GET TO KNOW THE CREW
The Gymnastics Academy of Charleston facility is the premiere gymnastics and tumbling facility in the low country. The gym is a 16,000 square foot air-conditioned facility with AAI equipment specific for training the four Olympic events and additional mats for drills and progressions to learn specific skills. The Gymnastics Academy of Charleston houses a large in-ground, foam training pit (measuring 16 feet x 18 feet), as well as a ring tower and a trench bar.
Head Coach + Co-Owner
Valerie grew up in Massachusetts where she trained at Gymnastics Training Center and was coached by Dutch Olympian, Richard Maijs, and Bulgarian Olympian Tania Fillipova. Valerie was a 3-year level 10 competitor. She was a member of the 2004 Massachusetts National Team and qualified for Vault finals. Valerie was recognized for her Scholastic honors in the Boston Globe and Herald. Valerie attended the College of Charleston and graduated in '07 with a bachelor's degree in political science and health. Valerie has grown her competitive team from scratch to over 100 team members. In those years she has had countless State Champions and multiple Regional Qualifiers and Champions. She has coached a TOPs National Team member, Level 10 JO National Qualifier, and has successfully coached many to college scholarships.
REBECCA M. PARRISH
Business Manager + Co-Owner
Becky was born and raised West of the Ashley in Charleston, SC. She graduated with a Business and Industrial Safety Degree from Newberry College and has been a successful business manager for over 25 years. She was a competitive baton twirler with various state and national awards. She is passionate about fitness for children and helping them find a means to further their education through the sport of gymnastics. She has one son and a daughter who graduated as a Level 10 gymnast. She is married to Randy Parrish.
Program Developer | Boys Head Coach & Girls Optional Coach
"The Professional FunMaster" Randy was a former competitive college gymnast at Illinois State University. He has been coaching since 1976 and owned Quincy Gymnastics for 25 years and coached gymnasts and cheerleaders to the National level and collegiate level. He is a certified Physical Education teacher. In addition, he is the director of FLIP FEST summer gymnastics camp in Tennessee owned by Olympians John Macready and John Roethlisberger. He coaches all levels including recreational gymnastics here at GAC. He is GAC’s Program Developer and Director. He has coached athletes to various State, Regional, and National levels. He is USAG National and Regional Clinician and USAG Men’s and Women’s Professional Coach, Meet Director and Safety Certified.
Facilities and Customer Service Manager
Denise was born and raised in Central Georgia, where her love for physical education started. She graduated with a Business degree from University of Georgia, where she played basketball. She is the mother of 3 daughters, the youngest of whom is a Level 9 gymnast at GAC. Her daughter's entry into the sport 7 years ago sparked Denise's passion for the gymnastics world. Denise is the front end Manager and Facilities Manager here at GAC. You will likely be greeted by Denise when you visit GAC with a smiling face.
Xcel Head Coach
Tim is from Annville, Pennsylvania, and has been working in East coast gymnastics facilities since 2007. He was a varsity athlete in high school and a talented amateur tumbler. While never a competitive gymnast, Tim has spent well over a decade with the sport on both competitive and recreational sides. He moved to Charleston for graduate school and earned his Masters of Communication from CofC. He is the head coach for the GAC Xcel program, working primarily with the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond groups.
Orginally from Columbia, South Carolina, Tahj moved to Charleston to attend the College of Charleston. She earned her B.S. in Exercise Science in 2019 from CofC. Tahj was a competitive gymnast for 10 years before college, and competed Level 10. She works with both our compulsory and optional programs at GAC.
Team Coach & TOPs Coach
Lindsay grew up in Eastern Tennessee and after marrying a Navy sailor, moved to and coached in upstate New York, Washington state, and now South Carolina. While in Washington, Lindsay obtained her Physical Therapist Assistant license and integrates her knowledge for rehabilitation into her coaching techniques, along with attention to detail and endurance-based training. She also aided in coaching National TOPs Team members, multiple Washington State Champions at the compulsory and optional levels, and a Developmental Invite camp participant.
Xcel Team Coach
Claire is from McLean, Virginia, and graduated from the College of Charleston in 2016 with a major in Special Education. She is currently an Elementary Special Ed Teacher at Bowen's Corner Elementary. Claire coaches the upper-level Xcel teams at GAC. Her background involves teaching adapted gymnastics for special needs children, as well as the level 4 team. She was a gymnast for 15 years and competed level 8.
Team Coach, Acro & Tumbling Coach
Max Fortier is a graduate of Wando High School and has a background in martial arts. He earned his first-degree blackbelt in taekwondo, and got into tumbling and "tricking" at the age of 13. After spending years attending GAC open gyms and tirelessly polishing his own skills, Max came on as a member of our staff in order to share the excitement of that transformative journey with others and has spent much of his time with our boy's team and ninja program.
Team Coach, Acro & Tumbling Coach
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Will Buck has been in the gymnastics and tumbling world for most of his life. He recently graduated from Wando High School and has gone on to join American Cheer Xtreme in Irmo, South Carolina, just outside of Columbia. Will competed up to Level 10 and works with our gymnastics and A&T programs.
