My story… as told by Coach Chrissie Bianco…
Pittsburgh Pride All Stars was created in 1999. We entered an industry that was new & growing, & it’s been exciting to have grown with it. Our kids have never stopped amazing us with their talents & their contributions. Watching the development of our courageous & strong athletes is a joy each & every day & it’s an honor to share our passion with them.
I grew up loving all sports, being on teams of volleyball, track & cheerleading, before cheerleading was ever thought of as a sport! I first started actually teaching cheerleading right out of high school, as a camp instructor for a local cheer company. Then, cheering at the collegiate level at both Indiana University of PA & University of Pittsburgh, was a great way to keep my passion alive. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, with a B.S. degree in Exercise Science, it led me to become a Personal Trainer, Aerobic Instructor & Program Director of a Pittsburgh fitness gym. While I thought I’d always open my own gym someday, I never knew it would be a “cheer gym.” They hadn’t existed yet in Pittsburgh, it was 1991. So on the side, I continued my love for cheer by coaching local Rec teams & competitive school teams, who I trained & choreographed for 8 years. As one of the teams proudly earned a National Champions title while competing in Florida, it exposed me to the southern teams who were showing off in a division called “All Stars.” How cool is this, I had to bring this back to the ‘burgh!
The talent that the kids had and the athletic level of the routines was mesmerizing.
My love of physical fitness was merged with my passion for cheer & I saw cheerleading as a legit sport. By now it was 1997 but it took a couple more years until I was able to make my move into this All Star field that captured my heart and will capture yours too!
Pittsburgh Pride All Stars was created in 1999
It was, & is, the best of all worlds for young athletes: tumbling, dancing & the team work of stunting! It took some convincing to enroll my first team into this new sport, as there were only 1 or 2 teams in our area. Parents appreciated my knowledge of proper conditioning & technique, & the groundwork for our students was laid. We worked hard physically but realized that the strength of mental toughness was building character in our kids.
We rented out space in a nearby gymnastics facility in the beginning, even used my husband Matt’s baseball facility to host some practices while transitioning to our very own space in 2002. That was exciting, we were officially a Cheer Gym!
First one in Pittsburgh!
Our students had a place solely dedicated to cheer & we could now offer you dance teams too. Tumbling classes & private lessons became a feeder program to our interested members who were just starting out. Our gym grew with the industry as well, & the popularity of the sport was contagious. The journey has taken me & my staff through advanced stunting & tumbling seminars & meeting awesome coaches & professionals throughout the country. Our industry welcomed the USASF (United States All Star Federation) & we saw there were other cheer enthusiasts just like us devoted to the benefits of our wonderful sport of cheer.
Throughout this time my family was growing, we have 2 boys who play baseball, & 2 girls who love cheer & hip hop (go figure!) While Matt & I continued to develop our programs for kids in both cheer & baseball, we thought if only we could be together in one facility, our family could car pool much easier… so why not! A joint facility was mapped out in 2003 &
Bianco Training Center was created!
We built a 27,000 sq foot building to house it all. A cheer gym with a spring floor, tramps & mirrors; a baseball school with cages & an indoor field. We went on to build an addition to the gym in 2005, with a second spring floor, in-ground tramp, & in-ground pit which your kids will love. We’ve got to witness first hand how an athletic program can benefit kids & now, our oldest son, Justin, was drafted right out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 3rd round & our girls have gotten to compete together on our Senior Level 5 teams! Ali is now in college and cheering at Morehead State University where they won College Cheer Nationals in 2015. She was selected through a try-out to the TEAM USA All Girl squad! We like to think of it as the Olympics of cheerleading.
I will forever be thankful to all the families and friends who supported us and who saw the value of our program and what it had done for their children. We now have years of proof to show the talent we have developed & the kids who have graduated from our gym who have grown to be successful young adults & come back to visit us with years of good memories. Our creation of the Training Center has brought many families together, keeping many kids active in a healthy & safe environment.
Pride Cheer Gym is one of Western Pa’s leading Cheer Centers. We certify our All Star coaches through USASF as well as in CPR & safety courses & attend seminars yearly to stay informed & up to date in this now fast-growing industry. In addition to providing a high-quality cheer, dance and tumbling program, we work hard to teach values & morals to help our children become CHAMPIONS both on the floor and in the GAME of Life! Each season adds a layer of strength to our Pride Family & because of everyone’s dedication & loyalty, there is true meaning behind teaching perseverance at The Pride Cheer Gym today. We hope you’ll be able to join us & benefit from our foundation as well.
At Pride Cheer Gym we are a family based program whose mission is to create the best possible atmosphere for teaching positive values & good sportsmanship as we train athletes to set and achieve both individual and team goals, all while learning the value of hard work, discipline & perseverance.
We’re excited to meet you and welcome you into the Pride Cheer Gym Family.
You can call us at (724) 873-1232 if you’d like to schedule a FREE Grand Tour of our facility and a meeting with one of our awesome coaches to help you determine which program is right for your child.
I’m confident that once you see our facility and meet our coaches and athletes, you’ll know that you’ve found what you’ve been looking for!