“C” IS FOR — Cyndi Zaleski recently opened Cyndi’s Cheer Clinic at Omega Health and Fitness. Pictured, back row, from left: Teresa Mazuchowski, Madison Fiorello, Kayleigh Seneca, Jillian Loft, Kailyn Flick, Allison Groth, Natalie Evans, Zaleski and Lynna Todorov. Front row: Lizzy Ralls, Sarah Ralls, Aubrey Hahn, Lillian Haha and Ally Pinkowski. Photo submitted by Zaleski.
HAMBURG — Lake View resident Cyndi Zaleski said that she is not only passionate about cheering, but also about teaching the practice.
After leaving her previous position coaching Hamburg Little Loop Cheerleading, she said she started her own cheer clinic, to teach girls the practice in a patient, positive and non-competitive environment.
“There’s a lot of girls that have anxiety about competing, and standing in front of a bunch of people and doing routines,” Zaleski said. “So I opened a non-competitive cheer program. It’s the fun of learning how to cheer and stunt and jump.”
Cyndi’s Cheer Clinic is held at Omega Health and Wellness, located at 5893 Camp Road in Hamburg. The location, now under new management by Justin Nowak and Beth Bratty-Guthrie, provides facilities for fitness, personal training, a protein shake bar and more. Bratty-Guthrie and Nowak previously managed another gym until they brought their services to Omega on Dec. 21, 2012.
All of Omega’s staff is CPR and AED certified and Zaleski is personally certified by the United States All Star Federation for cheering. The clinic offers seven junior coaches, sourced from Frontier and Hamburg schools, and two certified coaches.
Cyndi’s Cheer Clinic provides five classes for girls and boys, ages 4 and older. “Non-competitive cheerleading” is a class to learn the fundamentals of that sport, without the team commitment.
The “cheer prep” class is for students who plan to try out for middle or high school cheer teams. Zaleski uses her background as a school coach intern, to help improve and instruct students about what judges will be looking for.
She explained that a one-hour “jump class” teaches participants about all of the proper skills for jumping; she added that she encourages stunt groups from school or recreational cheer teams to attend the “stunt class.” Private or semi-private lessons are also available.
“It gives me a feeling like nothing ever has,” she said.
“I love watching the smiles on their faces. I love watching them accomplish their goals. It gives me such joy and pride. There’s no pressure; that’s why I love being here.”
Parents of participating children will receive a personal discount to the Omega fitness facilities that are located on Camp Road in Hamburg.
Zaleski said that song selections for routine practices are always clean. For the very young participants, she uses songs from the Kidz Bop© music collection.
The cheer clinic currently has 18 members. Zaleski has advertised by word of mouth, newspapers, fliers and assistance from Julie Loft, whose daughter is a member of the clinic.
“Being a mom of three girls, I’ve looked for cheerleading in the Southtowns, beyond Hamburg Little Loop and the Carnegie Scranton Recreation Association, and there is really nothing,” Loft said.
“I want to make it positive for everybody. I don’t want the pressure,” Zaleski said. “I want everybody to have fun, and be excited to come back.”
Information about the Omega Cheetahs of Cyndi’s Cheer Clinic may be found online at www.omegaofhamburg.com
under events/news (choose Cyndi’s Cheer Clinic), or on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/cyndischeerclinic
View photos of the clinic on Instagram, under the handle @Cyndis_Cheer_Clinic.
For more information, call 393-6300.