At Heartland, we focus on promoting fun, confidence, agility, increasing strength, flexibility, body awareness, and overall athleticism. Our energetic coaches are a positive force and are always working to improve the Heartland experience. Heartland is a great choice for all ages! From simply wanting to be active in the social setting of a recreational class to pushing goals to new heights on our competition team, we can provide! Contact us for more info on what class is right for you!
Tawnita has been a dancer from the age of 3 when her mother was her teacher and began gymnastics at the age of 10. She continued gymnastics at Olathe High School as their top All Around. She went on to receive a gymnastics scholarship as a Collegiate Gymnast at Washburn University as an All-Around, graduating in 1981 Magna Cum Lada with a degree in Physical Education with a dance emphasis. While at Washburn, Tawnita also received a dance scholarship and the Outstanding Choreographer Award for her work there. Tawnita began teaching gymnastics and dance at the age of 14 and continued to teach at Topeka Gymnastics Club during her college years.
Richard began his gymnastics coaching career in January 1979 when he started work with Topeka Gymnastics Club and the Washburn Collegiate Gymnastics Team. Rich and Tawnita met through his work with the college Team and the rest was history =) Richard has a degree in Business & Recreation. The two owned Augustino’s Pizza for 21 years so Rich flipped pizzas by day and gymnasts by night!
Rich and Tawnita forged a coaching team in 1981 when they became the co-head coaches for Ft. Hays State University. During this time the team grew to become a powerhouse in the NAIA and later in NCAA II Gymnastics. They produced numerous National Champions and top finishers as well as top 3 finishes at the regional & national levels. They continued to co-coach until FHSU dropped the program in May 1990. In addition to coaching gymnastics, Tawnita also served as Head Coach for the FHSU cheer squad and choreographer at the same time.
While coaching the FHSU collegiate Team Rich & Tawnita also ran a recreational & competition program for kids starting in 1983 until 1990. Heartland Gymnastics & Cheer was born in the fall of 1990. In the beginning, Heartland had both a girls & boys competition team as well as recreational gymnastics. They have been serving young kids for 30 years. During this time they produced numerous National All-Around Champions and many event champions as well as District Champions.
In addition to the gymnastics academy, Tawnita owned Heartland Dance Studio for 18 years, teaching Dance & Gymnastics at the facility.
It is their love for both gymnastics and dance paired with their love of teaching children that keep the Augustine’s both involved in this beautiful sport. It has been a family affair with both of their children, Bryce & Kylee following in their footsteps in both competition and coaching. They truly love what they do and love teaching young kids the values you get from doing gymnastics: Strength, flexibility, discipline, self-esteem.
All of our coaches are ex gymnasts, some competitive, dancers, cheerleaders (some FHSU!) and LOVE what they do.
Office Manager and Heartland Booster Club Secretary and Treasurer, Laura is quickly taking the reins at Heartland! Laura is in the office 5:30-8:00Pm M-Th to answer all your questions!