Sarah Wharton Rhino, Owner
Sarah Wharton Rhino, Owner & Director, is a native Atlantan and past competitive gymnast, collegiate cheerleader, and director. She has a Masters degree from Georgia State University in College & Professional Sports Administration with her undergraduate degree in Recreation & Sports Management from Indiana University. Sarah has coached gymnastics and cheerleading at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Georgia Tech, Pace Academy, The Lovett School and North Springs Charter School for the past 11 years. She was a professional cheerleader for the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers from 2009-2011. Sarah has managed and directed a gymnastics & cheerleading program, and coached for over 20 years in both Atlanta and St. Simons Island, Georgia and Bloomington, Indiana.
Sarah trained gymnastics through USAG Level 8 at GYMSET in Marietta, Georgia until she retired at the age of 18 and has since competed as an adult through AAU in the Platinum Division. She cheered co-ed at the collegiate level at Indiana University, competed all-star cheerleading co-ed Level 5 at Pro Cheer All Stars and cheered 4 years at Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs. Sarah is a professional member of USA Gymnastics and has sat on the Southeast Regional Advisory Board for USASF. She is credentialed through USASF Level 5 stunts, tumbling and tosses and was the Assistant Cheerleading Coach at Georgia Tech from 2014-2015 and 2003-2005. Sarah has judged both nationally and internationally for NCA and UCA in varies cities in the U.S. including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, and internationally in Costa Rica.
As an Owner of The Peach Pit since 2015, she hopes to inspire young athletes to reach their personal best physically, mentally and athletically. She believes in the total athlete mentality with the knowledge that each day in the gym is a journey and each coach leaves an impression on your child's life. As a mentor and coach, Sarah believes that each child returns to the gym because of how she makes them feel and knows that your child will walk away with more than just athletic talent.
Jasmine Batie, General Manager Collier Rd
Jasmine comes to us from Mobile, Alabama where she studied Business Management for 3 years at the University of South Alabama. She put her passion for people to use with 8 years of management experience in the retail and beauty industry at Bob Steele Salon. Jasmine grew up in the dance world and is excited to switch gears and re-enter the world of gymnastics, cheer, and dance as The Peach Pit's new General Manager.
Our Posh Peeps
All gymnastics & dance coaches and instructors at The Peach Pit are certified in USAG Safety and Risk Management or possess a BFA in Dance. In addition to USAG Safety certification, our all-star cheerleading coaches have completed their USASF Credentialing in stunts, tosses and tumbling. Each coach was hired specifically with a range of skillsets to fully encompass what it takes to be a strong and competitive gymnast, cheerleader and dancer.
Alexis Pudlo, Director of Competitive Gymnastics
All the way from the suburbs of Chicago, Alexis has been coaching gymnastics competitively and recreationally for the past 10 years. She competed up to Level 9 in the USA Gymnastics system before beginning her coaching career at her home gym of Phenom Gymnastics. After graduating with her bachelors, she moved to Atlanta in 2013 and has since recently graduated from Mercer University School of Medicine with her Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy, and also works as a family therapist in Midtown.
Fun Fact: While in college she was a member of the Gamma Phi Circus!
Kelsey Smith, Director of Xcel Gymnastics
Coach Kelsey joined The Peach Pit family all the way from the suburbs of Washington D.C. She recently moved to Atlanta with her husband and three cats (Brie, Cheddar, and Mozzarella). She has been coaching Xcel for 7 years where she has had incredible success with her former Virginia team, consistently placing in the nations "top 100" for team and individual scores. She has dedicated her career to Xcel and sees it as a way for young girls to grow in the sport of gymnastics successfully at their own place, while allowing them to pursue other opportunities. Coach Kelsey is a USAG Pro member, safe-sport certified, and an Advanced Teacher in the School of Recreational Gymnastics. She has attended multiple regional and national congresses along with hands-on trainings through Woodward camp, and is eager to put her stamp on the world of Georgia gymnastics! Fun Fact: Kelsey loves gardening has a green thumb!
Coach Amber, Head of Compulsory & Developmental Gymnastics
Amber has been coaching gymnastics and cheerleading both competitively and recreationally for the past 8 years at both CGA and The Gym at Peachtree Presbyterian prior to jointing our team at The Peach Pit. An Atlanta native, she began her coaching career in Cumming, Georgia where she trained gymnastics through USAG Level 8. Awarded Most Motivational Team Member, gymnastics naturally transitioned to the other love of her life, competitive cheerleading! Amber was a Co-ed Level 5 Cheerleader for 3 years. Amber currently attends Chattahoochee Technical College majoring in Nursing. Coach Amber loves to inspire young people to be the best they can be! Gymnastics is such an AMAZING sport that teaches valuable life lessons and tools for children to be successful in life as they grow.
