Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

(Photo Provided: Cheryl Zeiger, center, with some of her students.)

Cheryl Zeiger has spent 23 years teaching little ones how to flip, tumble, and cartwheel at her gymnastics studio, Cheryl’s Gymnastics, in Charlotte. It’s time, she decided, to take some time for herself and her family and is retiring from the business. Friends and family have planned a retirement party for her at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center on Sunday, January 14, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and former and current students and their families are invited.

The tumbling will continue, though, as she has passed the business on to the Jackie and Brian Lautzenheiser family, who have promised to continue to grow her legacy. Zeiger spent three years beyond her planned retirement date to find just the right people to take over the business. The Lautzenheiser family has a combined 15 years of gymnastic experience with Ms. Cheryl and she considers them “the perfect family to take over when I retire.”

“Cheryl has loved, supported, and challenged each of our kids and brought out the best in them,” Brian Lautzenheiser declared in a Facebook post.

“Gymnastics is a great way to develop self-confidence, body control, coordination, and strength in children,” Zeiger said, “and it lays a great foundation for other sports.” Zeiger’s students range from two years old to high school age.

“We’ve had businesses tell us that they like to hire our gymnastic assistants,” husband Dan Zeiger said, “because they know that they will be responsible, good employees.”

What will Ms. Cheryl do, now that she’s retired? Her ten grandchildren keep her busy, she said, and she loves to be outside, gardening, enjoying the birds, and doing yardwork. This fall she was able to attend her grandchildren’s school and sporting events, which she loves to do.

“She’s using this time to figure out what she wants for her future,” her husband said. “God will point her in the right direction.”
Zeiger started doing gymnastics as a young child but doesn’t want her students to be under the kind of performance pressure she felt. “It should be fun,” she explained, “I gave up a lot of my childhood for competitions.”

“Her goal is to love on the kids,” her husband Dan said. “She believes it should be a fun, positive experience, and her excitement, enthusiasm, and love for those kids stands out.”

Zeiger started out working with nine cheerleaders in 2000, and the business just took off from there. Now there are 250 students in the program, coming from all around the Eaton County area.

“My kids have been going to Cheryl’s Gymnastics for over ten years,” said Quinn Underwood, “and she has become like family to us. The kids have learned so much from her and just absolutely adore her.”

Cheryl’s Gymnastic studio is located at 119 South Washington in Charlotte. You can contact them at (517)203-8050 or