Photographer: Belinda Russell
DeVeau’s School of Gymnastics was founded in 1982 by Joan DeVeau with 185 gymnasts and three instructors in a 5,000 sq. ft. facility. Over the past 35 years, they have moved locations twice and have expanded three times. They now offer gymnastics, ninja training, cheerleading, trampoline, and tumbling from babies all the way up to twelfth grade.
Their co-ed preschool program introduces gymnastics and more. “We’re teaching fine and gross motor skills, following directions, waiting one’s turn, as well as colors, shapes, left and right,” says Taryn DeVeau, Joan’s daughter and the gym’s marketing manager. “We’re also teaching kids how to hop, skip, jump, and gallop — not just how to cartwheel.”
Though the ninja classes appeal primarily to the boys, girls participate, too. Just like the “American Ninja Warrior” show, they have a rig, obstacle course and warp walls. It’s high-energy fun, designed to get kids ages 3-15 moving.
“We let them get out their energy,” Taryn says. “They learn some skills, too, but it’s less about how they do the trick and more about the fun of doing it.”
Their cheerleading program, called Dragons Elite, includes both competition- and recreation-based teams and classes that work on strength, flexibility, tumbling, dancing, stunts and routine development. Their cheerleading program is led by Reece White and Taryn DeVeau who were members of the University of Kentucky’s 22-time national championship cheerleading program.
In 2008, the staff at DeVeau’s was proud to send their very own Samantha Peszek to the 2008 Olympics as Peszek had been training at DeVeau’s since age 2. “We’re the only gym remaining in Indiana who has trained an Olympian,” says Taryn, noting that they’ve also produced scores of college scholarship athletes as well as collegiate cheerleaders.
“Gymnastics and all of our acrobatic-based sports provide a great foundation for our kids for whatever they choose to do in life,” Taryn says.
To accommodate the 300-plus competitive team members, as well as the 1,500 students enrolled in their recreational classes, they recently expanded to a 56,000 sq. ft. building in Fishers and now boast more than 40 instructors.
Unfortunately, in March of this year, a fire broke out in the gym when a welder was repairing a piece of equipment and a spark flew into the foam pit. Thankfully, nobody was hurt. Though the fire was contained to the pit, sprinklers activated, causing extensive water and smoke damage to the middle of the gym.
The staff was overwhelmed by the community’s support during restoration efforts. Not only did the Fishers Fire Department act swiftly, but gym parents and coaches flocked to the gym to pitch in.
“We had tons of parents and coaches who worked round the clock to help with restoration,” Taryn says. “We’re made up of a community of great families who support us, and we’re so appreciative.”
Taryn takes great pride in running the family establishment. Not only do she and her husband Luke Lautzenheiser now own the facility, but her aunt works the front desk. Plus, many of their coaches were former DeVeau’s gymnasts who now have their own children in the program.
“Between our coaches and our families that are part of our gym, we truly are a family,” Taryn says. “We want to thank everybody and announce that we are officially open again — back and better than ever!”