Yvonne Shuttleworth - Owner
Most of my previous career history was office based until 2006 when I took the plunge to open my own business, firstly as a 'The Little Gym' franchise and then in 2010 re-branding as Balance & Beam Gymnastics. We now have over 500 children attending on a weekly basis so literally thousands have come through the doors since we opened and it's a real privilege to have been part of their lives.
I have various High School qualifications including A levels, Child Psychology, Childcare Learning & Development Level 3, including the importance of play along with Business Management courses & a Business Mentor/Coach to back me up and of course a love of gymnastics and getting little people into a physical environment from a very early age.
I have a wonderful husband, who is an avid road cyclist, 3 grown up children, Elliott, owner of Boom Battlebar, Jordan, owner of Capacity Functional Fitness in Eccleshall, Holly, a Junior Litigation Executive and CILEX at a Solicitors in Manchester and a gorgeous little grand daughter, Bella, 4 who has been coming to classes here since she was 4 months old.
I love being physically active and being 'functionally fit' courtesy of Capacity FF, running, road biking and the odd triathlon when I get chance.
Pam Green - Marketing Consultant & HR
This is a great job for me as I have always been active. At school I was part of the swimming team gaining many certificates including teaching qualifications. I loved anything sport and was involved in the Duke of Edinburgh programme and achieved my Bronze Award.
I still enjoy going to the gym which I do regularly with my lovely husband Phil. I also love walking and we try and go for a walk every evening. Getting away from TV, mobile phones and IPads and just having a catch-up. We have two grown up children and a beautiful little granddaughter, Violet Dolly who I love to spoil.
I joined the Balance & Beam team in March 2014 to help Yvonne spread the Balance & Beam word and can honestly say I enjoy every minute of my working day. It is such an amazing positive place to work. We have lots of laughs at some of the funny things your little people say and do and seeing our little members develop and blossom week by week is so rewarding and testament to our fantastic programme.
My mission is to help get as many children as possible Cartwheeling into a Happy healthy Life.
Rachel Askey - Programme Manager
I have been involved in gymnastics since the age of 5 and have competed for club, county and region. I keep myself active taking part in adult gymnastics, running and mountain biking.
I love teaching children and I have taught PE in primary and secondary schools for the last 15 years and have also coached gymnastics. I love interacting with young people and watching them develop. It is brilliant to see children developing new skills and having so much fun.
I’m so excited to be working at Balance & Beam
Charlotte Cartwright - Gymnastics & Child Development Instructor
I have worked at Balance & Beam since October 2015, enjoying every moment of it. It's been amazing for me to see so many children develop in so many different ways and me being a part of that feels great. I also love my job as I always get to meet new children and help them to develop socially & emotionally as well as ensuring they're having fun!
After leaving school and college with a variety of dance, drama and sporting qualifications, I am now continuing my education studying a Sociology & Criminology degree at Staffordshire University.
I am completed my Level 1 Women’s Artistic Gymnastics qualification and looking to start my Level 2 once I have finished Uni.
I am very sporty and active! I trained and competed for a netball team for 7 years.
I also have a passion for dance and attend dance classes every week. Before dancing, I competed for City of Stoke Gymnastics Squad in the West Midlands Regional Competitions and for trained for 9 years.
I really enjoy working at Balance & Beam as it has enabled me to use all my sporting skills to help children develop their motor and gymnastics skills.
Lauren Gorton - Child Development Instructor
Before working here at Balance and Beam, throughout my school years, I had been a part of various sports teams, aiming to give something new a shot every year, including running, hockey and cheerleading, amongst other activities. After leaving school, I continued to stay active and when the opportunity to work for Balance & Beam arose, I couldn't wait to join the team.
I have worked at Balance & Beam for 2 years now, and I have loved every second of it! Working here is amazingly rewarding to see so many little people grow, blossom and develop! And, as well as seeing so many little people develop, the job has certainly helped me in my own personal development, making a better me. I'll always be proud to say that I have been a part of Team B&B!
In my spare time, I enjoy spending lots of time outdoors with friends (if the weather allows us, of course). I also spend time with my family and enjoy staying active by running or going for walks. Aside from this, I have a passion for reading a good book and doing anything creative!
Sofia De Caso - Party Host
I’m 19 years old and used to come to Balance & Beam when I was only 6 years old and I remember it being one of the best things I ever did! I no longer do gymnastics but love sport and I'm so glad to be back here and, working with the children is exciting, fun and very rewarding, the best thing is seeing them really enjoy themselves!
I have just finished my 2nd year of college, my first year was studying an art course in Murcia, Spain and I'm really looking forward to spending more time at Balance & Beam. It's a great experience and inspires me regarding what I would like to do in the future
Phoebe De Caso - Child Development Instructor &Party Host
I’m 16 years old and have been working at Balance & Beam for around a year and a half now. I am studying at college and get to have fun in the gym in the evenings and weekends. I have done gymnastics for a long time and was even a member here personally when I was 4.
I really enjoy teaching here and socialising with little people. I find it very satisfying to watch the children grow & develop and build their confidence in class.
Working here has really developed my personal skills and confidence too and I’m really excited to work with children and being a part of their early years development
Luke Greathead - Child Development & Gymnastics Instructor
I am 'the best' male instructor in the Balance & Beam Team (yeah, I'm the only one) & I love every minute of it.
I moved into the area when I began to study History and Politics at Keele University. When this job came up it was perfect for me. I have been doing gymnastics for as long as I can remember and when I was 14 I began to volunteer as a coach for my local gymnastics club.
Working with children of all abilities and seeing them develop as a person and as a gymnast is very rewarding and one of the best parts of this job.
