History of the Twisters


The Cole Twisters Gymnastics Team began their first competitive season in 1976 under the direction of Kitty Cole Osborne (daughter of Cole Academy’s founder, Eleanor Cole). The team consisted of five original members – Darlene Rhea, Susannne Rhea, Missy Heston, Lori Inman, and Carolyn Collins. Carolyn Collins, now Carolyn Dungan, went on to act as assistant coach under Kitty for seven years and head coach of the Twisters for eleven years. Since then, she has continued instructing Cole gymnasts in private lessons for the past twelve years.

For the first few seasons, the team practiced in a temporary gym housed in a back dance room. The gymnastics gym, as it stands today, was built in 1978. Many dual meets between the Cole Twisters and teams in the surrounding area were held in the gym over the next several years.

During the teams’ first competitive season, the symbol of the ladybug became a part of the Cole tradition. During meets, Eleanor Cole could be seen wearing a sweater featuring five ladybugs – representative of the five original team members. Since then, the ladybug has continued to be a representative of Cole Academy as a whole.

Today, the Cole Twisters is comprised of 28 team members. In their 38th year of competing, this dedicated group of young women ranges in ability from level 2-7. Cole Academy continues to produce talented young gymnasts who excel, not only in gymnastics, but in every aspect of their life.