September 2, 2017

Back to School Fall Sports and Activities Showcase 2017

Today, we are sharing some amazing people who you’ve probably come across at some point in your parenting journey. Each one is sharing his/her passion with our children and influencing the paths they take in life. Whether it’s through sports, the arts, music and education – these dedicated people are doing incredible things in our community every single day.

Fall is a big registration push for many of these businesses. So make sure you check out each and every one of them. We couldn’t be more proud of what these folks are doing for our little Smarties!

Note: This is a long feature, but such a GOODIE! So go get yourself some coffee and get cozy with this one!

Football

Jason Estep, Charlotte Christian, Varsity Football Head Coach & Assistant Athletic Director

Coach Jason Estep is Charlotte Christian’s Varsity Football Head Coach. Now in his 13th season, he’s led Charlotte Christian to multiple NCISAA State Championship wins with a coaching style that focuses more on the character development of the player than the wins and losses of the team. If you’ve ever been to a high school football game or have a high school football player, you can appreciate the crazy dedication and hard work it takes to control a bunch of teenage boys and make {state championship} football players out of them. Coach Estep and his staff have managed to do all of it, but not lose sight of the men those athletes will become. Enjoy getting to know Coach Estep!

What’s your background in football?

I am starting my 13th season at Charlotte Christian, 11th as head coach. I grew up playing pop warner, middle school and high school football. I played quarterback and defensive back in high school and was named all-state my senior year.Coach Estep and seniors_NCISAA state champion 2008

What’s your coaching philosophy?

My coaching philosophy is to create an environment where young men learn how to compete, trust others, work together and know that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

What do you like most about coaching high school players?

One of the things I like most about coaching at the high school level is seeing my players’ transition from boys to young men and the impact I can have on their life during that time.

How can parents best prepare boys for high school football?

I feel one of the best ways parents can prepare their boys for high school football is to encourage them throughout the process with no pressure attached.Estep_Coach

What has been your best coaching moment?

My best coaching moment was one of my first years as a head coach when Charlotte Christian won a football state championship in 2008.

What sports do you recommend boys play in the off season to keep them football-ready?

I recommend any and all sports. The ability to be a multi-sport athlete is so important.

What do you expect from boys on your team?

My expectation is that our students compete every day! We teach them to be humble and to be great teammates.

How do you think football prepares young men for life?

There is no better sport in my opinion because of the intensity of the game of football. You learn how to make adjustments quickly in a high stress situation and what it means to rely on your group/team when you are on the field. While we are preparing these young men to compete on the field, we are also preparing them to compete in life to be men of God and to impact the culture for Christ.
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Charlotte Christian Logo

Charlotte Christian School
7301 Sardis Road
Charlotte, NC 28270
(704) 366-5657
website
Facebook
Twitter: @charchristiannc
Instagram: @charlottechristianschool

Diving

Carolina Dive Academy Aaron Hintz

Aaron Hintz is currently the Head Coach at Carolina Dive Academy in Huntersville. He has diving running through his veins and he’s always looking for young students who he can expose diving to. Not because he’s looking for the next Olympic champions, although he can be found coaching a few of those on any given day. But because he has a true passion for the sport of diving. You’ll catch this vibe the minute you meet him.

Carolina Dive Academy is one of those best kept secrets in the QC. We hear about the amazing swim program in our community but you never hear about diving. Did you know that HFFA’s Carolina Dive Academy Huntersville facility is the only public facility in the Southeast with an Olympic-sized, 50-meter competition pool and 10-meter dive tower – HFFA regularly hosts aquatics events with up to 2,000 spectators for regional, national, and international swim and dive competitions? Didn’t think so. People come from all over the country to little ‘ole Huntersville and recently the AAU National Diving Championships this past summer (see video below). We felt like we needed to shed some light on this amazing program. If you have a diver in high school, chances are they train in Huntersville, under Aaron’s guidance. He’s pretty amazing and we can’t wait for you to meet him!

Aaron Hintz, Head Coach, Carolina Dive Academy

How long have you been a diving coach?

