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Staff

 

 

Meet Our Staff

DUSTIN EDWARDS 

 Dustin is the owner and started at Funtastics at age 10, as a cheerleader. After graduating, Dustin attended UCF, where he was a collegiate cheerleader. He worked at multiple gyms and gained experience in every Area of cheer, (all star director, tumbling coordinator, office manager, event planner etc.) Dustin’s diverse expertise comes from working with many competition companies, being a UCA instructor, choreographer, and 2A State Champion High School head coach. Dustin is USASF certified in Levels 1-5 in all areas, along with CPR and first aid certified. In Dustin’s free time he loves to play video games and cook. Dustin’s goals as a coach is to, “Train all athletes, mentally and physically, to help them achieve their personal goals. I strive to prepare my athletes for college cheerleading and take great pride in my current scholar athletes.” His goals as an owner is to, “Create a safe, positive and productive atmosphere for all of my staff, athletes, and parents.” 

KRISTEN MATTHEWS 

Kristen cheered at Funtastics for 6 years. After graduating from high school, Kristen coached at Funtastics for 6 more years. Currently, Kristen has been working at Funtastics since May of 2013. Kristen received her bachelors degree in business from USF. She’s credentialed by USASF, levels 1-5 in all areas and is also CPR and first aid certified. Kristen has over 11 years of cheer and tumbling experience. Kristen is excited to be working with her brother, the owner of Funtastics, Dusting Edwards. Kristen works administratively in the office as well as in the gym coaching the competitive teams and doing tumbling/flying private lessons. In Kristen’s free time she loves spending time with her family. Kristen also enjoys working out and furthering any coaching educational opportunities. Kristen’s goal as a coach is to, “Instill healthy lifestyles in your children while teaching them how to achieve their athletic goals. I want to build leadership in kids by focusing on courage, determination, and dedication.” 

NINA ETHRIDGE 

She cheered at Funtastics for 7 years and has been working at Funtastics since June of 2009. After graduating from SHS, she currently attends USF, working towards her Bachelor of Arts– Elementary Education degree. Nina is CPR & first aid certified. Nina is also credentialed by USASF levels 1-4 in all areas. Nina’s experience comes from doing gymnastics at her family’s gym, Concorde Academy of Gymnastics until age 10 and competitive cheerleading, here at Funtastics. Nina loves to stay active in all aspects of the gym whether it be summer camps, recreational classes, private lessons or cheer teams. She has coached full year as well as half year teams. Nina’s hobbies include: going to the beach, crossfit, Tampa Bay Baseball, photography, art, and music. She loves spending time with her family, friends, and cat, Montauk. Nina’s goal as a coach in to, “Encourage, guide, and support athletes in setting and achieving goals. I believe everyone has unlimited potential. I love to work hard and accomplish goals, they never thought possible!” 

CORY BROWN 

He has worked at Funtastics since April 2014. He has 17 years of cheerleading under his belt, including going to the Cheerleading Worlds 4 years in a row. Cory is a 2007 Collegiate National Champion and was nominated for the 2014 “Coach of the Year”. In 2013, his high school squad became state champions. He is credentialed levels 1-5 by USASF. Cory’s experience comes from being a UCA staff member for 6 years. Not only does Cory have an exceptional coaching background, but he also has extensive military training from serving in the US Army for 6 years. Cory bring lots of diversity to our program by including: High School training, Co-Ed Stunting, College Prep, and much more! In Cory’s free time he likes to play video games and workout. Cory’s goal as a coach is to, “Inspire and push kids to reach their potential.” 

COURTNEY BORDERS 

Courtney was previously a Funtastics cheerleader and gymnast since 1996. Her mother, Stacy Stith, was the original owner. Courtney began to coach in middle school and has been with us here at Funtastics ever since! Courtney attended USF and received a degree in business. Courtney is CPR and first aid certified. Courtney is USASF credentialed in levels 1-5 through USASF in all areas. Being an athlete and coach for many years has provided her with extensive knowledge with All Star teams, recreational classes, tumbling classes and privates. In Courtney’s free time, she enjoys going to the beach, boating, shopping, working out and traveling. She also loves spending time with her friends, family and dog, Hurley. Courtney’s goal as a coach is to, “Be the best coach I can be. I want to help provide a fun and safe yet disciplined environment and experience. My goal is for every athlete to progress and not only learn new skills but also learn valuable life lessons!” 

MELISSA BARKER

She has been working at Funtastics since January 2017. Melissa is originally from Largo and relocated to the Sarasota area in 2010. She has 2 children; Katelyn is 10 and goes to Tatum Ridge Elementary School & Gavin is 14 and goes to Sarasota High School. After she graduated high school from Largo High, she continued her education at St. Pete Jr. College to study nursing. She graduated with a bachelors in nursing and a minor in Social Services. She has been blessed to be a stay at home mom for the last 10 years. Now that her children are getting older she is ready to get a part time job! Melissa will be joining our team and will be working the front desk at Funtastics. In her free time she loves to read mystery novels, spend time with her family & go to the beach. Melissa’s goal as a customer service representative is to “take care of any problem and answer any question with a smile on my face. I want all of out Funtastics families to feel welcomed as they enter the gym.”

