It all began in 1969:
June 1969 – Patti taught acrobatics at the Dyer United Methodist Church. There were approximately 35 students. Patti was 16 years old. This was the summer after her sophomore year in high school. She used a 3’ wide x 15’ long carpet runner to teach.
February 1972 – Patti’s Acrobatic Studio opened at 215 Joliet Street in Dyer. Classes were offered for children ages 3-18. Patti’s had 200 students that year. Rent was $185/month.
September 1973 – Patti also taught acrobatic classes at St. James Gym in Sauk Village, Ridge United Methodist Church in Munster, and at the V.F.W. Hall in St. John, as well as the 215 Joliet Street studio.
June 1974 – Patti’s moved to 439B Joliet Street in Dyer (now a shop across from St. Joseph’s Church). It had a linoleum floor so Patti purchased her first “crash pad.”
August 1977 – Patti’s Acrobatic & Exercise Studio moved to 1900 Lake St. in Dyer. That was the industrial building behind Home Lumber. It was 1600 sq. feet. Also started ladies fitness classes choreographed to the album, “Saturday Night Fever”.
Summer 1980 – Patti substituted for Jack Pancott at a USAIGC National Seminar for a birthday party lecture in Las Vegas. Since then, she has been lecturing nationally on preschool and business every year at regional and national seminars.
September 1980 – Aerobic classes were started at the St. John Township Community Center and the Sherwood Club. We had 455 ladies registered for classes in 1981, thank you Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons. Prenatal classes were formed and continued until 1985.
Summer 1981 – Patti’s changed its name and adopted a logo for Patti’s Gymnastic & Fitness Center, Inc. Students raised $10,000 for the blind at a Lake County Cooperative in the Flip for Sight Fundraising Event at Southlake Mall.
June 1982 – The Merrillville Business and Professional Women’s Club selected Patti as Young Careerist.
September 1982 – The Cedar Lake Studio opened at 9504 W. 133rd Ave. (374-6677). We offered gymnastics, dance, aerobics and slimnastics. Patti opened Patti’s Gymnastics & Dancing School 439B Joliet St. in Dyer. She started couples aerobics classes and “Family Aerobics” both in Dyer and Cedar Lake.
September 1983 – The Dancing School was created at Richard Rd. (behind First Midwest Bank). The preschool exhibition team called, “Patti’s Tiny Tumblers” was created for ages 3-6 years old.
February 1984 – Aerobic classes opened in Crown Point Studio above Olympic Health Club at 210 Main Street.
April 1984 – Patti’s moved to 2013 Clark Rd. in Dyer with 7300 sq ft.
June-December 1984 – We offered break dancing lessons and had approximately 55 students (1200 total students).
February 1986 – Patti’s began offering tumbling lessons and slimnastics classes at Carriage Club in Griffith. She also started selling videotapes and lesson plans this month to gyms throughout the country.
June 1986 – The first dance recital was held at Lake Central. Patti began a swimming lessons program at her home. Two gymnasts qualified for state.
June 1, 1988 – Patti opened the Highland Gym at 9219 Indianapolis Blvd. Hector Garcia taught Karate there.
August 15, 1989 – Patti’s moved into present facility at 1530 Joliet St. in Dyer.
March 1990 – Bought a Tumblebus (a school bus with seats removed and then furnished with gymnastics equipment). We visited 11 daycares and the kids took lessons on the bus.
December 1992 – Patti presented 18 national and regional seminars during 1992.
June 1993– Patti’s was named the Hammond Times #1 “Best of the Region” and every year since then.
August 1994 – Patti’s celebrated 25 years in business! An open house, semi-formal reception, and other festivities were held.
2001 –Patti’s was named #1 “Best of Region” for the ninth time. We held two dance recitals. Patti bought more equipment including the Air-Trak and Air-Mat.
2002 – Taught gym at Omni, Kelly Komara Basketball Camp, and started weekly Tuesday Theme Summer Camps.
2003 – Patti named USAG Business Leader of the Year, Artistics Coverings, Inc. started producing Komara Bear mats.
2004 – Three recitals in one day and we bought Patti’s All-American PT Cruiser.
