ELKHORN, Neb. (KMTV) — Over the past 12 years Metro Stars has grown from a gym where it’s owners, Erik and Elizabeth Lilla, did everything to now having 100 employees. They’re doing the best they can to stay afloat while their gyms are closed by offering new online classes.
Marching in a circle with her own children, Elizabeth Lilla, teaches an online gymnastics class for toddlers while other students join from home.
“We're a very hands on business,” Lilla said. “Clearly we're in a time where hands on is not safe. We had to figure out how can we take a purely hands on activity and do it over the internet?”
Zoom was their answer. Students sign up for classes online, then get a class link emailed to them as well as a basic supply list.
“This is not what we were trained to do,” Lilla said. “This is not what our job is designed to be. It’s hard for us. Our favorite part of coaching is connecting with our kids and now we have to find a new way to connect.”
Lilla chats with students and parents as they go.
“Parents, you're going to hold at the shoulders to help them come up,” Lilla said to her class. “We're never going to pull at their belly because its very uncomfortable.”
The goal for this toddler class is to get them moving; the class for older kids and teens focuses on conditioning.
“At this point it's keeping up their physical fitness,” Lilla said. “We're looking at strength and conditioning, we do stretching classes, we have floor drills, we can do so their bodies are conditioned and ready for the bigger skills.”
Lilla recognizes this may be their reality for a while. Metro Stars is trying to keep their expenses down by keeping the lights off and heat low. And they haven’t been able to give their part-time employees hours during their closure.
“What this (online classes) will help us do is keep that full-time staff and give them confidence that we can keep them on in their original job as long as possible,” Lilla said.
Metro Stars is also offering curbside gymnastics; bags filled with items to do basic gymnastics skills at home, and another option filled with surprise items from their pro-shop.