LA School of Gymnastics draws on a distinguished and diverse group of nationally and internationally trained coaches from over 14 countries. All coaches are required to complete the USA Gymnastics (national governing body of gymnastics in the United States ) and OSHA Infant & CPR certification courses. Ten LASG coaches have Master’s Degree in Physical Education, Anatomy and Physiology, or are former professional athletes. Altogether, our 21 coaches have over 120 years of combined coaching experience.
Elvira “Ita” Villa
Class Coordinator Coach & Pre-Team Director
Elvira brings 25 years of combined gymnastics experience to LASG. She holds a degree in Physical Education, safety certification by USAG and is a U.S.A. professional member. Elvira is a former team Head Coach from Concepcion, Chile and is exceptional at evaluating skills. She has been at LASG since 1992. Known as “Ita” to her students, she is passionate about developing the children under her direction and takes great pride in taking her students from beginner level right up to competition standard. She believes in developing confidence and inspiring personal growth in each one of her students.
Accreditations: – USA Gymnastics Safety Certified – OSHA Infant – CPR Certified – Background, Clearance, and Fingerprint cleared
Boys Team Head Coach
Originally from Armenia, Stepan joined the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics family back in 2006. As a member of the USSR Junior and Armenian National Team, Stepan has earned high accolades in many competitions. Stepan moved on to get his degree in Physical Education and has been coaching for 27 years. He loves sharing his passion and knowledge of gymnastics to his students at the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics.
Girls Team Head Coach
Experience Coaching: Currently serving as a Women’s Head Coach at LA School of Gymnastics. Former Optional Head Coach at SD All Star Gymnastics 2007-2008. Most recent achievements include Regional vault L-10 Champion 201, Regional bars Champion L-8 2008/9, State bars Champion 2008/9 State Vault Champion L-7, Second All-Around, Balance Beam, and FX. Eight gymnasts L-7, L-8 on Sate and two Regional qualifiers, 2007-2008. 15 years of coaching All JO-USAG Levels.
Gymnast: Participated Gymnastics at age of 11 from all progressive levels up to the Junior and Senior Bulgarian National team. World championship Moscow 1981-participant International Tournaments-numbers of medals and awards 1977-1982. Head Coach and Chairmen (M) & (W)1991-1998 at “Chernomorski Yuonak” Varna Bulgaria.
Education: Bachelor, Masters Degree in Gymnastics and Pedagogic from the Institute of Physical Culture and Sports G. Dimitrov, Bulgaria 1990.
Skills and License Certifications: – Brevet Judge 1996-2000 – Coaching, Workout Design All Levels – Strong spotting Skills – USAG Safety Certified and Professional Member – Excellent team working Skills
Birthday Party Program Director & Coach
Heather has started in gymnastics at the age of 4 and continued until she was 17. She competed with a team in Sacramento and they were California State Champions, 2 years in a row. Bars was her favorite and scored 3 perfect 10’s during her career on this event.
She began coaching over 10 years ago – and coach all levels of gymnasts, from ‘Parent and Me’ to adult gymnastics. She especially loves coaching the pre-school (ages 3-5) level because of their enthusiasm and willingness to learn. Many of my former students are now at the team level.
Pre-school / Pre-level 1 Director & Coach
Irma, who has been with the school since 2008, is originally a gymnast from Armenia. She enjoys working with children, especially preschoolers. Watching her students develop is a passion of hers. She holds safety certification and makes sure that each one of her students gets the individual care and attention that they need to develop.
Yefim Furman – “Dr. Backhand Spring”
Recreational Class Coach & Director of Cheer Tumbling
“Internationally acclaimed coach, Yefim has been with LASG since 1998. He is a long time gymnastics veteran and is affectionately referred to as “The Godfather” by many in the sport. Before LASG, Yefim worked with the UCLA gymnastics department. He is passionate about sharing his experiences and knowledge about gymnastics with his students. Yefim has transformed our competitive cheer teams. These students have blossomed under his instruction into winning power tumblers, taking home top prizes from the spirit association, USA, UCA, JAMZ and many more!
Mr. Furman has coached many of the sport’s greatest athletes of all time. He has earned places in both the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games. He has worked with Olympic Champions Tim Daggett, Chris Walker, Scott Keswick, Chaney Umphrey, and Steve McCain. Yefim also consults with thousands of gymnastics centers around the world in the areas of training techniques and program management. Yefim also works as a consultant for NBC sports for all their gymnastics coverage.
To add to his success story, Yefim is also an Olympic champion, having claimed silver at the 1972 games in Munich.
Diana has 10 years experience as a professional elite rhythmic gymnast. Her career has taken her around the world and she has represented the United States as a rhythmic gymnast including securing a spot on the US National Team. She has been coaching for over 8 years and has worked with four-time national champions who participated in the World Cup championships, National , and Junior Olympics. Accreditations: – USA Gymnastics Safety – Certified – First-Aid Certified – Background, fingerprint clearance.
12+ years of experience Rhythmic gymnastics coach Adult and children’s stretch/flex class Director. Former United States National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team Member, Vlada is also a former student of LASG who has returned to LASG as a Tour de Force of Knowledge and experience as she competed as rhythmic gymnast. She’s currently teaching recreational and team rhythmic gymnastics.
