Jen (Chessell) Daum had been employed in 1999 by a local dance company teaching Acro Gymnastics and when the dance company decided to move to Stratford in 2003, Jen felt that the children in Mitchell would benefit from a local club and her students really wanted to stay in Mitchell.
So, the Mitchell Gymnastics Club was officially formed in 2003 with 35 members and 1 instructor, Jen Daum.
Classes were a couple of nights per week at the Mitchell Canadian Legion where we had a tumbling floor for the students, ranging in age from 5 – 15 years old where they worked on their tumbling moves and floor routines. We held a year end demo with approximately 40 parents in attendance.
As the club grew, we hired 2 student coaches, and we needed to find a larger space, so the purchase of 214 Cooper Street in Mitchell was finalized in May of 2004. After applying for a zone change and extensive renovations the club officially opened in September 2004 with approximately 75 students registered.
We offered a tumbling floor, donated balance beam and vault. As we grew, we had to expand the club to add a full kinder gym space as well as the main gym area and we purchased more equipment.
We now offer a full tumbling floor, 3 full size balance beams, a competitive size vault as well as the standard size uneven bars and a fully equipped kinder gym room with the same apparatus suitable for the smaller gymnast.
We offer classes 4 evenings per week as well as Saturday mornings, our sessions are 16 week sessions September to January and January to May, as well as an 8 week mini session and 1 week ½ day summer camps. Our head coach is Jen Daum plus we have 9 student coaches to train our membership of approximately over 260 students and growing.
Our club finale has outgrown our own space and is now held yearly in the gym of the Mitchell High School with over 600 family members enjoying the routines/demonstrations that each class has worked on over the year. We are a family owned club with no fund raising requirements.
In the summer of 2010 we were informed that the current Dance Club was leaving Mitchell and we would no longer have a local venue for all our great Dancers. Jen was speaking with Leslie Hodge one day and they said what a shame it was that there was no longer a place of students to take dance. Leslie mentioned about her extensive dancing background both as a accomplished dancer but also as an instructor. She was interested in teaching again and Jen felt the town really needed a Dance School and thus the newest adventure was hatched… Mitchell School of Dance, so we now have a new name “Mitchell Gymnastics & School of Dance".
We now offer a full range of dance classes at the Mitchell Community Center under the direction of Leslie Hodge. We are always looking to improve our area for our children and thank all involved for their contributions to our goal.