A life-long love for the sport
Gymnastics academy owners enjoy their jobs

By Laurie Arendt - News Graphic Correspondent

Sept. 19, 2017

 Katie and James Vollrath are the new owners of Northshore Academy of Gymnastics in Cedarburg.
Photo by Mark Justesen

CEDARBURG — While the Northshore Academy of Gymnastics changed hands in late June, there was no need to introduce new owners James and Katie Vollrath to the kids in the gym.

“I first came here as a kid and basically have spent my whole life here,” said Katie Vollrath. “It feels like I’ve always been here.”

The same is essentially true for her husband, James Vollrath.

“Years and years ago, I think we decided we wanted to someday buy the place,” he said. “We like our jobs, and when you love what you do, what’s that saying?”

“You never really do go into work,” added Katie Vollrath.

Northshore Academy of Gymnastics has been a fixture in Cedarburg for nearly 40 years, eventually moving through a few locations within blocks of each other to its longtime location on Cardinal Avenue.

“We’re a bit unique in that not only do we offer gymnastics, but we’re also one of the few spaces in the area that has ceilings high enough for rhythmic gymnastics and pole vaulting, and we do have a team that uses our facilities for pole vault practice,” she said. “We do obviously offer gymnastics training, but there’s so many things that happen here.”

Currently, the academy serves 600 recreational gymnasts and 140 competitive gymnasts and provides a variety of classes, including tumbling and a program called Samurai Warrior, which is focused on functional body movement.

“It’s more of an ‘American Ninja Warrior’-type class for kids,” said James Vollrath.

Both James and Katie Vollrath noted that this particular programming appeals to boys, who tend to love the tumbling and activity of gymnastics, but not the artistic side of it.

“Our Samurai Warrior kids do things like run obstacle courses, leap and work on their agility, said James Vollrath, adding that it’s a program open to boys and girls.

They’ve also been working on expanded programming for the under-3 set, being parents of children in that demographic themselves.

“There are some really good, fun, developmental things that young kids can do at that age,” said Katie Vollrath. “It’s really broad, from learning how to wait in line and socially interact to fun tumbling activities.”

As former competitive gymnasts, coaches and now business owners, the Vollraths have developed a lifelong appreciation for the sport, but Katie Vollrath said that she recently ran into a former gymnastics parent who put it into perspective for her.

“He was the father of a former student who was going off to college,” she explained. “His daughter only ever made it to Level 4 as a gymnast, but she so enjoyed the experience. He said that he would encourage anyone to put their kids in gymnastics from ages 3 to 9, and while they may never go on and become a gymnast, they will carry so many great life lessons from the experience.”

She would also add a few more to that list.

“What we do helps kids build strength and coordination,” she said. “They learn to love being healthy and fit at a very young age, which are all things that gymnastics definitely teaches you. We’re just so thrilled that we’re able to continue doing this in a place that means so much to us.”


Northshore Academy of Gymnastic
W59 N270 Cardinal Ave. Cedarburg