DILLON - Sara Bair has loved gymnastics ever since she saw Mary Lou Retton perform at the Summer Olympics.
"I fell in love with gymnastics and was doing cartwheels and walkovers and handstands all over the place and my parents found a little community program there and got me started and I just progressed really fast," said Bair, owner of the Bair Foot Gym in Dillon.
Bair competed from age 11 to 16 and has been teaching gymnastics for 30 years. When she moved to Dillon, she began to teach tumbling classes in a dance studio with 25 students to start, but attendance numbers doubled the next year and the year after that.
"And the numbers got so big that I needed a space that could accommodate that many kids and also that I could put the type of equipment in that I wanted to be able to train these kids with," said Bair.
Bair Foot Gym offers classes to children and adults and whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you can learn something new at the gym. Classes start at two years old, and teams work to put together programs for performances.
Mark Hughes — who has been with the gym for three years since its dance studio days — says that he enjoys learning new techniques in a better-equipped space.
"It’s bigger and it’s got more space than the other gyms that we usually had and it's got more equipment and things that we can use. They challenge you and it’s just fun," said Hughes.
Bair says there’s a need for kids to have fun outside of competitive sports and that this business is more than she imagined for her love of gymnastics.
"I’ve always felt a passion for it and it's all come together into something that’s more than I ever thought," said Bair.
Class enrollment starts at $50 a month.