Head Over Heels Athletic Arts, a 501(c)(3) organization, has provided positive athletic experiences to toddlers, children, teens, and adults since 1977. Our philosophy is that the self-confidence achieved through participation in organized athletics will follow an individual throughout their lives. We understand the balance between receiving positive reinforcement, understanding the need to practice good sportsmanship, and consistently striving to put forth one's best effort. We believe these skills are the backbone of a healthy, active, well-adjusted adult and this is our wish for all students in our care.
HOH programs include recreational, competitive and special needs gymnastics, dance, trampoline, and tumbling. HOH also offers seasonal camps, birthday parties, field trips, Friday night Parent's Night Out, and regular physical education classes for several local preschools.
In the past few years, we have had many major accomplishments. Katreece Stone, our Executive Director, also serves as the Head Coach for our competitive girls team program. As a result of her efforts, as well as the efforts of our extremely capable coaching staff, HOH continues to send many of our competitive gymnasts to States and Nationals every year. One of our Level 9 gymnasts, won All Around in 2010 at States, Regionals and Westerns (which encompasses all of the states on the western side of the U.S.) after a debilitating injury in 2008. In 2011, our HOH Level 9 Team became the NorCal State Champions. In 2012, two of our young athletes won titles at the 2012 Junior Olympic Western National Championship. For their achievements, they earned spots to visit the National Team Center in Texas’ Karolyi Ranch, an elite training camp where they trained with our national team coaches. In 2013 we are proudly sent five of our young athletes to the elite training camp.
In 2012 Michael Ashe joined our coaching staff. Michael, who serves as the vice president of the Northern California Gymnastics Judges Association and regional technical director of the National Gymnastics Judges Association as well as the state technical director of the Northern California Boys Gymnastics Association, is the new head coach for HOH’s competitive gymnastics boys’ team. As he builds his program at HOH the young men on his competitive boys team are winning more and more titles including three athletes qualifying to Nationals in 2013 and competing well.
In 2011, our fundraising efforts allowed us to offer the Emeryville Child Development Center, Emeryville's preschool, a scholarship for their weekly classes. Due to our Annual Spring Show Fundraiser we have also been able to continue to offer the Emeryville Recreation Department a greatly reduced rate to bring the Anna Yates students in the Rec Center's after school program to our facility every spring for classes during Session 4. Spring Show also funds our summer camp scholarships.
In November of 1977 Head Over Heels founder Kathleen Macchia opened the doors of our first facility. It was an 800 square foot space in Oakland, California. Within 18 months Head Over Heels classes had expanded as the student base had increased to 50 students.
She moved the organization into a 1,200 square foot shared space facility on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. During the four years that Head Over Heels operated at this location the student base grew to 250 and Kathleen rented an additional space down the street to accommodate all the classes.
In May 1983 Head Over Heels relocated to a larger space in Emeryville, CA. Within the eight years that Head Over Heels remained at this location the student body grew from 250 to 400 students. It was in this space that our competitive program began and our first competing team was born.
In May of 1991 Head Over Heels “packed its bags” once again and moved to 4701 Doyle Street, Suite 15 in Emeryville. The facility was 6,800 square feet and accommodated the student base's increase to 600. During this time the first circus arts classes were added to our program offerings. Unfortunately $75,000 of improvements were needed, an expenditure which left Head Over Heels reeling.
In 1996, Head Over Heels made the big move to 1250 45th Street. This 22,000 square feet facility was near triple the size with 19,600 square feet of gymnastics space, 2,000 square feet of beautiful hardwood dance floor upstairs, and 1,500 square feet of office space. This new space did propose quite a few challenges. Additional bathrooms, removal and additions of large concrete structures, and numerous high cost construction projects were required. The construction projects included relocating an ill placed restroom, removal of railroad tracks from the middle of the space, and replacing a great many broken windows. The space would not be fit for classes until all of the work was completed.
In January of 1997, Head Over Heels opened its doors for classes in the new facility. An adult program, capoeira, dance, and fitness classes as well as birthday parties were added to our repertoire.
In 1998, Kathleen decided to turn Head Over Heels into a non profit 501 (c)(3) organization in order to save it from the financial struggle it had suffered as a result of the move to Emeryville. A board of directors was chosen and Kathleen stayed on as executive director until she retired in 2000.
Toward the end of our ten year lease we began the search to find a new location that would suit our various programs. On Friday, March 31, 2006 we closed our doors at the 45th Street space and moved down the alley to our current space at 4701 Doyle Street, Bldg. F. With the volunteered help of the HOH staff and supporters we were able to move and reassemble the entire gym in five short days. The gym reopened for classes on Wednesday, April 5, 2006.
In November 2007, we celebrated our 30th year of providing athletic excellence for bay area children and families with a Gala at which we honored our founder Kathleen Macchia and celebrated our many accomplishments.
We take pride in having provided tens of thousands of children with a positive athletic experience though classes, camps, birthday parties, performances, and field trips. Kathleen Macchia’s dream of sharing her love of gymnastics over 30 years ago has evolved into a solid part of this community. Head Over Heels strives toward offering an exceptional gymnastics education; building an athletic foundation for our students that will benefit them in whatever sport they wish to pursue. We continue to fundraise to offer scholarships within our various programs and to give underserved children the opportunity to experience our services. We are truly proud to have touched so many lives and look forward to serving more children through partnerships with schools and other non profit organizations.