Rowland/Ballard School of Ballet & Gymnastics flourishes in tough economy
- Written by Emma Sobey Weaver
While many local businesses are suffering from the current economic woes that are sweeping the nation, some have flourished by embracing successful business philosophies that are the bedrock of their success. Walking into the Rowland/Ballard School of Ballet & Gymnastics on Kingwood Drive, it becomes clear why the school has been able to withstand even the worst economic crisis. Activity is endless and countless carloads of young gymnasts rush through the doors. The hallways of the building are crowded with students laughing and talking with their friends; everyone is having a good time. The students, happy and excited to be there, are dedicated to their sport. These students clearly reflect the philosophy that is the driving force behind the success of the Rowland/Ballard school: create and support a positive environment that enables kids to grow and thrive as adults. By staying true to this philosophy, the Rowland/Ballard school has become a mainstay of the Kingwood community. The school offers a variety of classes for all levels of skill and interest, (the students’ ages range from toddlers to teens and beyond) and specializes in instilling a family environment that nurtures and supports a highly competitive and accomplished sports program. Mike Rowland and Dave Ballard, business partners and friends committed to a common goal, believe that the success of the school’s programs is about more than just winning awards and national rankings; it’s about the impact their teachings will have on kids for years to come. “We want to be leaders in the community when it comes to kids,” said Ballard. “It is a blessing to be involved. You get to see kids grow up, become parents, and carry on traditions. It’s about the journey they make in their lives.” Both men know, from personal experience, how important journeys can be. The school itself has undergone an incredible journey over the years. Originally started in 1975 as a ballet school under the direction of Sheryl Rowland, a professional ballerina, the school has maintained a progressive attitude towards change since its inception. Over the years, the program gradually expanded into what it is today: a large program designed to meet a variety of needs while maintaining close personal relationships with their clients. Both men are also committed to the understanding that adaptation and growth are essential to meet the needs of kids today. Their newest adventure is the upcoming grand opening of their state-of-the art gymnastics facility in Atascocita on Nov. 1. The new facility will be the first phase in what is hoped to eventually be a sports complex geared specifically towards kids. The next phase, which is already being developed, will be a dance facility. Other ideas for expanding into other types of sports are currently being discussed, ensuring that the school will continue to meet the needs of the community. The 14,000 square-foot gymnastics facility features the very best in gymnastics equipment and efficient use of space, with a particular focus being on safety. The facility will predominantly house the Girls Team gymnasts, making room at the Kingwood facility to expand many of its classes, including the ever-popular Kindergym. The specially-trained coaching staff at the Rowland/Ballard School is dedicated to creating a safe, positive environment for students that will help kids be more successful for the rest of their lives. “As you get older, you recognize the impact you make on kids,” said Ballard. “The things the kids remember are the little the things they did. We believe the journey should be positive. It should be fun.” Registration opens in September. Additional information about classes can be found at www.rowlandballard.com/.