DIXON – Deb Devine DeLancey didn’t have anywhere to go to practice gymnastics growing up, a problem she decided to remedy for others 40 years ago.
The Dixon native opened Gymnastics Divine in 1976 at the Westwood Fitness and Sports Center in Sterling, and moved to 110 E. First St. in Dixon about 11 years ago.
“I really wanted to make sure that other kids had the opportunity that I did not have,” she said.
DeLancey, 62, is celebrating the 4-decade mark with a “Fabulous Forty” themed spring production, which will showcase 120 gymnasts ages 4 to 18 from the center’s recreation, performance and competitive teams.
They will be performing favored routines from throughout the years at noon and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Dixon Armory, 412 W. Everett St. Tickets are $12 if ordered in advance at gymnasticsdivine.com, or $15 at the door.
DeLancey said the show is high-energy and fast-moving.
Beyond physical education class, she said there was no gymnastics outlet in the area, and after college, she realized her passion was in teaching the sport she loved and building great athletes, inside and out.
On top of physical training, DeLancey teaches character education and mental discipline techniques that students can use during training and competition or in their daily lives.
She said 33 of her students recently qualified for nationals, and she has a history of state and national, All-American and Junior Olympics winners.
“I still have the same level of passion and have no thoughts of retiring,” DeLancey said. “I love what I do.”