I started coaching in 1990 at Coe College, a division III school in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. That was enough for me to catch the bug. I began coaching in earnest as an assistant age-group coach at Tualatin Hills Dive Club near Portland, Oregon in 1994 and haven’t stopped since. My career has taken me through Muncie, Indiana, as an assistant at Ball State University; Noblesville, Indiana, as the head coach of my first age-group program; Western Illinois University as a head diving coach at the Division I level; then to Orlando, Florida and Team Orlando – an elite age-group team; then here to Huntersville 10 years ago when I established the Carolina Diving Academy and started coaching at Davidson College. In 2015, I left Davidson to concentrate exclusively on the age-group divers who were preparing for Olympic Trials and Senior Nationals.

Tell us about Carolina Dive Academy.
Carolina Dive Academy Facility

The Carolina Diving Academy is a comprehensive diving program that accommodates divers of all interest and skill levels. We have divers ages 5 to 62 years old, some who have just started and others who are national finalists or Olympic Trials competitors. While our Elite team supports national and international aspirations, our lessons program encourages the exploration of sport just for the fun of it and stretches from diveKIDS for those 5-7 years old to masters practices for those young at heart but up to 90 and more, chronologically.

Tell us your coaching philosophy.

Our official philosophy is: “There is no diving gene. Some people learn more quickly, but everyone can learn.”

Any skill can be taught to anyone if broken down into small enough pieces. Some divers need to be shown a skill only once to learn it, and others on the opposite end of the spectrum need a skill broken down to its most basic elements, and one’s mode of learning does not necessarily indicate the quality of the outcome. Our entire program is based on this principle.

What options do we have in the Greater Charlotte Area if our kids are interested in diving?

We are the only year-round diving program. There is a fantastic summer league diving program called the “Greater Charlotte Diving League” in South Charlotte that provides a great initial exposure to aspiring divers.

At what age should a diver consider the Elite Team?

The perfect age is the year he or she turns 11, with either a couple of years of diving under their belt or a combination of experiences in other sports like soccer, basketball, gymnastics or tumbling. But, we have had divers start on Elite upon entering their junior year of high school who ended up diving at the division I level in college.

What does a training schedule look like for an Elite athlete?

Our Elite divers train 3.5 hours per day and 17.5 hours per week. The typical day starts with 15 minutes of warm-up and stretching; 10 minutes of handstand work; 30 minutes of acrobatic training on our trampolines and dry mounted springboard, in and out of spotting belts; then 1 ½ hours of skill training in the water; and concluding with 1 hour of strength and conditioning work.

How do you prepare your athletes for college and beyond?

While we don’t specifically prepare our divers for college, our divers are recruited by the top college programs across the country. Our practice is to prepare our divers for junior and senior nationals, and that process both the training and the competition, positions them for success in their college athletic careers.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite aspect of coaching diving is witnessing the epiphany, the eureka moment, when a diver accomplishes something they didn’t think they were capable of. Whether they just hit their hardest dive for 8s in the national finals, or they just performed their first forward dive, the look in their eyes is the same. Those are the moments I work for.

How can we register our kids?
carolina dive academy logo

We process our registration on paper at HFFA, but you can download all of our information at: hffa.com/carolina-dive-academy/. Or call me at 704-766-2222 for detailed instructions.

Carolina Dive Academy
(P) 704.766.2222 & Facebook

Gymnastics

Angela Davis, Owner & Coach, Carolina Flipz

Angela Davis, aka Coach Angi, is owner and coach at Carolina Flipz. A competitive gymnast for 8 years, competitive and collegiate cheerleader for 10 years and now a gymnastics coach with years of experience in gymnastics, cheer, dance, and tumbling, Angi is a rockstar when it comes to mentoring young kids with a passion for tumbling. She’s expecting her second child this month and you’d never know it – her boundless energy and dedication to her students is amazing. It just proves what an incredible coach she is.

At Carolina Flipz, they offer year-round gymnastics instruction through fun, flips, and focused attention to every student ranging from 6 months – 18 years within recreational instruction, AAU competition and competitive cheer. Their experienced staff, certified in USAG, AAU & USASF, coaches each child through the progressions of all gymnastics and/or cheer skills based on their level of experience. Carolina Flipz is located right behind Carolina Place mall. Classes run all year, so it’s easy to sign up anytime.

Here’s Angi!

What is your background in gymnastics?

