My name is Christy Smith and I am the owner of Step Ahead Gymnastics. I was born and raised in Jacksonville, NC. I have been coaching gymnastics for over 22 years and coaching Jacksonville All Star competitive cheer for 17 years. I majored in Psychology at UNCW and was a UNCW cheerleader. I coached at Gymnastics Unlimited in Wilmington & was the gymnastics director at Classic Gymnastics. I have a daughter Briley that loves the gym! Step Ahead is my life and my family! Our program is ran with structure and love of the sport. Thank you for being a part of our Step Ahead family!





Christy Smith


                           Heather Tinsley





I have lived in Jacksonville since I was 2. I started dance at 3 years old, gymnastics at 8, and cheerleading at 11. I cheered with Jacksonville All Stars since its founding year for 3 years and coached for 13 years. I started teaching gymnastics under the mentorship of Christy Smith for a total of 16 years. I also graduated with a BSW from UNCW and a MSW from ECU. My passion is working with children and building their self-confidence!







Ayana McLean has participated in gymnastics for ten years. She has spent six of those years competing for the Step Ahead Gymnastics team. She became a level eight gymnast before deciding to become a coach. She has been coaching for three years and absolutely loves being able to help young men and women achieve their goals. Seeing the look on a childs face when they have mastered a new skill is truly rewarding. Spending time getting to know all of the children and their personalities and seeing their love for the sport, that I have spent most of my life doing, creates a great bond that I will hold with me for years to come.






Ayana McLean


                                    Kim Culp


Coach Kim has been with Step Ahead since September 2008. She has 16 years of experience coaching competitive gymnastics. Coach Kim has worked with gymnasts of all ages, at a variety of skill levels. She is a hands on Coach that heads up our Competitive Program. She was a competitive gymnast and cheerleader in Texas through High School. Shortly after graduating University of North Texas with her MBA, she relocated to NC and made Jacksonville her new home. Coach Kim is safety certified, a Professional member of USA Gymnastics, and a certified Junior Olympic Development Coach. Her favorite part of Step Ahead is the family atmosphere. She aspires to be a strong role model and mentor to her gymnasts, and to help them grow in all aspects of life!


Hello, my name is Amber Marchetta. I am a Navy wife and mother of two preschool aged kids, Amilynn (4) and Logan (3). My interests outside of cheerleading include, homeschooling, volunteering, personal training, running, and spending quality family time.

My personal cheer career started at 5 and carried through to college at Northern Illinois University. My time as a Husky cheerleader lead me to my real love for the sport, coaching. I worked for SuperCDA for 7 consecutive years, starting as a camp instructor and working my way to become one of the camp directors, choreographer, and private instructors. Post college I went on to coach at Glenbard East (Lombard) High School and returned to my alma mater, St Charles North High School.

I took three years away from the sport to have my family and reestablish a new normal for our lives. We were fortunate to be stationed here at Lejeune and quickly became a part of the Step Ahead family. Christy has made Lejuene feel like home to us, welcoming my kids into multiple classes a week and employing me as a tumble instructor and coach.

My coaching style is consistent with my goals. Pushing to reach full potential is tough but rewarding. Skills will be the foundation of our season but we cannot build without traits of great character. I believe in advanced teamwork, trust building, and mature communications. Your athletes will be coached on the mat and off. Thank you for the opportunity to work with your child. Lets work together to make the 2016-2017 a year to remember.


Amber Marchetta