Just three short months after its first class, Fallon Flipperz Tumbling is ready to expand. “We are very excited to provide more class options and accommodate students of different ages and skill levels,” said instructor Bristee Conner. “The response to the classes has been very positive.”
Conner grew up in Churchill County before moving to Utah in 2008. In 2017, she began coaching power tumbling at Summit Springers Gym in Coalville, Utah. Between 2017 and 2020, Conner became a USA Gymnastics certified coach and category 3 certified judge for both power tumbling and double mini. In March of 2020, she moved back to Fallon with her husband, Dalin. Soon after, she began reaching out to the community to gauge the interest for tumbling instruction.
Power tumbling is a discipline of gymnastics that involves performing techniques down a tumbling floor. Students learn introductory skills such as forward rolls, cartwheels, round-offs, backhand springs, and more. Advanced and competitive power tumbling involves use of a double mini trampoline and spring floor to perform choreographed skills and routines.
It was early last year just before COVID lockdowns went into effect that Conner met with Churchill County Parks and Recreation to discuss a partnership. “We had just started discussing logistics and equipment needs when COVID lockdowns occurred,” said David Ernst with Parks and Rec. “We were both incredibly excited about the possibilities. Youth instruction in disciplines of gymnastics is an area where we have more demand than current local options can accommodate.”
After those initial meetings, COVID put a hold to the planning process. State restrictions on youth athletics throughout the summer further hindered the ability to start classes. After a full summer of waiting, restrictions regarding group size and athletic participation finally lessened in the Fall to the point where planning could resume.
In October of 2020, Conner began providing tumbling instruction to students enrolled in the County’s full-day program CARE. A few weeks later, Fallon Flipperz held its first evening Beginning Tumbling class. Students aged 5 through 12 met Tuesday nights at 6:00 p.m. in the multi-use room at Northside Early Learning Center to learn rolls, cartwheels, backhand springs, and more. The interest in the program was immediately apparent and an additional Beginning class was added by the second week.
“We were very fortunate to have access to the Northside multi-use room,” says Ernst. The County’s CARE program has operated this entire year out of Northside Early Learning Center through a collaboration with Churchill County School District. “The school district administration has been very accommodating in allowing us to use the Northside facility for classes,” said Ernst. “Without that option, we would have to move across town to buildings at the Fairgrounds. We would still be able to provide classes but would not be able to provide the tumbling instruction to the CARE students.”
Currently, there are approximately 52 CARE students who receive tumbling instruction twice a week and 30 students who attend Tuesday night classes. “I prefer to keep smaller class sizes in order to provide more hands-on instruction,” said Conner. For most classes, that ideal number is no more than 12 students. Since the beginning of the New Year, those class sizes have gradually expanded to the point where expansion is necessary. According to Conner, there has also been significant interest in class options for younger and older students.
Beginning Monday, February 22nd, Fallon Flipperz will be offering classes 4 nights a week. Mondays and Wednesdays will be Tiny Tots for 3- and 4-year-olds and Advanced Tumbling for 5- to 18-year-olds (by instructor invitation). Tuesdays and Thursdays will have Beginning Tumbling for 5- to 12-year-olds, Intermediate Tumbling for 5- to 18-year-olds (by instructor invitation), and a Beginning Tumbling class specifically for 13- to 18-year-olds. The full schedule is available at churchillcountynv.gov by searching for ‘Tumbling,’ or interested parties may call Parks and Recreation at (775) 423-7733 for information.
What’s next for Fallon Flipperz? “We’ve discussed providing a competitive option, but that is still a way off,” says Conner. “Once the new classes are up and running, then we’ll start looking at the next phase.” According to Ernst, the next step will be seeking community sponsorships in order to purchase additional equipment such as a double mini trampoline and appropriate landing mats and a rod floor to lay beneath the tumbling surfaces. “We’ve got great equipment to teach the introductory tumbling skills. The next move is to get the resources to teach the aerial skills.”