At Gravity X Athletics, it’s all about the kids.
Following their daughter’s passion for cheerleading, Amanda and Heath Lopez put everything they had into starting an all-star cheer facility that would meet their daughter’s skill level at a reasonable price and be close to home.
The Lopez family said they used to spend $4,000 to $5,000 and countless hours driving now 14-year-old Kacia to her all-star cheerleading practice each cheer season. But now, Kacia can practice her stunts in a 4,200-square-foot gym in Bunnell with other kids her age.
“We’re building more than athletes here. We’re building them to be confident and push them to a level where they cannot see them being pushed themselves.”
Coach Dominique Lamanna
“[The idea] was to create something for our cheerleaders here on a bigger caliber,” Amanda said. “Somewhere they would have a facility, a main place to come, a home base that they don’t have or they’d have to travel for.”
With a staff of four dedicated volunteer coaches, Gravity X Athletics opened its doors at 7775 US 1 Suite E, Bunnell, on June 1.
In addition to all-star cheerleading, which requires more specifications and safety regulations than recreational, outdoor cheerleading, local children age 5-18 (with the occasional mature 4-year-old) can take competitive dance, tricking and tumbling classes at Gravity X Athletics. The first class is always free to try.
Friday nights are dedicated to bonding over pizza and practicing stunts during open gym hours from 6-9 p.m.
“It’s free time for them to get to hang out with their peers in a safe atmosphere, but they also get to work on skills,” Amanda said.
Lauren Marain, 13, stopped tumbling when she moved to Palm Coast because there weren’t any gyms nearby, but is now happy to have found Gravity X Athletics.
“It’s a lot smaller, so you get to know everyone really quick,” Marain said. “It’s like a family. Everyone’s really supportive. Here, they want you to succeed so much.”
What fuels the coaches is a desire to make a difference in these kids’ lives — beyond just cheer.
“We’re building more than athletes here,” Coach Dominique Lamanna, 20, said. “We’re building them to be confident and push them to a level where they cannot see them being pushed themselves.”
Amanda is currently working on a mommy-and-me class to add to the gym’s schedule. For more information on Gravity X Athletics, visit gravityxathletics.com.