I started doing gymnastics when I was 5 years old in recreational classes and loved every minute of it. As I progressed, I moved onto the competitive team where I thrived at the constant challenges. At the age of 13 after a rough season as a level 9 gymnast I came to the conclusion that my mind and body just could not progress any more. Immediately, I became an assistant coach at the gym that I trained at to start learning the coaching process. Throughout college at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana I coached gymnastics and UCA Cheer Camps. Then, when I moved out to Los Angeles for my full-time job I just had to continue coaching. Maybe it is the chalk dust but I have never been able to be away from a gym for long. I found my gym family at Golden State Gymnastics in Burbank, CA. With over 20 years now of coaching in diverse locations I have grown more as an instructor and more so as a business owner. angi competing 1

What’s your coaching philosophy?

My coaching philosophy is attributed to all the amazing coaches I had growing up. I was always surrounded by coaches that pushed me with a positive mindset. We were never allowed to say “can’t” and instead we were reminded to come up with other terms such as “I will try” or “I need a spot”. That positive coaching and ability to build on the slightest progress is what I use to coach my kids and my amazing staff.

What do you love most about your job?

The greatest love I have as a coach is when I see the physical and emotional walls being broken down. A recreational athlete finally getting a cartwheel they have worked so hard for all the way to a team athlete being ok with the fact that they fell off the beam at a competition. Working with kids has always been a passion of mine but the passion that I have for this sport is equal.IMGL9358

How do you see the sport evolving over the next 5-7 years?

Trampoline and tumbling joined USA Gymnastics in 1999 and debuted in the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Gymnastics has also made huge strides in the sport of Cheerleading which will hopefully debut in the 2024 or 2028 Olympics. With many more sports appealing to the younger crowd they have already added skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Hopefully with the help of USA Gymnastics facilities Parkour, Free Running and Ninja Warrior sports may not be far behind.

At what age do you recommend a child starts gymnastics? Is it ever “too late” to start?

A child can start gymnastics at 6 months old with the basics of skills at home. Pike, straddle and tuck shapes are a great way to introduce your little one to keep flexibility and build upon mobility. Even tummy time is a form of gymnastics and progressing strength. At any age though, the best thing is to get them in a USA Gymnastics Club facility to safely get a chance to explore, climb and challenge their bodies to try new movements. It is never “too late” to start. We have classes specifically for 12 and up so they are in the right age group and mentality. At Carolina Flipz, we even offer adult classes because there is no expiration date on this sport. As long as you learn to progress through each skill safely you can continue to follow your passion.

How might gymnastics improve an athlete’s performance in other sports?

Learning gymnastics doesn’t always have to be huge Olympic skills. We have many recreational athletes at our facility because it is fun and successful for them in their primary sport. Many swimmers benefit from knowing how to do a correct forward roll on land for their flip turns in the water. Stretching in a bridge will also increase mobility for a swimmer who competes butterfly. Or soccer and football players knowing how to take a fall correctly to prevent injury. Then there are those that also want to learn a celebratory flip or two._DSC3691 - Version 2 (2)

What about your athletes inspires you?

It is inspiring to see an athlete come in the gym from a bad day at school or a fight with a friend and the sport completely changes their attitude by the end of practice. Whether it is the physical exertion or the mind over matter to practice a skill the athlete’s mentality was directed towards something positive. Carolina Flipz is more about providing life lessons to our athletes while enduring a fun and challenging sport.

How can we register at Carolina Flipz?

Our classes run yearlong so people are always dropping and signing up at any given time. With over 700 athletes each week we have multiple class days and times to choose from. One of the easiest ways is to call our office staff at 704-544-4511 or email us at carolinaflipz@gmail.com to help find the right class for your athlete. You can sign up online by going to www.CarolinaFlipz.com for anyone looking to sign up for a One Day Camp, Back Handspring Blitz Camp, Spring Break or Summer Camp.

Come experience the FUN of gymnastics! We look forward to flipping with you!