Coach Jo Marie, Competitive Team
Jo Marie was a competitive gymnast up until her senior year of high school. She continued her love of training through college and became a personal trainer, gaining certificates in pilates, spinning, weight resistance, AAFAA aerobic training, and began youth training. Jo joins The Peach Pit with over 20 years of coaching experience working with compulsory, optional, and Xcel gymnasts! Jo Marie boasts many successes including consistently taking athletes to regionals every year. Currently, Jo Marie puts her love of children to use as a school teacher. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her 6 children, 5 of whom were competitive gymnasts, and her husband of 34 years.
Coach Lucy, Recreational Gymnastics and Private Lessons
Coach Lucy is an Atlanta native born and raised. Following an 11-year competitive gymnastics career at Buckhead Gymnastics, Lucy pursued cheerleading in high school at North Atlanta. Serving as captain three years in a row, Lucy was also recognized for outstanding academic achievement of scholar-athletes. She has a passion for gymnastics, cheer, and tumbling. Currently, Lucy is working towards her BA in Business Management from Georgia State University while coaching gymnastics and cheerleading @ The Peach Pit. Outside of the gym Lucy loves yoga, puppies, CrossFit, rollerblading, and is infatuated with traveling.
Coach "K" Kio, Preschool, Recreational Gymnastics, Tumbling
Coach Kio is a man of many talents! Living in Washington D.C. the majority of his life, Kio studied Music at Norfolk State University. His music has taken him all over the world, touring with bands such as The Foo Fighters and even playing in China at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Kio has since switched his focus, and found joy in being a stuntman and acrobatic artist here in the city of Atlanta.
Still, his main focus is children, saying "…working with kids is the best! My goal is to show them you can do whatever you put your
mind to, and that fear to me is an abbreviation for Face Everything And Rise"
Coach Jesse, Recreational Gymnastics & Private Lessons
Coach Jesse started coaching gymnastics at the age of 16, and is going on 15 years of working in the industry! He is passionate about movement and exercise, as he graduated with Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from Slippery Rock University before completing a program in Exercise Physiology at the American College of Sports Medicine. Additionally, he owns his own personal training business - Rakovan Fitness. Outside of work and fitness Jesse loves spending time with his two adorable pups.
Coach Antonio, Trampoline & Tumbling Team Director, Tumbling Coach
Coach Antonio's gymnastics career began in the 1980's as a gymnastics instructor for the YMCA in Detroit under the supervision of Julius Lee. He taught beginner gymnastics and trampoline for more than 6 years in Michigan prior to becoming a member of the U.S. Acro Gymnastics Federation as well as a member of the Motor City Jaguar tumbling team where he competed in power tumbling, platform tumbling, double mini trampoline and men's quad events as well as exhibitions and performances throughout the country.
In 1983, he was picked up by Vita's International Tumbling Acrobats as a fill in performer with Ringling Bros Circus and completed the final 3 months of the tour on the road as a tumbler.
Antonio has since retired from the healthcare industry after almost 30 years of dedicated service and recently relocated to the Atlanta area to resume passing on his knowledge and experience in gymnastics. He lives in Atlanta with his daughter, Ava.
Coach Taylor, Director of Allstar Cheerleading
Taylor began her cheerleading career at the age of five with The Stingray All-Stars. She has won numerous national titles cheering with the Stingrays as well as Brandon All-Stars in Tampa, Florida, and continued with collegiate cheerleading at Kennesaw State University where she received a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She has coached cheer at the Georgia All=Stars, Cheer Atlanta, and Royal All-Stars in the Atlanta area as well as gymnastics at Top Notch Training Center in Norcross. As a former elementary school teacher, her love of kids is well established and fuels her interactions with athletes in the gym and at home with her 2 year old son, Kaiden. Taylor is excited to represent The Peach Pit!
Coach Shay, Competitive & Recreational Cheer
Coach Shlondra (Shay) Young is from Leesburg, GA. She started All-Star Cheerleading at the age of 3 and stuck with the sport all the way through her senior year of high school. Throughout her time as an All-Star Cheerleader, she won 5 Cheersport National Titles. Following her graduation from high school, she cheered competitively at Kennesaw State University where she won 2 National Titles at the NCA Collegiate National Cheer and Dance Competitions in 2018 and 2019. Her favorite thing about coaching is being able to motivate the girls to strive to be their best mentally and physically, and apply this mindset to their everyday lives. Outside of cheerleading, Coach Shay loves to travel!
Coach Meg, Director of Dance
Meg is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia with her BFA in Dance and a Minor in Anthropology with a K12 Certification for Dance, with which she completed her student teaching at North Gwinnett High School. Meg has had the pleasure of studying at the Joffrey ballet school, with Staibdance, at the Governors Honors Program and the American Dance Festival. She has been chosen to work with notable professionals such as Alexandre Munz and Luis Piedra. Furthermore, she had the opportunity to perform in Costa Rica with Danza Universitaria in San Jose. A s a professional, she has performed with Sideways Contemporary Dance Company, as well as becoming a company member of Fuerta Dance Company. This season, Meg will be joining and performing with Atlanta Dance Collective. She has also appeared in the Atlanta Dance Canvas 10th Anniversary Performance, performing a world premiere by Angela Harris. Meg is excited to begin her first season at the Peach Pit Dance.