Unfortunately, I'm only here term times so don't get to see you all the time.
Francesca Reading - Child Development & Gymnastics Instructor
I'm 18 years old and I have done gymnastics for the entirety of my life and competed competitively till I was 16. Sport has always been a big factor in my life as I enjoy staying active!
Working here at Balance & Beam has enabled me to develop new skills and confidence but most of all I enjoy being able to watch our little gymnasts grow
Lauren Anderson - Child Development & Gymnastics Instructor
Hi my name is Lauren and I used to be a gymnast. The floor was my favourite piece of equipment because I absolutely loved to tumble. I also went on to do athletics and represented the West Midlands. I have always been a very sporty kid and have always gotten involved with sports clubs in and out of school. The Gym is one of my favourite places to be!
I am currently at Stoke Sixth Form College where I am studying Maths, Chemistry and Biology ( not the easiest subjects I know!). I am hoping to one day become a doctor in the A&E department, and one day become a consultant.
I started at Balance & Beam in September 2020 and I already know it’s a great job for me. I love helping all the children have fun and improve and I’m looking forward to my future here!
“I just wanted to email you and say a huge THANK YOU.- For listening to mine and my daughter’s concerns and for suggesting ways to help, and WOW did it help. To see her little face in class and others too, smiling and laughing & enjoying what they were doing. As her Mum I knew I needed to and trusted you enough to be able to talk to you. You proved me right, by listening, taking on board my concerns and changing things slightly to help my daughter I know to each and every parent, their child is special and they are the only thing that matters at that point, whereas you have hundreds of children to think of. Again, you embrace each and every child and this is unique and special. A well-deserved thank you and I’m proud to be part of the Balance & Beam Family”
“Just wanted to share with you this video of Edith conquering her fear this week and say a massive thank you, because it’s all down to your hard work and dedication. I know this doesn’t look like much, but believe it or not this tiny little beam is the root of all her fear! She had a nasty slip on it about a year ago and bust her lip, and since then has been scared of anything even remotely beam-like. Coming to gym has done wonders for her confidence and every single day she gets more and more adventurous when we are at the playground or even just messing about in the garden. Tackling the “original” beam at forest school this week is a huge thing for Edie and just goes to show how much her confidence has improved. Thank you all so much for everything you’ve done for her. The progress she has made makes a difference to her every day ”
“What a wonderful 1st birthday party we had today, thank you so much for making it a very special day for our little boy. All the parents & children had a great interactive session and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Lucie & Mike, mummy & daddy to Dexter”
“Would like to say a HUGE thank you for Macy's birthday party on Sunday, Mel and Ellie are a credit to Balance & Beam, so welcoming and organised, and generally lovely girls, really kept the children engaged, all the children had a lovely time and were asking their parents if they could come again, all the parents were impressed how lovely the gym was and just how fab the instructors were. Macy loved every minute, best party ever, so thank you again, especially to your lovely girls Mel and Ellie xx”
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the best ever party. I didn't have to do anything at all, it was so stress free and the girls in the gym were amazing. We'll certainly be back next year”
“Just a quick note to say thank you for all that you do at balance & beam, Thanks for the lovely bond you’ve all built with K & us as a family, For the time & effort you put into developing your children through the well thought out themes which you explain thoroughly in class, Keeping the Facebook page fun & exciting with birthdays & star of the week, The end of term certificates that we keep & the stickers you give which mostly get squashed or chewed but are very welcome, For your newsletters so we know exactly what’s happening & for all the other activities you make possible that we’ll look forward to joining in with as K grows, I can’t wait to have a birthday party with you! Thanks for always being so caring & asking how we are & for being so accommodating with our classes on weeks when K hasn’t been too well over the winter, Your skills at knowing how to safely encourage our little girl when she was just 4 months old & started coming to class have been so enriching for her, We’re very proud to be a part of balance & beam, thanks for facilitating such a fabulous skill locally, “Thank you ladybirds” ”
“For me balance and beam is now one of four core elements of care / socialisation for a toddler in their early stages. Exercise, strength and learning things in a class environment & out school clubs all obvious extra bonuses.”
“I just wanted to send in a testimonial for Setta for the Sunday advanced class. She does a superb job of the class every week and makes a big effort to give them a fully rounded gymnastics class - giving all the class their own routine is the icing of that cake. What I wanted to point out was how she is genuinely engaged with the kids to the point where it is clear how happy the children learning and improving makes her. It's lovely to see and I'm glad that my daughter gets such a pleasant, capable and committed coach each week. Rob, Dad to Emmy S (Aged 9 years) ”
“This was one of the most relaxing parties I’ve had. From a parent’s viewpoint, it's such a simple party to organise....and from the party girl’s viewpoint.....'epic party again Mum, even better than last year’s!”
“I've been coming to camps for 5 years and love spending time in the gym. My little sister Phoebe comes with me now so we have even more fun together”
“Thanks so much for making our birthday party so much fun yet again. This was Mollie's 4th Birthday party here and again all the staff were wonderful. Thanks so much to Yvonne & the team!!”
“My daughter Freya regularly attends camps in the school holidays. She really enjoys the wide range of activities. The camps feature time in the gym as well as some fun crafty time. As a parent I know that I am leaving Freya in a safe, supportive and engaging learning environment and when she is picked up she is already looking forward to her next camp”
“Just a quick note to say how great I thought the class was last night - a whole world away from the last gymnastics class he did. Really good fun and a great variety of activities - I was amazed that he was doing the running/jumping forward rolls after a couple of attempts. He also really enjoyed it - he's not normally the most enthusiastic but he was talking about it all the way home after class and telling his friends the following morning on the walk in to school ”