Carolina Flipz

11812 Carolina Place Parkway, Suite B
Pineville, NC 28134
704-544-4511
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Carolina Flipz Logo

Dance

Susan Thorsland Plaza, Instructor at Jami Masters School of Dance

Susan Plaza JMSD

Susan Plaza has a contagious smile that you’ll see every day at Jami Masters School of Dance. Her grace and poise make a lasting impression on her dancers – she is truly molding her students into elegant, beautiful young adults. And, her students seem to love everything about her -she’s one of those instructors your dancer will tell you about when she gets home from class. Susan’s resume is quite impressive, but best of all, you can tell she loves dance to the core. And she shares that passion with every dancer she touches.

Susan holds a BFA in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA in Dance from Florida State University. She received her Dance Education K-12 Certification from UNCC. She has performed and taught in Florida, New York, and North Carolina. Susan has served on the board of the Asheville Ballet, as dance department chair at Northwest School of the Arts, on the Education Committee at NCDT, and currently is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for Charlotte Youth Ballet. This is Susan’s 20th year at JMSD where she teaches ballet, pointe, and preschool classes.

Located in the Back Lot of Park Road Shopping Center, Jami Masters School of Dance (JMSD) focuses on dance technique training for performance. Classes are available for ages 2 through adult. You’ll find classes in Creative Movement and Tumbletots, for the youngest dancers; and Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Acrobatics, Hip Hop, Cheerdance, Pilates, and Musical Theater for a variety of ages.

Here’s Susan!

Tell us how you got started teaching dance.
Susan JMSD 2

I started dancing when I was 7 and just never stopped! I have a BFA in Dance Performance from New York University, an MFA in Dance Performance from Florida State University, and my K-12 Dance Education Certification from UNC Charlotte. I started teaching while in graduate school and continued while I was ballet mistress at the Asheville Ballet. I moved to Charlotte to teach dance with CMS and spent 11 years teaching ballet at Northwest School of the Arts, a performing arts magnet school here in Charlotte. I started at JMSD when I came to Charlotte and have been here ever since – this will be my 20th year!

What age do you recommend little girls and boys get started in dance?
I think the starting age for dance depends on the child. We have classes and camps at JMSD for children as young as 2 and our Preschool program offers dancers a wide variety of classes. This is a great time to begin learning dance concepts such as levels, direction, spatial awareness, motor control, musicality and rhythm in a fun environment. Dancers begin to focus more on technical aspects of dance by age 6.

What classes should they take and how many?
Younger children should take one class a week. I recommend a creative movement or pre-ballet class so children can have fun and use their imagination. Acrobatics classes are also good choices for gross motor skills. Dancers can begin adding classes by first grade and continue as their interest grows. I do recommend ballet for any dancer who wants to excel at a variety of dance forms – it is the base for most dance styles. Our company level dancers take up to 15 classes a week and they are required to take several ballet classes.

When a dancer starts to get serious about his or her dance, what advice do you have to prepare them for auditions?
Auditions are a fact of life for dancers but they don’t have to be stressful. I recommend taking classes from a variety of teachers so dancers are used to different teaching styles. A strong ballet knowledge is very important and having experience with other dance forms including tap and modern will help dancers pick up new combinations easily at auditions. Dancers should try to attend as many auditions as possible, each experience will increase their confidence.

What opportunities are available in Charlotte for dancers to audition?
There are several audition options for dancers here in Charlotte. JMSD has auditions for company dancers each June. Charlotte Youth Ballet has open auditions for their Nutcracker and spring performance early on September 9th. Charlotte Ballet hosts several auditions each year for out of state dance summer programs as well as their summer intensive. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and CPCC Summer Theatre also have auditions for their performances that include dancers.

What types of classes should a dancer take as they prepare for Junior Company auditions?
Junior Company auditions at JMSD are for rising 6-8 grade dancers. Dancers are judged on their ballet, tap, modern, and jazz technique as well as musicality and performance quality. Taking classes in all four styles will help dancers perform their best at auditions. If that is not possible then focus on ballet and try to take some tap classes. The ballet will help you get through the jazz and modern portions.

When should my child take Ballet Pointe?
Most dancers begin pointe work around age 11 or 12. This is dependent on bone structure and growth. It can be dangerous to start too young if the ankle joints and musculature is not developed enough to support a dancer properly. Pre-pointe classes are a way to strengthen the feet and ankles without wearing pointe shoes and help a dancer prepare for the more challenging work.