Team Coach, Ninja Instructor
Mitch was born and raised in Fulton, NY, and moved to Charleston in 2020 with his wife and two children to escape the snow. He coached for 4 years and taught Ninja for 2 years with Blaze Gymnastics before joining us at GAC. Growing up he was a gymnast for 7 years, as well as a football and lacrosse player. He brings big energy to our gym and is passionate about seeing his students grow through both successes and failures.
Acrobatics & Tumbling Coach, Sports Acrobatics Coach
Originally from Middlesbrough in the U.K., Ryan is a former sports acrobat and tumbling gymnast. He moved to America in 2018 to perform as an acrobat in the renowned aquatic stage show ‘Le Reve – the Dream’ at the Wynn Resort, Las Vegas. As a competitive acrobat he was the middle in a Men’s 4 team. Together they became British champions and went on to win a silver medal at the 2016 World Championships in Putian, China. He has a Bachelors in Sports Science and spent 3 years as the Head Gymnastics and Fitness Coach at Camp Starlight in Pennsylvania. He holds certified British Gymnastics qualifications in General, Tumbling and Sports Acrobatic gymnastics and is USAG certified.
Acrobatics & Tumbling Coach, Sports Acrobatics Coach
Corrie was adopted from China at the age of 2 and grew up in Massachusetts. She was an alternate on the 2008 US Olympic team and an 8x All-American at the University of Utah where she earned two bachelors degrees. She also holds a Masters degree from Auburn University. She last coached in Las Vegas, but prefers a focus on choreography for gymnastics and dance routines. She's been choreographing since 2014 and has done various routines for clubs all over the country. She moved to Charleston from Las Vegas where she performed in the renowned aquatic stage show ‘Le Reve – the Dream’ at the Wynn Resort, Las Vegas. Corrie is USAG certified and is a Sales Rep for the leotard company Quatro Gymnastics.
Boys Team Coach
Tommy is originally from Hilton Head, SC, and moved back to his home state in 2020 after spending 10 years in California. Though he was never a competitive gymnast, and has spent time coaching AAU basketball as well, Tommy found his true passion for this sport on a Euro bed trampoline and began his gymnastics journey. After working his way up through recreational classes, ninja, and team, he coached the members of Stanford Boys Gymnastics, creating Regional and National champions along the way. Tommy was also the Master Coach on trampoline at Stanford University for both men and women.
Originally from Iva, SC, Alexis came to Charleston to attend CofC and earned her B.S. in Finance with a Minor in Economics. She began gymnastics when she was 18 months old and competed levels 5-9 at Electric City Gymnastics in Anderson, SC. She was also a part of the College of Charleston's club gymnastics program, and she has been coaching since the age of 16. She currently works full-time as a Human Resources Administrator at Nucor Steel Berkeley.
After School Program Coordinator
Abby is originally from the state of New Jersey, though she moved down to Charleston, SC to attend the College of Charleston. She graduated in May of 2019 with a degree in Communications and a minor in Studio Art. She was a gymnast for 10 years in her youth, as well as a lacrosse player. When she's not coaching, Abby is interning for a wedding and event design company in Charleston, which she pursuing as a full-time career.
Recreational Coach and Special Events
Sidney attends at Oceanside Collegiate Academy and began helping with recreational classes at GAC in 2017. She is currently a Level 9 competitive gymnast and has been doing gymnastics since the age of 7. She is a 5 time State Champion, and a 2-time Regional qualifier. She strives to be a positive role model for both young gymnasts and her teammates.
Ally Eidson is the daughter of Rebecca Parrish, one of the co-owners of GAC, and she is a graduate of Wando High School. She began gymnastics at the age of 3 and now competed as a Level 10 gymnast, becoming a 4x Regional Qualifier and Level 8 Regional Beam champion on the way. Ally coaches recreational classes and competitive teams.
Special Events Staff
Coach Jen is from Goose Creek, SC, and has been involved in gymnastics for much of her life. She spent years doing recreational gymnastics in her youth, and now has a 13 year-old daughter, Emma, who competes Level 8 for GAC. Jen is a licensed massage therapist by trade, but has spent much of her time working with children as a preschool teacher or a nanny. She was one of our Ninja instructors, and now spends her time helping with our special events on weekends.
Special Events Staff
Yoshi is a Charleston native and attends Oceanside Collegiate Academy, Class of 2024. She has been doing gymnastics since 2015 and competes for our Xcel team. At GAC she primarily does special events and camps and spends her free time on photography and video editing.
Special Events & After School Staff
Chloe attends Wando High School, Class of 2023, and has been doing gymnastics since the age of 8. She has been doing gymnastics since she was 18 months old and has competed up to Level 8 and Xcel Diamond with GAC. She works our special events, day camps, and open gyms.
CAROLINE MACKAY DROLET
After School Instructor and Recreational Coach
Caroline is a graduate of Academic Magnet High School and will begin her collegiate education at USC in the fall of 2019. She competed for GAC as a level 9 gymnast and has been working our birthday parties, open gyms, and other special events since 2017. She currently assists with our after school program.