Welcome to the Tumble & Stunt Institute. TSI is a small and personable gym focused on the individual. If your sport or activity involves flipping or stunting, then you’re in the right place, whether you are a cheerleader, gymnast, dancer, urban gymnast, flair martial artist, fitness competitor, or an athlete wanting to learn a back flip to throw after the next big victory, with our staff’s background and experience, we can teach you how to safely progress your skills and goal(s). Besides providing excellent training to our customers, the Tumble & Stunt Institute is determined to provide an effective, safe and motivating experience in personal and team training. Our hope is that through the use of our facility and staff, the athlete’s enjoyment and appreciation for all levels of acrobatics will be enhanced.
If your child isn’t having fun while learning to tumble, then there is something wrong
My story….as told by owner Craig Callaway:
As a kid, I got my flexibility from my grandfather, who was an auto mechanic. Every time there was a gymnastics meet on TV, my dad would look at me and say “That’s going to be you some day”. In elementary school, my parents enrolled me in a gymnastics class at the local rec center. My first grade friend was a competitive gymnast and taught me how to do a cartwheel and an aerial. Back then, they didn’t have a name for Parkour or Free Running, but that was definitely what I was doing…dive rolls over the furniture in the living room, running up trees, and hurdling fences to get away from my big brother.
At the end of 8th grade, I tried out for the high school gymnastics class. I sprained my ankle trying a roundoff for the first time, but I made it. We had a gymnastics team my sophomore year, and then I was asked to try out for cheerleader. I had never heard of guy cheerleaders, and in a small town, it didn’t sound like such a great idea. There ended up being four guys, all a great representation for the first male Yellmen (the student body refused to call us cheerleaders) at Mansfield High School. The football team showed up at SMU Cheer Camp to watch, and we earned their respect. When school started back, if you had something bad to say about the Yellmen, you had to go through the football team first. After our first pep rally, we were accepted. They ended up having guys for the next 9 years!
I had aspirations of going to OU to compete in gymnastics, and then the Olympics. It wasn’t happening. I started too late, and wasn’t good enough, but I was doing great in cheerleading! I was stumped. I didn’t know where I was going to college, and I knew nothing about trying out for college cheerleader. I took an all star team to SMU Cheer Camp (we’re talking way back in the beginning with one of the first all star
teams…. Yes, I’m that old), and was recruited by the mascot of Trinity Valley Community College…. None other than Jeff Ayers (aka: Baby Bop on Barney the Dinosaur). I was also asked to be on the NCA Staff. What I thought was going to be a step down from gymnastics became a nice side step into a whole new world.
Two of the best years in my life were at Trinity Valley Community College as a Cardinal Cheerleader! We competed at nationals my first year (1988) and got 2nd place. The following (1989) year we won! In 2012, our team was placed in the TVCC Hall of Fame, because we were the first team in any sport to win a national title. A moment of gloating….both years at TVCC, we went to the Bahamas with the men & women’s basketball teams for a basketball tournament…..all expenses paid!
From TVCC, I went to Oklahoma State University to become a Cowboy cheerleader…um… and to get a degree in Speech Communication. My first football game was at Ohio State on their 100th anniversary. There were 94,000 people at that game and it was AMAZING! We did the traditional OSU chant and the Ohio fans joined in. Words can’t describe the rush! In 1990 we got 2nd place at college nationals, but in 1991 we won with the largest recorded margin ever! We were then asked to fly to Japan for 2 weeks to perform all over Tokyo and at the JAL Cheer Nationals. We were treated like rock stars!
As an NCA Instructor, I taught camps of up to 1,500 kids. I became a Head Instructor & Collegiate Instructor (which is be considered their highest honor). I was also asked to work the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Another moment of gloating…How many people can say they got the entire New York subway to do the wave? This guy right here! I was also selected to be on the USA All Stars, which was made up of the top 20 cheerleaders in the US, and perform in Taiwan for 2 weeks. Again, we were treated like rock stars!
My twin brother, who is a photography professor at Baylor University, and I took a vacation to Bali, Indonesia for a couple of weeks. While there, we took a tour around the island. We stopped at a temple sitting on top of a volcano overlooking another volcano that was active. Next thing I know, my brother was making friends with the Hindu Priests. They asked what I did and we were having a hard time explaining cheer coach to them. My brother finally told me to do a back flip…”Oh! Guru!” was their response!
After graduating from college, I moved to Tulsa, OK and eventually opened my own gym, Callaway Cheernastics & Fitness Center (CCFC) from 1993 – 2003. We had the largest Coed All Star program in Oklahoma, The Wolf Pack, and I created the first Coed Stunt Class in Oklahoma. My students were recruited by colleges across the country! For several years, half of TVCC & half of OSU were my kids. During that period, I was approached by American Cheerleader Magazine to become their Tumbling & Stunt Editor for that magazine and their coaches magazine CheerBiz. I wrote for 10 years, until they were bought out by Varsity in 2012. I was recommended by the owners of Top Gun in Florida to become a competition judge, and then was requested to speak at Coaches Conferences across the US and in Canada on how to coach tumbling and stunts.
