Coaches: ALL OUR COACHES ARE CHARACTER TRAINED!!
Nicole Gelbach – Owner / Head Coach
Nicole started gymnastics at the age of 2! She is USAG safety certified in gymnastics and USASF levels 1-5 certified in cheerleading. She has coached tumbling since 1999 and has had two National Tumbling and Trampoline Teams, cheerleading since 2002 and has had squads achieve the UCA, COA and Madri Gras 1st Place Championships and artistic gymnastics since 2004 and has produced several All-Around Heart of Missouri Gold Medallist as well as a USAG and Show Me State Game Gold Medallist. Nicole has had multiple competitive cheer teams qualify for the All-Levels International Cheerleading Competition. Nicole’s senior level 4 team holds the title of the All-Levels International Grand Champions. They placed 1st out of all 5 International events held in Texas, Ohio, California, Georgia, and New Jersey. Nicole trained at G.A.G.E and Flipz gyms. Nicole attended Warrensburg High School where she was an honor student and was a Varsity cheerleader. She was a recreational and competitive gymnast as well as a competitive cheerleader. She is a certified Heart of Missouri Judge and has attended several coaches’ clinics and camps throughout the state of Missouri. In addition, Nicole was chosen to coach at the FlipFest Olympic summer training program. Nicole is also the current Warrensburg High School Cheerleading Coach where she is the head coach for Varsity Football. In addition, Nicole was a competitive volleyball player. Nicole also graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a degree in Child and Family Development.
Laura Chaney – Gymnastic / Tumbling Instructor
Laura, a Warrensburg resident for 15 years, has coached tumbling and gymnastics at Spirit Express since 2005. She began tumbling at age 4 in her native Iowa and entered gymnastics competition as a middle-school student. She graduated high school in Dubuque with numerous gymnastics honors claimed at state meets, and in 1981 ranked among Iowa’s top college recruits. Laura accepted a scholarship with Southeast Missouri State University, and her recruiting class made SEMO State an immediate gymnastics power in NCAA D-II under coach Bill Hopkins. The Otahkians finished in the national top three all her four years, including runner-up National Team in 1984 and 1985. Individually, Laura, was an all-around performer for SEMO and twice won All-American honors, on balance beam and floor exercise. Perhaps her proudest achievement was competing gymnastics every year in college, becoming recognized as one of SEMO’s few four-year letter-winners across athletics. Laura starting teaching gymnastics at summer camps while in college and then coached competitive levels for 8 years, first in West Plains and later in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where one of her former gymnasts, Jessica Allen, owns Xtreme Gymnastics. Laura and husband Matt have two teenagers, Thomas and Katelyn. Laura has been employed by the MO Dept. of Social Services for over 20 years. At Spirit Express, Laura teaches children of all ages, from beginner to advanced levels. It’s a great way for her to stay active in the sport she loves, showing kids not only the hard work involved, but how they can achieve and learn many valuable lessons for life through sports participation.
Danelle Bussel – Gymnastic Instructor
Danelle is a graduate of Jefferson City High School and is currently pursing a degree in Pre-Physical Therapy from the University of Central Missouri. Danelle is USAG certified, safety certified, and has 9 years of coaching experience. She was a Level 9 gymnast and coaches our Level 4-7 competitive team. Danelle’s coaching philosophy is “You have to work HARD to get where you want.”
Kristen Thomas – Tumbling and Cheer Instructor
Kristen is currently attending the University of Central Missouri where she is studying for a degree in Child and Family Development. She was a competitive ice-skater for 4 years, which then lead her to cheerleading. Kristen has 10 years of cheerleading experience, she cheered at Kansas City All-Stars for 6 years. Her Athletic Awards include: 1st year to UCA Nationals-2nd, 2nd year – 5th, 3rd year – 3rd , 4th year – 9th, 5th year – 3rd. 1st at all-girl stunt camp in 2004, Branson, MO. 2nd at partner stunt UCA Nationals 2005. 1st in partner stunt division at UCA Nationals 2006 and second in all girl division level 5. She was named UCA All-American cheerleader 2 years in a row. Kristen is a UCA MO-Staff cheerleader – 2nd year veteran. “I am a very determined and hard-working coach that demands excellence just as my coach did. I have a heart for cheerleading and I am proud to say I am a coach at Spirit Express.” Coaching Philosophy: “The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.”
Erika Clark – Tumbling and Gymnastic Instructor
Erika is a 2008 WHS Honors graduate and a sophomore at the University of Central Missouri where she is majoring in Athletic Training. Erika has been a Certified Nurse Assistant since 2007 and is planning on going to graduate school to become a Sports Medicine Doctor. Erika has come to Spirit Express with 17 years of tumbling experience. She has been coaching at Spirit Express since August 2007. After training at area gyms she trained at Xtreme Fitness and Gymnastics in Lee’s Summit where she was coached by the national team coach and three time world champ Jon Beck. She was introduced to Trampoline and Power tumbling in 2001 and competed for 3 years on Trampoline and Power Tumbling for 7 years in USAG competitions. She has earned the following awards in USAG competitions: 2007 National Competition: 17th Place Power Tumbling Level 9, 2006 National Competition: 1st Place Power Tumbling Level 8, 2005 National Competition: 6th Place Power Tumbling Level 7, 2003 National Competition: 4th Place Trampoline Level 7, 2002 National Competition: 3rd Place Trampoline Level 5, and numerous state and regional awards. Erika’s coaching philosophy is a quote from Hershel Walker: “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat”.