Where is the best place in Charlotte to get fitted properly for pointe shoes?
Pointe shoes are difficult to fit properly. There are a variety of stores that sell and fit shoes including Charlotte School of Ballet and Morris Costumes. I recommend purchasing shoes and bringing them to your teacher before sewing ribbons to make sure that the fit is correct.

What dance attire and shoes do you sell at JMSD?
JMSD has a just about everything a dancer needs. We have ballet, tap, and jazz shoes, leotards, tights, skirts acrobatics outfits, warmup pants and shorts, boys dancewear, dance bags, water bottles and more! We have a large variety of adorable dancewear and tutus for our youngest dancers.

What classes are available to teens not in Junior Company/Company? JMSD offers several levels of teen classes in ballet, pointe, modern, tap, musical theatre, and hip hop.

How can dance classes affect an athlete’s performance in other sports?
Dance classes benefit all athletes. Dancing improves balance, flexibility, muscular strength, agility and coordination and most sports require all of those elements to excel.

How does taking dance as a youth carry them through life?
Dance classes give children confidence, self discipline, motivation, determination, and structure as well as physical benefits such as flexibility,,musicality, coordination, strength, grace, and good posture. These attributes will help dancers succeed in academics and work throughout their lives.

How can I register my child for JMSD classes?
JMSD is currently registering students for the 2017/18 dance year. Parents can register online at jamimastersschoolofdance.com or at the studio in the back court of Park Road Shopping Center.

Jami Masters School of Dance
Park Road Shopping Center / Back Court
Charlotte, NC 28209
www.jamimastersschoolofdance.com
info@jamimastersschoolofdance.com
(P)704-525-6555
facebook & twitter
instagram: #jmsd5678

JMSD Front Door

Caroline Calouche, Choreographer, Dancer, teacher, and Executive Director, Caroline Calouche & Co

Caroline Calouche and tankina

Aerial dance is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring styles of dance to watch as it is truly an artistic interpretation of grace, strength and gravity-defying creativity. We are so lucky to have an amazing artist on the pulse of the aerial dance scene here in Charlotte, Caroline Calouche.

Caroline founded Charlotte’s only aerial and contemporary dance company and school, Caroline Calouche & Co (CC&Co.), a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people of diverse backgrounds to explore beyond their boundaries through performance and education. Her vision is to create educational opportunities for people to experience the world from a unique and artistic perspective, which will enrich their lives and the lives of those around them.

Smarties, meet Caroline!

How long have you been in aerial dance and how did you get started teaching?
I started dancing when I was 8 years old and began flying at 27 (now 37). I started small with people who knew I was getting into aerial dance. From my ballet, Pilates and Gyrokinesis training, I immediately created a syllabus and analyzed the aerial skills to make aerial dance accessible to a variety of body types and experience.

Tell us about CC&Co.

Caroline Calouche & Co. is the only nonprofit dance and cirque company in the southeast. We are dedicated to inspiring people of diverse backgrounds to explore beyond their boundaries through performance and education. Our vision is to create educational opportunities for people to experience the world from a unique and artistic perspective, which will enrich their lives and the lives of those around them. CC&Co. is proud to be a resident company of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Through our unique school – Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center – we are able to share our knowledge of dance and circus arts with hobbyists and pre-professional students.

Tell us about your teaching philosophy.

To encourage and inspire creativity, innovation and dedication.
To train dancers to be expressive performers on the ground and in the air.
To build a strong foundation in dance and aerial is key to exploring safely.
To improve health and fitness while gaining an appreciation for dance.
To offer unique and well-rounded training for all ages and levels.

Tell us about your instructors at CC&Co.

Our instructors are generous. We want our students of any age to have success each time they come to class. They either have degrees in dance and/or have taken aerial dance teacher training courses by the highly acclaimed Nimble Arts Teacher Training Program.

At what age do you recommend a dancer get started in aerial?

Our classes start at age 6 with an adult program.

What classes do you offer?

Contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, acrobatics, partnering, aerial silks, trapeze, aerial lyra, rope, Spanish web and Pilates

How does aerial dance complement other sports?

