FARMINGTON - Gymnastics and cheerleading can teach students how not to shy away from challenging their bodies.

This pursuit of excellence with mind and body is the end result of students spending hours practicing, performing and competing, according to Lynn Bauman, owner of Farmington Gymnastics & Cheer.

The studio reopened March 11, inside a new, two-story building with 9,500 square feet on Elm Street. For nine months she did not have a building for students to practice while the new building was under construction.

"Thank god for surrounding communities like Rosemount, Northfield and Lakeville that provided spaces for us to train with 19 kids for a whole season," Bauman said.

The public is invited to check out the new studio and summer and fall programs at the open gym and celebratory open house scheduled 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at its new location at 315 Elm St., Farmington.

Legacy of gymnastics

Bauman's career path was laid more than 25 years ago. As a young girl, Bauman grew up training with gymnastics and competed at an elite level at the former Thompson Academy Gymnastics (TAG) that was operated at the time in Burnsville.

Bauman, 43, excelled in gymnastics at Farmington High School where she carries the honor of being named the first student to win a state championship in gymnastics (in 1991) and is now heralded in the FHS Hall of Fame.

Bauman began coaching in high school. She learned to love teaching gymnastics and soon desired to teach youngsters how to gain skills and build confidence so their bodies could soar to new heights.

"This career is very rewarding, especially in Farmington ... I wouldn't go anywhere else," Bauman said, who was born and raised in town.

Even after being enticed with college athletic scholarships, Bauman said she decided to stay in Farmington, get married and have children, a decision she does not regret. She started the gymnastics program for Farmington Public Schools in 2010 and taught at the high school.

Today as a teacher and entrepreneur, she finds personal fulfillment working with all ages of youth and encouraging them toward excellence and fun with fitness.

Bauman's daughter coaches the cheer team and her son helps out in many ways at the family small business.

New location, new landscape

Farmington Gymnastics reopened this month in a newly constructed, two-story building that changes the downtown business district landscape. The school, formerly located down the road near the grocery store in the shopping center, relocated due to the U.S. post office taking over the commercial space.

"All five of our teams made it to division this year," Bauman proudly remarks as she smiles big for photos with her girls. Some of the teenage girls have been involved with gymnastics since they were pint-sized.

Students compete within the growing sport as part of the Midwest Amateur Gymnastics Association.

Upstairs, preschool students can learn all the basic large motor skills on the smaller beams and mats. All students work to strengthen core muscles by deploying large motor skills with physical feats on high and low bars and beams. These physical skills eventually teach students how to trust their bodies, build and boost balance and agility, and learn how to be tenacious and fearless.

Youngsters from preschool through 18 years old can explore gymnastics and cheerleading. The cheer teams are part of the All-Star Cheerleading which competes without pompoms and learns athletic stunts with lots of tumbling and dance routines.

"Our tumbling is like the movie with aggressive pyramids - we have different levels and it is a growing sport that can help other sports ... like wrestlers and hockey players who learn agility and balance," Bauman said. "We get the kids comfortable doing things so they are not going to be afraid of doing it because we have done drills that help them. So when they are ready to do it they are not scared of it, and when they do get we can go back in and clean it up."