Kaylee VanBlarcum- Cheer and Gymnastics Instructor
Kaylee truly enjoys working with children. She loves coaching because it gives her the opportunity to teach athletes the sport that she loves. Before Kaylee became a coach she was a power tumbler. While power tumbling, she went to nationals twice, once in California where she placed ninth in her flight. She also went to Florida where she placed tenth in the nation. Coach Nicole then introduced Kaylee to cheerleading. Kaylee gave up power tumbling and became a competitive cheerleader and artistic gymnast. Kaylee received several top 3 finishes in the all around competitions while doing gymnastics. Kaylee’s cheer team competed at the All-Levels International Cheerleading competition where they won the grand championship title. In addition, Kaylee cheers, swims and pole vaults for the Warrensburg Tigers. Kaylee has lettered in cheer, swimming, track and academics at the high school. Kaylee's most recent accomplishment was at pole vault where she placed 7th in the state for class 3. Kaylee’s coaching philosophy is: “perfect practice makes perfect.”
Chelsea Pryor- Cheer and Tumbling Instructor
Chelsea started tumbling at the age of three! She has been cheering at Spirit Express for seven years. She is on a level four cheerleading squad. Chelsea’s cheer team competed at the All-Levels International Cheerleading competition where they won the grand championship title. Chelsea also holds the title for the All Around Best Tumbler at the State Fair Spirit Classic Tumbling competition.
Kathryn Ambrose-Gymnastics Instructor
Kathryn moved to Warrensburg from North Carolina in 2010. While in North Carolina Kathryn was a USAG gymnast for 11 years. Kathryn placed 3rd in the all around at the state in level 8. Kathryn joined Spirit Express and became a member of Legacy our Level 4 team. She also competed and won best tumbler at It's Time to Cheer. Kathryn attends Warrensburg High School and in a member of the tennis, swim and track team where she has excelled also. Kathryn is a Heart of Missouri Gymnastic judge. Kathryn's coaching Philosophy is "A gym is a safe and fun environment where kids can grow as a person and athlete."
Melissa Davis-Gymnastics Instructor
Melissa went to Cole Camp High school where she graduated with honors. She currently attends the University of Central Missouri, where she is majoring in Computer Information Systems. Melissa has 8 years of gymnastics experience. She taught gymnastics for four years at Hawthorn Dance and Gymnastics of Versailles before coming to Spirit Express. She also competed for four years and was a level 7 gymnast. She received a diamond award at Spotlight Nationals Dance Competition for an acro solo. Her coaching philosophy is, “with confidence and a positive attitude you CAN get and skill!
Morgan Luetkemeyer-Cheer and Tumbling Instructor
Morgan Luetkemeyer attends Warrensburg High School. She has 14 years of cheerleading, tumbling, and gymnastics experience. Morgan competed at the Junior Olympics for Power Tumbling twice. She also competed at the Varsity All-Levels Internationals placing 1st. In addition, Morgan is CPR trained and certified. She is an honor student and a member of National Honor Society. She participated in the Polar Plunge for Autistic children and was also awarded the most Versatile Cheerleader two years in a row.
Erin Brouhard-Gymnastics and Tumbling Instructor
Graduated at Belton High School. Now a sophomore at UCM, majoring in
Child and Family Development. Erin has 10 years of experience all together. She started gymnastics at the age of 10 (2002) at MEGA ( Missouri Elite Gymnastics Academy) in Belton. She did gymnastics for 4 years, and even skipped two levels. She coached at MEGA for two years with beginner girls gymnastics and Level 4's. After those two years of coaching she tumbled at Spirit Zone in Lees Summit for a year, just for fun and to keep her skills. She then decided to join Extreme's Tumbling Team in Lee's Summit. I trained with Jon Beck for a year (2010-2011) and became a Level 9 Tumbler. Erin is CPR/ First Aid Certified. While an athlete, Erin competed at Wide World of Sports in Disney World, Orlando FL and was the Level 7 all around champion. She was also a top 3 medalist in Level 7 on the events vault, floor and bars. In addition, Erin attended the Mizzou and Nebraska gymnastics camps. Erin's coaching philosophy is, "If you can believe it, then you can achieve it."
Allison M. Merritt-Gymnastic and Cheer Instructor
Allison has a General Associates from Northwest Florida State, in Niceville Florida. She has also spent 2 years at Jacksonville State University, pursing a BFA in Art History, Ceramics and Welding.
Allison’s been a gymnast since she was 4 years old. In addition, Allison has 6 years of cheerleading experienced, she cheered in high school and also has two years of college experience. Allison has now been coaching for 3 years. Allison is CPR Certified and First Aid Certified.
While being an athlete, Allison has won multiple all-around champion awards in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi, along with several gold, silver and bronze medals in all events. Allison’s cheer squad won Champs at Camp at the University of Alabama summer cheerleading camps during her high school career.
Allison’s coaching philosophy “Hard work and consistency is how things get accomplished. I am a firm believer in that everyday a new challenge can be learned and accomplished. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, it shows more weakness to continue on without the knowledge of how to succeed. With teamwork and motivation, anything can be reached.”
Amber Byrd-Gymnastics and Tumbling Istructor
Amber graduated high school from Jefferson City High School. She is currently pursing a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Missouri. Amber has 13 years of USAG and JC Gymnastics experience. She has 5 years of coaching experience at levels 1-8, she is also a certified Heart of Missouri Judge. Amber holds 3 Vaulting State Championships, YMCA National Titles on Vault and Floor, and was a USAG level 9 competitor. Amber is also a member of the Army National Guard.
Amber's coaching philosphy "Never, Never, Never Give Up!"