About Bruce Davis

Bruce and his wife Rita moved to Apollo Beach in 1999. He is a retired Professor Emeritus of Miami Dade College (1966-99). Bruce owned and operated Gymiami School of Gymnastics for seventeen years (1969-86) and coached top American gymnasts like Kurt Thomas and Cathy Shotwell. When the Davis' moved to Apollo Beach from Miami, the gymnastics equipment went into storage with intentions of selling it.

Bruce was quick to discover that Apollo Beach had little to offer in athletic programs for area youth. He and Rita found the old beverage castle on Apollo Beach Blvd. available and decided to open a gymnastics school featuring no competition teams, intense class instruction for boys and girls, no employees and a lot of fitness preparation.

Bruce's focus is on gymnastics instruction and teaching.  Since opening Flip Flops and Fitness 10 years ago, tution prices have remained the same. The only product sold in the gym is water to hydrate the students. Bruce offers classes in tumbling, gymnastics for boys and girls, and preschool classes. Flip Flops & Fitness enrolls students as young as 3 and up to any age adults. Bruce is big on family participation. Many families enroll more than one family member.

In its first decade, Flip Flops & Fitness has enrolled over 1000 students. The current enrollment is about 100 students. Quite a few cheerleaders take classes to improve their tumbling skills. Several experienced students assist Bruce with class instruction during the twenty classes offered during the week days of Monday through Thursday. The object of class instruction is to teach students to work independently during their workouts. Classes include flexibility stretch and warmup, specific activities of the day, and strength exercises at the end.

Anyone who knows Bruce will tell you that gymnastics and teaching are his chief concern.  "Bruce will bend over backwards for you."  Just a few of Bruce's numerous accomplishments in the world of gymnastics are included here:

  • Received his bachelor's degree from Southern Connecticut State University and his master’s degree from Ohio University.
  • Professor Emeritus of Miami Dade College and the Director of Flip Flops & Fitness, a school of gymnastics in Apollo Beach, Florida.
  • Professor of Health and Physical Education from 1966-1999. He was also the head gymnastics coach for men and women. Miami Dade won the 1969 NJCAA National Championship, was runnerup several times and produced numerous All-Americans. Miami Dade won five consecutive NAIGC men’s Championships in the 1990’s.
  • Owner and director of Gymiami, Inc., a school of gymnastics for 17 years (1969-85). He coached top gymnasts like Cathy Shotwell and Kurt Thomas.
  • Received his FIG judging brevet in 1969 and has judged international dual meets, the NCAA and the Championships of the USA.
  • Former Managing Editor of International Gymnast magazine while on a leave of absence from Miami Dade College in 1981-82.
  • As Meet Director, directed the 1970 AAU National Championship, the USGF World Cup, the Women’s Pan American Games Trials, two USSR Exhibitions, four NJCAA Men’s Championships.
  • Served in the following gymnastics positions: NJCAA Coaches Association President, Region 8 Women’s Program Junior Olympic Director (2 terms), NAAU Junior Olympic Boys Chairman and USGF Boy’s State Chairman.
  • Served four terms as North Campus Faculty Senate President, President of the Faculty Senate’s Consortium, and served on numerous committees including the College President’s Council.
  • Received the distinguished Endowed Teaching Chair (1994-97).
  • Former member of Athenaeum Turners at age eight under instructor Walter Lienert. He competed at Southern Connecticut State University where he was coached by Dick Zuber, Jamile Ashmore, Don Tonry and Abie Grossfeld.

Flip Flops and Fitness

Flip Flops and Fitness Gymnasts in Tampa Bay and Apollo Beach