Tumbling and Adult Coach
Jason has been with LASG since 2010.
Girls Team Coach
Hamest Ohanyan learned and graduated from the Physical Sports Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. She has worked many years as a head coach at Hrant Shahinyan School of Gymnastics. She also prepared many masters of sports gymnasts who have gone on to win many world championships. Now, she is working as the Girls Team Coach at Los Angeles School and is continuing the preparation of high-level gymnasts. 45 years experience – 14 years in USA State champion for many first place champions – Master coach of Sabrina.
Mark Sturzbecher has been coaching gymnastics since he was 13 years old. Having taught Recreational Gymnastics to children and adults for over 15 years, Mark has developed a keen sense of skill progression for both the young and young at heart. He also comes with more than 5 years of experience in preparing gymnasts for the competitive stage; as well as a variety of other backgrounds, such as cheer-leading, stunt-fighting, partner acrobatics, and a handful of circus skills.
A member of the distinguished LASG coaching team since 2014, Mark’s coaching philosophy is focused on developing a student’s character by building their confidence, focus, and fortitude.
Diana, who has been an active rhythmic gymnast since the age of 3, she joined LASG in 2009. Diana trained with the coach of the Armenian National Team and then became a student at LASG, receiving training from Olga Putsillo. Diana has been involved competitively, achieving Regional and State Champion status several years in a row. Also competed at the National Qualifiers, that took place in Lake Placid, New York. She placed first in some events and second all around! She teaches both rhythmic and artistic gymnastics to children, imparting her vast experience and knowledge of the sport upon them. She loves each and one of her students and loves working with them.
Manchester (UK), 10 years competitive Trampoline Training History and Accomplishments 3 years City of Salford gymnastics and Trampoline club Trampoline 2009 grade 2-1 (national) Trampoline 2008 grade 2 of-18 2nd place (national) Trampoline 2007 grade 3-2 College nationals 2010 2nd individual trampoline College nationals 2009/2008 3rd individual Trampoline Manchester (UK) 7 years Stockport Trampoline & DMT Club Grade 2-1 levels in DMT (national) 2006-2007- U-18 DMT 1St place (regional) 2006 national DMT championship Grade 2 individual 5th place Team 3rd (national) 2005-2009 Trampolining grade 2 (national) 2003-2005 Trampoline grade 4-3 (regional) Cheshire (UK) Head T&T coach -coaching a competitive team levels 1-9 ages 6-20 state Champions, regional champions and national Championships (9 podium medals) in 2015gymnastics/ parkour credits: Buzzfeed “Train like a gymnast” NBC 2016 Rio Olympic promotion Gymnastics coach The Huffington Post “Rocking Gymnastics” AETNA 2015 NBC today show
Coach Robert was born and raised in Armenia. He has an extensive background in working and teaching young kids the core fundamentals of gymnastics since 2008. Coach Robert has been with LASG since 2016. He is a USAG certified gymnastics coach. He is currently teaching boys beginning gymnastics as well as girls intermediate gymnastics.
Vlada has been coaching gymnastics at Los Angeles School of Gymnastics since 2012. She is from Russia and attended Olympic Reserved Center of Yekaterinburg where she earned her Masters in Sports. She started gymnastics when she was 5 years old and fell in loved with the sports. She competed in multiple national competitions in Paris France (Asur National and Paris Gala Competitions) and in Madrid Spain from 2009 to 2011. She worked as a coach/dance instructor at Paris Center Club from 2010 to 2012 and at Ritmica Piemonte in Torino Italy from 2005 to 2006. She speaks Russian, Spanish, French and English. She is very passionate about gymnastics and loves seeing her students enjoy and excel in gymnastics.
3+ years of experience. Angelina is our youngest gymnast coach here at LASG, and she has done gymnastics for over 12 years. She has been coaching here for over 3 years. She was previously a student here but then realized that she could turn it into a career and teach younger kids. The students here love her for she is charismatic and very patient. She takes her job seriously and knows how to work with different ages.
Francie began gymnastics at the age of 2 and competed as an elite gymnast in Southern California and in London, United Kingdom. She began coaching gymnastics and dance when she retired at the age of 17. Francie is most passionate about working with children, not only developing their skills in gymnastics but developing their minds and confidence that will carry over to all aspects of life.
Public Relations and Management from Regents University London, Safety certification and USA Gymnastics professional membership. Her favorite part of the job is seeing her students’ progress, watching them improve and conquering their fears.
Michigan State Gymnastics Team Member
Origin: United States
Aaron Shutway has practiced gymnastics since the age of 5 and was a competitive gymnast for 8 years. He began coaching as a volunteer in Cleveland Ohio and coached in New York where he founded a competitive boys program. He also has a background in stage combat, stunting, parkour, and strength training. Aaron’s style of coaching focuses on positivity, creativity, and growth.
Hi my name is Miiya White and a former dancer and elite level cheerleading coach with over 10 years of coaching youth and children from various sports. I’ve danced since the age of 3 with Lula Washington while pursuing competitive dance and gymnastics. I am honored to be part of a legacy of high level coaches at LA School of Gymnastics and look forward to creating Champions in the community. See you in the gym!