CROFTON — Raising a family, farming near Bloomfield, doing bookkeeper duties for a local business and driving to South Dakota to run a gymnastics business became a heavy duty lifestyle for Sarah Petersen.
Last September, Petersen decided she needed a change. She discovered a large building in Crofton that would house her growing gymnastics classes. She made the move.
“Finding this building here in Crofton has been an answer to my prayers and cuts my drive down to 15 minutes,” Petersen said. “We were certainly very pleased to find the space we needed.”
SD Flippers Gymnastics Academy opened for classes with more than 100 gymnasts registered for the start of classes. She gained about 45 students after relocating to Nebraska.
Many of her former students still continue to come to evening classes during the week and Saturday morning classes.
Students range in age from 3 to 19. She is also considering offering a summer Zumba class for adults.
Along with plenty of room for floor exercises, vaults and beams, there’s also a small playroom where younger siblings can play while their sisters and brothers have lessons.
Parents typically stay for the lessons. Petersen wants to get the word out that gymnastics is for boys, too, and Flippers has openings for boys as well.
The Crofton building has a history of service to Crofton, including serving as a mechanic’s shop, storage and, most recently, an online head board business.
Petersen started gymnastics when she was 6 years old and has been involved ever since. She added dance lessons when she was older but gymnastics are her first love.
She began coaching six years ago in Yankton and moved to her own business about 2½ years ago.
“There are so many advantages to gymnastics,” Petersen said. “Students make lifelong friendships, build self-confidence and self-esteem, coordination and concentration, learn personal responsibility and improve athletic skills by making them stronger and more flexible.”
The gold, silver and bronze Flipper teams are in the middle of their competition season and have been traveling across Nebraska for competition, including Norfolk.