Did you know that this April officially marks 25 years of Jam Hops? Yes, we know… so exciting!!! 25 years of growth, memories, laughs, new faces, and love. We cannot express how truly grateful we are for each and every person that’s become part of our Jamily and can’t wait to celebrate with you through the rest of this year. Our first step to celebrate is to share some fun facts about Jam Hops!
Did you know that the full name of Jam Hops is Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory? Back in the early 90’s, there was a community gymnastics program out of Spring Lake Park that was called “Jam Hops” and a gym in Ham Lake called “The Gymnastics Factory.” In 1997, when the two programs merged, they became Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory!
Did you know that we have six employees that have been around since before the beginning of Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory?
- President, Brenda Nolby, began her journey as a gymnastics coach at The Gymnastics Factory before she became co-owner, and then the sole owner of Jam Hops. Eventually she left behind coaching to take on a stronger managerial role, which lead her to become the President of the company.
- Camp Coordinator, Donna Delong, actually began her journey at The Gymnastics Factory before Brenda as a gymnastics coach. Continuing to coach through the merger, Donna eventually took on the role of Camp Coordinator, also leaving behind coaching.
- Theater Director and Coach, Tim Thunborg, worked at Jam Hops as a coach. Continuing with that position to this day, he now is also running our Theater program.
- Executive Director and Gymnastics Director, Kristen Sanborn, worked at Jam Hops as a gymnastics coach, continuing on with that role through the merger and eventually becoming Jam Hops’ Gymnastics Director.
- Xcel Director and A/R Gym Director, Cassie Barnes, began her journey at Jam Hops at just three years old. She continued as a gymnast at Jam Hops through her senior year of high school, becoming a coach and eventually working her way up to become the Xcel Director for our Blaine/Ham Lake team. In 2021, she also became the Gym Director at our Anoka/Ramsey location.
- Gymnastics/Camptastic/Birthday Coach, Brandi O’Loughlin, also began as a gymnast at Jam Hops at a very young age. She continued through the merger and her senior year of high school, eventually becoming a coach. Brandi has now become a teacher, but continues to work at Jam Hops during the summers when she is not teaching.
Did you know that each of our 7 programs began in seven different years?
- Alpha Athletes is our most recent endeavor, having been created in 2021 to Inspire a wider range of children to become LIFE CHAMPIONS!
- Ninja Zone was created in 2017 so we could open up the world of Ninja Sport to children in the community and help them focus their energy. Our Ninja program recently reached 300 Ninjas enrolled!
- Theater was started in 2014 by Theater Director, Tim. The program started off running two shows per season. During the 2020-2021 season we were able to run four shows and are now working on new ideas to grow the program.
- Leap-N-Learn began in 2007, running out of a small space in our second location. When we built and moved into our new building in 2017, Leap-N-Learn was able to move into their own space. They now run multiple class options each school year.
- Cheer began in 2006 as a recreational program that grew to become a flourishing All Star competition team. This past winter we were able to finally run an Exhibition team again and are now working on getting our Competition Cheer Team running again.
- Jam Hops Dance Company began in 2002 and is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year! To celebrate, their recital will be themed Past, Present, and Future and they will be taking us back in JHDC history by doing dances from the past.
- Gymnastics at Jam Hops of course has been built from before the creation of Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory, bringing together two programs to make what is now the Jam Hops community. Through the ups and downs over the years, our recreational and competitive gymnastics programs continue to grow, as we are continually thinking of new ways to expand our horizons.
Did you know we have 47 employees that basically grew up at JH? We pride ourselves on helping kids become adults with strong values and characteristics that lead them to do great things. One way that we do that is by providing opportunities for our athletes to not only work in a place they love, but also build their communication and leadership skills.
This last fun fact will let you in on one of our inside jokes we share as a Jamily. Did you know that Jam Hops has a fountain of youth that only Theater Director/Coach Tim knows how to find? Though lots of time has passed at Jam Hops and Tim has been around for it all, he has managed to not age a bit. We are not sure where he is hiding his youth serum, but we are all sure on a mission to find it.
Follow along on social media for more Jam Hops memories and inspiration. Here’s to 25 years!
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