2005 – All time preschool enrollment (504). New electronic sign by Rt. 30.
2006 – All time school age (732), canopy by pool built, and we started Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool.
2007 – 864 students enrolled in the swim program, and highest Dance (503).
2008 – Karate with Anthony Spears started November 2008 and installed a new spring floor.
2009– Celebrated our 40 year anniversary with Olympians Samantha Peszek and Bridget Sloan. Had a big party for Diane and Paula’s 20th anniversary with the company. The staff gave Patti surprise party. We had the parking lot seal coated and a security system installed. We performed at the Dyer fest.
2010-Introduced adult yoga, line-dancing, and hip hop classes for adults. Started participating at local Fun Fairs.
2011-Hosted a Tumblebear Fitwear fashion show. Redecorated dance school area, participated in world handstand contest. Trademarked the name Gym-N-Learn, and started Winter Classic Meets. Had princess greeters at the door and Champion Meets.
2012 – Updated waiting areas by building counters on back of bleachers. Started Demo Squad, Competition Classes, and Dancing with the Princess Class. Extended the length of various gymnastics classes
Spring 2013– Official PAA song and dance introduced to gymnasts and dancers at Patti’s All-American.
Spring 2013-Added counters and stools to the back of the bleachers in the lobby and upstairs.
Spring 2013 – Updated Dance Connection logo and painted logo along with the dance benefit words in dance room.
Summer of 2013-Started the PAA Hip Hop Crew and Jr. and All-Star Cheer classes.
November 2013 – To kick-off the “re-invention of Teddy Tumblebear and the Tumblebear Gym Program”… had a large Teddy Tumblebear costume created so it could be used at special events and parties. Also, all Tumblebear Gym Program, Gym-N-Learn, and Dancing Gym Bear students were given a plush Teddy Tumblebear of their very own.
2014-Patti’s All-American celebrates 45 year in business! We thank all our past and current students and their families for this amazing achievement. We were voted “Best of the Region” for the 20th time in a row. Patti hosted a party for staff and family to celebrate the milestone. Introduced the new Teddy Tumblebear song to the Tumblebear Gym Program. On April 21, celebrated Teddy Tumblebear’s birthday throughout the gym. Extensive remodeling of the gym including:
- All new flooring in the lobby, dressing room, upstairs
- New doors, handles, and framework
- New color scheme
- Electronic bulletin boards
- New design in bathrooms
- Complete remodel of the dressing room
- New lighting in lobby
- New cabinets and seating in dressing room
March 2015 – First annual Shamrock-N-Roll show held at Clark Middle School. Over 800 people attended and we had 32 vendors
Spring 2015 – Started Ninja Zone classes (a combination of gymnastics, Parkour, obstacle course training, and karate)
Spring 2015 – New electronic sign and landscaping (completed fall 2015)
Spring 2015 – Patti’s All-American was voted #1 Best of the Region in gymnastics for the 21st year in a row
August 2015 – Huge Open House, attended by hundreds. Elmo and Spiderman were there, games, face painting, balloon twisting, DJ, and mini sample classes were available
October 2015 – First annual Thriller show held at Clark Middle School. Over 800 people were attended and over 32 vendors
March 2016 – Second Shamrock Showcase with 450 students performing. Also, we had over 1200 guests and 30 vendors
May 2016 – Hosted first Ninja Zone Expo with 50 participants showing off their new Ninja skills to parents and family members
May 2016 – Were named Best of the Region in Gymnastics (22 year in a row) and Best of the Region for dance (3 years in a row)
Oct. 2016 – Patti was named “Innovator of Year” by the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana. Patti was selected as one of the 18 people inducted into the Society for the class of 2016. Candidates were selected from the counties of Lake, Porter, Jasper, Pulaski, La Porte, Newton, and Starke.
Oct. 2016—Raised $4,000 For The American Cancer Society
Dec. 2016—Diane Spevacek was promoted to Vice-President of Operations
Dec. 2016—Rhonda Zaluckyj was promoted to Vice-President of Sales
Dec. 2016—Patti Komara was named President/CEO of Patti’s All-American