Tumble World allows owner, youth to dream

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

CHESAPEAKE - At Jill's Tumble World, students can be a "dream" and even make some dreams come true.

The tumbling and cheerleading center located in the Chesapeake Plaza is beginning its 5th season of tumbling classes and competitive all-star cheerleading.

"The Tumble World Cheerleaders are called the Dreams because this is my dream," owner Jill Riley said.

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Several of the students have been there since Riley opened the facility in June 2001, including Katelyn Myers, 12, of Chesapeake who said she likes competing and trying new things. Plus, everyone there is really nice.

"Jill's a really good coach," she said.

Classes have grown so large they are building a new facility to accommodate the demand. Currently, Riley said they have close to 400 tumbling students and 170 all-star cheerleaders who occupy their 2,700 square foot building.

"We've outgrown it," Riley said.

The new building, which is under construction, is located in Chesapeake on Route 7 between the Briggs Lawrence County Library and Giovanni's Pizza. The new gym will be 8,200 square feet.

Riley said along with the additional space, they are also increasing their equipment. A full-size spring floor, cheer floor, in-ground trampolines and a 40-foot in-ground tumble track with a

foam block pit will be included. The new facility will also offer tanning beds and aerobic classes.

Ten-year-old Jalyn Bailey of Huntington takes classes and is also a member of one of the competitive cheerleading teams at Jill's.

"Its fun for me to do," she said. "I do a lot of stuff, but I think cheerleading and gymnastics are my favorite things."

Her sister Lakin Bailey, 7, said that cheering is a good experience and she has learned a lot at Jill's.

"I learned how to do my back handspring here," she said proudly.

Students come from various areas to participate in tumbling and cheerleading. Jill's offers tumbling classes from tiny tot through advanced and they offer cheerleading teams to all levels, novice through elite.

Fourteen-year-old Keri Sewell is in her fifth year of cheerleading. She also cheers for South Point High School. Sewell said she likes tumbling the most and she has a lot of fun cheering.

"You get to meet a lot of new people from different schools," she said.

The cheerleading teams have won several awards including seven grand champion titles, nine national titles and several regional titles.

They have five tumbling and cheerleading instructors: Owner and Coach Jill Riley, Chris Furman, Miriah Gillispie, Chad Greenhill, and Aaron Billups. Several local school cheerleading teams tumble at the facility as well.

Nikki Lindsey, 14, said she would like to thank all the coaches that have helped her during her five years at Jill's.

"To tumble with other people and learn different things that schools would teach you, and be able to learn harder stuff," is what she said she liked most about attending the gym.

Students at Jill's also have performed for a variety of local charities and functions including the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, the Relay for Life, the Ironton Memorial Day Parade and the Chesapeake Octoberfest. The students also attended the Juvenile Diabetes Walk in Charleston and raised more than $900 in donations.

In addition to tumbling and cheerleading, Jill's also offers an open fun gym, tumbling and cheerleading camps, birthday parties, private cheer camps and choreography.

Jill's Tumble World is open from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday for open gym The phone number is (740) 867-8123.