I sold my gym in 2003 and moved back to Texas. I was burned out on the all star industry. I did not like the direction it was going. I basically took a sabbatical and traveled the world to coach. 1st stop, the Palace Crystals in England. For 12 years, I flew up and it was like visiting family. In 2013 & 2015, I took my son Cameron to help coach. Next stop the Valley Stars in BC, Canada. I was flying up almost monthly for a couple of years. I do miss the coaches and the girls and probably the best chicken wings I’ve ever had in my life at Wings in Abbotsford, BC. I also made monthly visits to Seattle, WA to work with Galaxy / South Elite All Stars & Portland, OR to work with West Coast Extreme.
In 2008, I received a phone call at 3 am from a girl named Hyo. She was the head cheerleader for the cheer team at Cheong Shim Academy in South Korea. They basically got the run around from a previous choreographer and wanted me to fly up and train them for Worlds. After it’s all said and done, I flew up for two weeks, had 20 hours to train them, choreograph, and clean up. We then flew straight to Orlando for Worlds. I had a level 1 team in a level 5 competition and had the time of my life! I was so proud of those girls! They had no expectation of winning, but if they went, it would make it easier to get corporate sponsorship for future teams. By default, the top 3 teams from each country made it to finals, therefore the South Koreans qualified for finals! They got 15th out of 22 teams, beating out my Canadian team. They came home rock stars!
I flew back 2 more times to work with them, and was introduced to the Korean Cheerleading Association. They gave me a tour of Seoul and asked if I would help them build up cheerleading in their country. Believe me, I almost moved to South Korea, but had to decline because my wife and I just gave birth to triplets! I made friends with some of the professors at Cheong Shim (some of the smartest people I know) and still keep up with the kids on Facebook. Hyo went on to cheer at MIT, and has chosen to stay in America!
After moving back home to Texas, I worked at various gyms and started judging and traveling more and more. In 2010, I was approached by the FieldhouseUSA to open a gym. I decided then that I wanted it to be all about the kids and their skill development. As an all star coach, it’s all about the choreography & the trophy and not as much about the individual kids. I didn’t want to be that coach anymore. In 2015 we left the Fieldhouse and expanded. As of September 2020, we have expanded into a new gym!
In 2013, a friend from the past asked me to fly to Southern Spain to coach her students on the US Naval base in Rota, Spain. (If you saw the movie Pitch Perfect III, that military base!) I took my son Cameron to coach, and my daughter Chloe & step son Trevor for their first trip overseas. Wow what a trip! My kids made some friends for life, we toured Sevilla & Cadiz, got their senior pics taken in a castle in Sevilla (um BLAM!), had dinner & Thanksgiving in the base commander’s home, & were given a tour of the airfield from US Air Force Southern Command. For 2 hours he spoke to my kids in the back of a C5 on his story & what the kids wanted to do with their life and career. To date, I have spent 8 Thanksgivings in Spain with our military and their families. The team has won 13 All Europe Championships!
I was later introduced to the cheer coach on the USAG Kaiserslautern Army Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany. I’ve had the honor of making 3 trips to work with the military kids there.
In 2020, I was asked to be in a show on Netflix because I cheered at TVCC. Talk about a huge honor! I did a 3 hour interview in my brand new gym with the AC turned off because of the background noise. It was 92 degrees! I basically got to represent the TVCC alumni and tell the world about my coach who started it all! Talk about intimidating! In January of 2022 Season 2 of Cheer Came out. I had lots of former students reaching out to me after that. So much fun!
The biggest complaint about cheer gyms is that they rush the skills, skipping proper skill progression and technique. The coaches are more interested in the team kids & harass the class kids to be on their competition teams. There is a huge difference between school cheer and competition cheer. Some competition cheer coaches never cheered a day in their life, and are now coaching school teams and teaching them improperly. The biggest complaint about gymnastics gyms is that they move too slow, and are constantly changing coaches. The classes are sometimes taught by a parent trying to help pay for their child’s tuition. I will say that I agree more with the gymnastics philosophy, but a true gymnast works out 3 – 5 days a week for 3 – 5 hours a day. Class kids come in only 1 or 2 hours a week and have to be taught differently. The biggest complaint about dance studios is that they don’t have the proper equipment or knowledge on how to safely teach tumbling / acro skills.
At the Tumble & Stunt Institute, we want our students to Learn it Safe & Learn it Right the First Time. We want to focus on each individual kid and what it will take to make them better. It doesn’t matter whether your child is on a competition team at another gym, on a school team, a dancer, or a guy wanting to learn party tricks. We’ll treat them with the same respect. We are neutral territory. We constantly have kids coming in from other gyms/studios that were taught with poor technique and are unable to progress, or were injured. At TSI, our veteran coaches teach all levels, so you can expect the highest level of training. Our assistant coaches are well trained and supervised, and picked based on teaching ability.
If it hurts, then you are doing it wrong. If you are not having fun, then you are doing it wrong.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get to work!
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