 

 

STEPHANIE MURGES 

She is a returning alumni to our All Star program. After graduation High School, Stephanie came back to Funtastics to coach -  she’s been working here since June 2012. Stephanie currently attends the State College of Florida. She is credentialed through USASF in levels 1-3 in all areas as well as CPR and First Aid certified. Stephanie’s background and experience comes from 10 years of cheerleading both at Funtastics and Sarasota High.  At Funtastics, Stephanie coaches in all areas including, All Star teams, classes in the recreational program, open gyms & private lessons. In Stephanie’s free time, she loves to do CrossFit. Stephanie also enjoys going to the beach. When Stephanie is not working, she likes spending time with her friends and family. Stephanie’s goal as a coach is to, “Push, motivate, and encourage all athletes to be the best they can be.” 

KAIT BROOKS

 Kait has been working at Funtastics since September 2015, when she got involved with our Special Athletes Team. In 2011 Kait started her first coaching job for New England Cheerleaders Association. She has also coached recreational cheer and levels 1-5 at various different gyms. Kait attended Southern Connecticut State University where she cheered on their All-Girl cheerleading team! With SCSU Kait competed at UCA College Nationals, taking home 3rd place! Kait started gymnastics in 1996 and switched over to All Star cheerleading in 2001.  She competed with USA Wildcats for 10 years on all level teams, including an IOC5 team that competed at the 2011 Cheerleading Worlds.  In her free time, Kate loves to be out on the boat enjoying the Gulf, and she also loves to travel back to Connecticut where she was raised. Kait’s goal as a coach is to, “Serve as a role model and  teacher of positive values through the sport of cheerleading.”

JONATHAN GUNTHER

Please meet Jonathan Gunther. He has worked at Funtastics since March 2016. Jon moved to Sarasota from Indiana to further pursue his career as a cheerleading and tumbling coach at Funtastics.He was a competitive dancer from ages 6 to 18. After High School he fell in love with coaching children and taught dance until 2012. His heart led him to the world of cheer & tumble so he began coaching at a local cheer gym. Jonathan holds many dance titles, including “Choreographer of the Year” and is credentialed by USASF in tumbling for levels 1-4. His endless fun energy and love for the kids makes him the perfect fit for our program! In Jon’s free time he likes to relax by the pool with friends. He also enjoys coloring, yummy food & movies. Jon’s goal as a coach is to, “spread the love of the sport and industry with my students, along with teaching proper technique.”

NANCIE EDWARDS 

Nancie has been working for Funtastics since July of 2000.Most of Nancie’s background comes from her 35 years ofbeing an incredible mother. She loves seeing all the children at Funtastics and creates a welcoming environment for everyone at Funtastics. Nancie also has experience from many years working behind the front desk as a manager in the hotel business. Nancie works part time at the front desk and is CPR and first aid certified.  Nancie has 4 children: 2 boys and 2 girls, (including her son Dustin and daughter Kristen– who are both Funtastics Staff members). In Nancie’s free time, she loves spending time with her husband, Doug. When she is not working, Nancie enjoys watching all of her grandkids as much as possible. Nancie’s goal as a customer service representative is to, “ Be able to answer any question and handle any problem necessary, while reflecting my positivity onto others.” 

DANIELLE WILL 

She has worked Funtastics since May 2014. Danielle has many years of experience in coaching cheer from pop warner, high school, and all star, she’s done it all! Her 3 amazingly talented daughters also cheer competitively for Funtastics. Danielle has many certifications including CPR, first aid, and AED Certification. Danielle has also been credentialed by USASF in levels 1-3 in all areas.  Currently Danielle is coaching the IMG Varsity cheer squad, which cheers for their football team. IMG is a sports boarding school in Bradenton. She also coaches our younger athletes in our competitive program along with classes and Open Gyms! In her free time, Danielle likes to do crafts and go shopping. She also enjoys spending time with her children. Danielle’s goals as a coach is to, “help and inspire every athlete to achieve their dreams in cheerleading and in life.”  

She has been working at Funtastics since October 2016. Jessica has 14 years of valuable Cheerleading experience. She started on Funtastics’ very 1st Pee Wee team and continued Allstars for 9 years! She has cheered Pop Warner, Allstar & High School cheerleading, giving her good knowledge in every aspect of the sport. Jessica has also worked with various Special Needs cheer programs around Florida. After High School, Jessica continued her education at Keiser University and graduated with her Associates in Radiology Technology and Nuclear Medicine. She is also CPR & BLS certified. She currently works at Sarasota Memorial Hospital as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. In her free time, Jessica loves to go to Disney World with her husband and son. She also enjoys taking ballroom dance classes. Jessica’s goal as a coach is to, “Make sure each athlete has fun and makes great memories while working hard to learn new skills.”