Linda Laaker’s cheerleading career spanned ten years and included Washington Jr. High, Pekin Community High School, and Bradley University. During Linda’s senior year at Bradley, the cheerleading squad was ranked ninth in the nation. After graduating from Bradley, Linda moved to Elgin, Illinois, where she worked for five years as a Community Education Coordinator for Elgin Community College.
Working closely with the local community in this position, Linda recognized the need for a quality dance and tumbling program in the area. At this time, she created the Dance Theatre of Elgin. She served as the Dance Theatre of Elgin’s Artistic Director and Owner from August of 1986 until May of 1997. Several dancers from this studio have gone on to either teach dance after graduation from university dance programs, perform with well-known celebrities (such as Celine Dion), perform in professional dance companies (such as Hubbard Street), or choreograph with prominent choreographers (such as Tina Landon, choreographer for Janet Jackson, Shakira, & Rihanna) and ballet companies (such as the Joffrey Ballet).
In addition to Linda’s ownership responsibilities, she also taught tumbling to enhance dance. After attending both Karolyi’s Summer Camp and Woodward’s Summer Camp, her love of tumbling evolved into an interest in tumbling as a sport. In 1993, she began her career in coaching competitive tumbling. From 1993 until 1997, she attended local, state, and national tumbling competitions for both the U.S.T.A. and the U.S.A.Gymnastics Association. During this time, Linda’s tumblers were recognized as national tumbling champions, in levels beginning through elite. In June of 1997, Linda handed over her studio to two long time employees and moved home to Pekin.
© Central Illinois Tumbling & Trampoline
Linda was named Assistant Coach to the 2011 U.S.A.G. World Championship Men’s & Women’s Teams which competed in Birmingham, England!!!
Central Illinois Tumbling & Trampoline
Building champions... with Character.
Central Illinois Tumbling and Trampoline
1109 Broadway Street, Pekin, IL 61554
Linda feels fortunate that at this time in her life she is combining her skills with the talents of another outstanding coach. Linda’s association with Ky goes back to 1993, when he served as coach to the athletes she took to Woodward Gymnastics Camp. At that point in time, Ky introduced Linda to the sport of power tumbling and they have coached combined teams ever since. Linda was named the 2004 & 2008 U.S.A.G. T. & T. Developmental Coach of the Year, was proudly named the U.S.A. Tumbling Team Coach for the 2005, 2009 & 2014 “World Age Group Games”, held in the Netherlands, Russia, & the United States and proudly named Assistant Coach to the 2011 U.S.A.G.World Championship Team!!!