Coach Victor, Hip Hop, Break Dance & Parkour
V.J. Lopez is an Atlanta native who received his early dance training through the Atlanta Ballet. He continued training through the Atlanta Ballet through middle and high school. Following high school, he sought to expand his training throughout many studios in Atlanta. His training led him to live stage performances with Collizion Crew, Gotta Dance Contemporary, and Leah Culver. He has also performed on screen with Musiq Soulchild, Lecrae, Bryan Breeding, Andy Alemany and many more.
As a teacher, V.J. has taught in some of Atlanta’s biggest studios such as Dance 101, Dance 411, and TADA - The Atlanta Dance Academy. He has taught and trained students as young as four years old and advancing through adult ages. His scope ranges from beginners, professionals, actors and musicians.
Coach Patsy "Sassy", Mother's Morning Out
Patsy Wharton "Sassy" is the Lead Instructor for MMO at both Collier & Brookhaven studios. "Sassy" known to her students and grandchildren, Dallas, Bode & Stella, has taught preschool and elementary school education throughout Atlanta and is a Real Estate Agent with Harry Norman Realtors. Sassy attended both Furman & The University of Georgia prior moving to Germany, Fort Benning then Atlanta. Sassy has taught Sunday School and Preschool at Peachtree Presbyterian in Buckhead and Heards Ferry Elementary School in Sandy Springs. Sassy takes a preschool education approach to her MMO Day Camp by teaching fundamental gross and fine motor skills combined with letters, numbers, colors and shapes. Sassy has 5 children, 3 grandchildren and numerous grand dogs from California to Atlanta.
Coach Leigh, Ballet, Modern, Tap & Jazz
Leigh is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a BFA in Dance and K12 Certification for Dance, having completed her student teaching at Brookwood High School. She is a native of Louisville, KY where she began dance training at age three at JoAnn Fryer School of Dance and attended the Youth Performing Arts School. She has had the privilege of studying with the Rockets Summer Intensive, the Joffrey Ballet School, and ADMIX project. She has been chosen to work with notable professionals such as Luis Piedra and Alexandre Munz and this season will be performing with Refuge Dance Company as a company member. Leigh is so excited to be joining The Peach Pit Dance!
Coach Elizabeth, Ballet, Modern, Tap & Jazz
Elizabeth grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and began training classical ballet at Perimeter Academy of the Arts when she was six years old. Upon graduating high school, Elizabeth danced with the Atlanta Ballet. She has since performed with companies such as the Proia Dance Project, Zoetic Dance Ensemble, Bluebird Uncaged, and Gotta Dance Contemporary. Elizabeth has been teaching dance for seven years in cities such as New York, London, and Atlanta. She is very passionate about dance and sharing it through choreography and teaching. Elizabeth is so excited to join the Peach Pit team and cannot wait to share her art with the students and staff!
Coach Maia, Ballet, Modern, Tap & Jazz
Maia grew up dancing in Atlanta, Georgia under the direction of Jonnie C. Kelley at the Dancer's Studio Backstage and performed with their pre-professional company, Atlanta Dance Theatre (ADT). As a company member, Maia attended and performed at annual festivals such as SEBRA and RDA. In 2014, MAIA graduated from North Springs Charter High School's Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program, after completing 4 years as a member fo the North Springs Dance Company. In 2018, Maia graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor's degree in Dance Performance and Choreography, where she performed works by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Thaddeus Davis, Tanya WIdeman-Davis, and Bryan Arias. Maia traveled to Washington D.C with the USC Dance Company to perform a piece by Shaun Boyle at the National Festival of African College Dance Association at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. After earning her degree, Maia moved back to Atlanta where she competed a year of training and performing with the Immerse ATL program. Maia currently dances with Kit Modus, where she has performed works by Jillian Mitchell and Noelle Kayser.
Coach Kirsten, Recreational Cheer
Kirsten has been cheering since she was 4 years old for various different All Star Cheer teams! She is still currently cheerleading at Kennesaw State University. She loves coaching at The Peach Pit because of the high energy that the athletes bring and their determination to grow and get better. Outside of work, school, and cheer Kirsten enjoys going out to try new places to eat with her friends!
Coach Kennedy, Recreational Cheer
Kennedy is born and raised in Atlanta, and has been cheering for 8 years. She most recently was a part of the cheer squad at KSU where she was a member fo the 2018 national championship team! Her favorite part of coaching is watching how her athletes progress throughout the season. Her love of children is abounding, and outside of work at The Peach Pit she enjoys babysitting and playing with kids!
Coach Tatiana, Events
Tatiana was originally born in McLean, Virginia but moved to Atlanta for college and has been here ever since. She grew up a competitive gymnast for 13 years until a back injury ended her career. She then switched to cheerleading and became an NCAA cheerleader where she advanced to the 2013 Cheerleading World Championship Final! In terms of coaching, Tatiana's favorite thing is helping her athletes set and achieve their goals! Outside of work Tatiana enjoys hiking and going on runs with her dog.