I truly believe in cross-training. There is an NFL football team that takes ballet class for balance and coordination. We recommend training in circus arts and dance because together you will have a balanced upper and lower body as well as developed musical and performance skills.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Seeing how people grow not only physically but in all parts of their lives. They are more open to trying new things and meeting new people.

How can we register our kids?

Kids and adults can register on our website http://cltcirquedancecenter.org/. We have a 10% off family discount.

Smarties, you can find Caroline and all of her creative talent at:

Caroline Calouche & Co
facebook: www.facebook.com/carolinecalouche
instagram: www.instagram.com/ccalouche
twitter: twitter.com/ccaloucheco
snapchat: www.snapchat.com/add/ccalouche

2011 CCC logo

Cheerleading

Carissa Sawyers, All-Star Program Director, Carolina Flipz Cheer

Carissa Sawyers is Carolina Flipz Cheer’s All-Star Program Director and Coach. She is a ball of energy who truly takes the gym’s philosophy of “Work hard, play hard, have fun and stay positive” to heart. Cheerleading is not for the faint of heart – it takes discipline, tons of teamwork, strength, and dedication. Carissa manages to instill all of those qualities her in her athletes every single practice.

Located in the Carolina Flipz gym right behind Carolina Place mall and minutes from 485, Flipz Cheer is SUCH a positive place. No skill or prior experience is needed to start – the Flipz team will teach your child everything she needs to know. You’ll be amazed at what a group of girl from different schools, age groups, and backgrounds can accomplish with awesome coaching and encouragement.

Here’s Carissa!

What is your background in cheerleading?

I began cheerleading for Charlotte Extreme All-Stars and South Meck High School as a freshman. I quickly learned school cheer wasn’t for me and I dedicated myself 100% to all-star cheerleading. I started coaching all-stars at 16 and have been coaching ever since. In college, I spent two years cheering for the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats and coached numerous travel summer camps with EDGE Cheer and Dance. I’ve been with Carolina Flipz since 2014 and have loved every minute of it. I remember at the age of 15 I told my parents all I ever wanted to do was coach cheerleading… cheers to making dreams come true!coaching pic 1

Cheerleading has changed a lot in the last 20 years. What do you think has changed the most, and what do you think would surprise people who aren’t familiar with the sport?

Without a doubt I can say that the level of difficulty in cheerleading has been the biggest advancement over the past 20 years. Thankfully, the safety rules and coach credentialing processes have also come a long way, making cheerleading a safer sport than before. I think the most surprising thing about cheerleading is how mentally and physically demanding it can be. Many people still have an antiquated idea of cheerleading and don’t believe it to be a sport. The cheerleaders at Carolina Flipz are true athletes, come watch a practice and you will see!

Tell us the difference between competitive cheer and school cheer.

School cheer and all-star cheer differ in many, many ways but have some similarities as well. School cheer, often referred to as Sideline cheer, focuses on building crowd excitement and participation during sporting events. The athletes perform cheers throughout the game and intermittently stunt. Some schools do have competitive teams which brings it closer to an all-star setting. All-Star Cheerleading is everything packed into one 2.5 minute routine. Within that short amount of time the athletes must jump, stunt, tumble, and dance to perfection for a panel of judges. Both types of cheerleading come with their own challenges and demands but both should have the same result: empowered athletes learning new things and making friends.

What’s your coaching philosophy?

My coaching philosophy is that of empowerment. A person who feels empowered will go on to accomplish amazing things, not just in sports, but life. If I can get an athlete to grow in their confidence and leadership skills while maintaining a positive attitude cjust through coaching them in cheerleading, they will learn to carry those skills through the rest of their life. I feel very strongly about maintaining a positive atmosphere in the gym and coaching our athletes in a respectful and meaningful way. Kids these days have so many things aimed and ready to knock them down; athletics should be a place they can be built up by the coaches and teammates and they should leave the gym empowered to take on the next battle, no matter what it is.Mini Stunt

What’s the best part of your job?

That’s a tough question; I love my job. I think the fact that I have something new and different going on every day is a huge perk. Often I will jump from a marketing task to an apparel design into coaching. It’s nothing short of amazing. But even more than that, I love working with kids. Having coached for about 15 years I know that the coaching role can mean that I am the sister, friend, or even mother figure for these athletes. It is a lot of responsibility to take on but I am honored to be a part of their lives. I celebrate with my athletes when they are happy and I have cried with them when they are sad; it can be a tough road but seeing the athletes come out on the other side is like nothing I have ever experienced in any other field of work before.

