We haven’t gotten “rich” at this profession, but we hope we have “enriched” the time that students have spent with us. From the basement of a home to a mountain top in Switzerland, lows and the highs were experienced. Thank you to over 2,000 dancers recorded in our recital programs, all the T&T athletes whose photos line halls, all the children that learned how to swim, all the seniors that received the health benefits of workouts in the warm water and all of our recreational kids, babies, moms, dads, and grandparents that have supported J&J’s. We are training our 3rd generation of athletes and love it when someone comes into register their grandchild and says, "Do you remember Me?”
– JOAN & JAN
Having taken dance at the Ballet School of Gary Roberts and landing a spot on the Rockford Youth Ballet Troup, Miss Joan decides to invest all of her savings to install a dance floor in the basement of her parent's ranch home as a senior in high school.
Soon after, 12 students enroll for $0.50 per half hour, dancing to music playing from a record player. In the winter, a fire blazes in the background, as no heat line runs into the room.
All four of Joan and Jan's children participated in their programs. After Joan's daughter, Megan Cunningham Gearhart, won the World Women's Championship Tumbling title in 1987, the need to expand became clear and land was bought to build J&J's current building.
J&J begins a competitive dance team and the building undergoes construction – splitting the office in half for the addition of a second dance room.
J&J sells the pool to Catch the Wave – an establishment owned by former J&J swim instructor, Nick McDaniel.
Joan and Jan move the studio upstairs to the Odd Fellows Hall in Pecatonica, renting for $100 a month. There, they install two rows of mats, one trampoline and a balance beam through a viewing window they opened up in the wall. A school bus was purchased to store and haul equipment to Byron High School and the Winnebago Co. Fairgrounds for a much needed larger space for tumbling runs.
Joan moves her dance studio to an old harness shop in the middle of Winnebago. Her sister, Jan, having also danced and learned acrobatics, joins the business as an instructor and secretary.
J&J removes two of five Olympic trampolines to install a new cheer floor and forms a competitive cheerleading team. The floor is also used for Starbaby classes and a conditioning space for tumbling classes and competitive teams.
J&J comes under new ownership.
(Left to Right: Jan Butler, Alissa Fox, Amanda Schock, Lindsey Hearn, Julie Wilkins, Megan Gearhart, Joan Cunningham)
A warm water pool, front hallway and two more trampolines are added (for a total of five trampolines).
A large dance room and office space are added to the building built in Pecatonica.
J&J establishes its first competitive tumbling and trampoline team.