlos saw snow was at the age of 27 and he says living in it proves to be a lot more difficult than the movies portray.
Carlos hopes one day there is a cure for cancer of all types and that future generations will find a way to revolutionize the way we view the disease. The characteristics Carlos brings to the gym every day include patience and an adaption to a students’ individual needs to help them reach a common goal.
Birthday Party Staff
Melodie – Birthday Party Manager
Melodie is in her 11th year as an Emerald City family member. She has been the face of our birthday party program on the weekends and loves to see the excitement of the kids spending their birthday with Emerald City. Melodie is responsible for hiring and staffing our birthday parties and supervising weekend activities at the gym.
Using her education in Educational Psychology from UMKC has set Melodie up for a lifetime in the childcare industry and her work here at Emerald City. Melodie works for her family Preschool/Daycare business and loves the fact that she now teaches her former student’s children.
In her spare time, Melodie spends time with her husband, also her junior high school sweetheart, her kids, grand kids and grand dogs. Her English Springer Spaniel, Tanna, is the “prettiest and smartest member of our household.”
Christen – Weekend Supervisor
Christen is one of our weekend Supervisors here at Emerald City and part of the family for about 15 years as an employee. “Family” as in her mom is Debbie at the front desk! She was a competitive gymnast at Emerald City for 6 years, ending as a level 8 and went on to compete high school gymnastics at Shawnee Mission West. Christen was one of the original girls team gymnasts when the girls team first started! One of her most proud gymnastics achievements was when she earned 2nd place All-Around as a Level 7, at state competition.
Upon graduation in 2006, Christen attended JCCC and Emporia State University where earned her bachelor’s degree in business management. Christen married her high school sweetheart and has 2 cats, Emmy and Beesley. In her spare time, Christen loves to read, cook, shop and spend time with her husband.
Elli – Birthday Party Coach
Michael – Event & Party Staff
Aaliyiah – Event & Party Staff
Phoebe – Event & Party Staff
Cadence – Event & Party Staff
Gaye – Weekend Supervisor
Gaye has been part of the Emerald City family since 2009 and primarily works as a Weekend Supervisor. She has been a part of the dance and acrobatic community since she was 2 years old. Gaye was on the KC Gymnastics Team in the 60’s and early 70’s, taught dance and acrobats for many years at Craig Dance Studio and was a ground crew girl for the KC Royals from 1972-1975. Some of her outfits and pictures will soon be displayed in the All Star Exhibit at Kauffman Stadium!
Gaye graduated from Van Horn High School in Independence and was awarded a gymnastics scholarship from Tennessee University, but decided to pursue a career in dance and acrobats. She moved to Montreal to become a dancer/acrobat for the Rudas Organization and performed shows in Nassau, the Bahamas and Las Vegas. When she decided to give up the showgirl life, Gaye came back to the Kansas City area and was the lead singer for numerous bands around the city.
In her spare time, Gaye loves gardening, cooking, baking and being near the ocean on the east coast. One of her two sons, Sean, is our own Director of Group Activities. Gaye’s youngest son, James, lives in Denver with his wife and 2 granddogs. Gaye loves traveling with her own fur baby, 17 year-old Annie and has travelled to Rhode Island roundtrip 4 times! One of her biggest dreams in life is to become the next Mrs. Paul McCartney!