Where do you get inspiration for your team’s routines?

Anywhere and everywhere! When I get into a creative mode it’s like having fireworks go off in my brain. I am very thankful to have coaches – and even some athletes – who understand my creative process and can help me turn the fireworks into a reality! Often times the kids will inspire ideas just through their unique skills and abilities. I also spend a lot of time studying gymnastics floor routines and professional dance choreographers, which helps me learn to see the bigger picture.

What’s your vision for the Flipz cheer program?

When I let myself think freely about the future of the Carolina Flipz cheerleading program, there are visions of a cheerleading empire and a state of the art training facility like nothing ever before seen – like the mecca of all cheerleaders! But those are just my day dreams to guide the reality. The realistic vision is not far from this, but less grandiose. Regardless of how big we get, I want all of our athletes to enter a facility that is well cared for, clean and safe, furthermore, I want all of our athletes, no matter how many or how few, to continue wanting to come to Flipz. Our cheerleading staff as a whole envision a healthy growth of the program and continuous improvement on all aspects of the program.

How can we register for cheer at Carolina Flipz?
Now is the perfect time to register for our Rising Stars program. This program is designed for kids that want to try cheer but parents may be hesitant to make the commitment. This program is less expensive, less time consuming, and requires less travel than traditional cheerleading; it’s the perfect way to try it out! Rising Stars teams are forming now. Shoot an email over to Cheer@CarolinaFlipz.com and reach me directly. You are also welcome to call the gym at 704-544-4511. We are always excited to help new families join in the fun!

Carolina Flipz Cheer

11812 Carolina Place Parkway, Suite B
Pineville, NC 28134
704-544-4511
Instagram: @CarolinaFlipz
Twitter: @CarolinaFlipz
www.flipz-cheer.com
Blackstar Transparent

Football

Jason Estep, Charlotte Christian, Varsity Football Head Coach & Assistant Athletic Director

Coach Jason Estep is Charlotte Christian’s Varsity Football Head Coach. Now in his 13th season, he’s led Charlotte Christian to multiple NCISAA State Championship wins with a coaching style that focuses more on the character development of the player than the wins and losses of the team. If you’ve ever been to a high school football game or have a high school football player, you can appreciate the crazy dedication and hard work it takes to control a bunch of teenage boys and make {state championship} football players out of them. Coach Estep and his staff have managed to do all of it, but not lose sight of the men those athletes will become. Enjoy getting to know Coach Estep!

What’s your background in football?

I am starting my 13th season at Charlotte Christian, 11th as head coach. I grew up playing pop warner, middle school and high school football. I played quarterback and defensive back in high school and was named all-state my senior year.Coach Estep and seniors_NCISAA state champion 2008

What’s your coaching philosophy?

My coaching philosophy is to create an environment where young men learn how to compete, trust others, work together and know that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

What do you like most about coaching high school players?

One of the things I like most about coaching at the high school level is seeing my players’ transition from boys to young men and the impact I can have on their life during that time.

How can parents best prepare boys for high school football?

I feel one of the best ways parents can prepare their boys for high school football is to encourage them throughout the process with no pressure attached.Estep_Coach

What has been your best coaching moment?

My best coaching moment was one of my first years as a head coach when Charlotte Christian won a football state championship in 2008.

What sports do you recommend boys play in the off season to keep them football-ready?

I recommend any and all sports. The ability to be a multi-sport athlete is so important.

What do you expect from boys on your team?

My expectation is that our students compete every day! We teach them to be humble and to be great teammates.

How do you think football prepares young men for life?

There is no better sport in my opinion because of the intensity of the game of football. You learn how to make adjustments quickly in a high stress situation and what it means to rely on your group/team when you are on the field. While we are preparing these young men to compete on the field, we are also preparing them to compete in life to be men of God and to impact the culture for Christ.
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Charlotte Christian School
7301 Sardis Road
Charlotte, NC 28270
(704) 366-5657
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Twitter: @charchristiannc
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