Meet Our Staff


Sydney Snyder

Team Coach, Instructor, Choreographer



  • First Aid Certification

  • Heartsaver CPR AED


Sydney has always loved dance and gymnastics. She grew up taking dance and tumbling lessons in Ronan starting at four years old. She then began attending gymnastics classes with Jessica when she was eleven and fell in love with it. After a few years of taking classes from Jessica, she started coaching and discovered how much she loves working with kids of all ages. Her favorite events in gymnastics are beam and floor because they involve so much technique and dance. Sydney has been officially coaching for the past two years and hopes to continue coaching for a long time. 

Jessica and Jason Edwards

and Kilty, Riley, Jack and Avery Edwards

Owners, Instructors, Team Coach,

Tumble Bus, Ninja Program



  • USAG Professional Certification

  • USAG Instructor Certification

  • USAG Safety Certification

  • First Aid Certification

  • Heartsaver CPR AED


Jessica has loved gymnastics since she took her first lesson at age 5. She competed through level 8, and has over 25 years of teaching experience. She started Head Over Heels in Polson in 2010, though it didn't have a name till 2013. In the fall of 2016 we moved into our new facility. Now the whole family is involved: Jason has developed the curriculum for our Mountain Climbers Classes; KIlty, Riley and Jack teach or assist with classes and Open Gyms; and Avery is competes on the Osprey Gymnastics Team.


JoLeah Nicholas

Dance Program Director


JoLeah Nicholas was wasn’t born in Montana, but claims it as her home. In May 2016 she graduated from Mirror Arts, a four year dance training program located in Langley, British Columbia. Prior to that she was training in Hip Hop and performing in Spokane, WA at a studio called Simply Dance. Her first passion and love of dance began with Hip-Hop, 13 years ago, and grew to other forms. JoLeah loves to teach, create and choreograph dance and looks forward every year to the studio year end recitals where the students perform and shine on stage! She is planning to attend University of Montana to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts emphasis in Teaching. She believes anyone can dance no matter the age or experience. She believes in bringing the joy of movement and the visual power of dance to the Polson/Ronan community through Head Over Heels Dance and its Beyond The Walls Dance Team. JoLeah is all about bringing energy and fun into the classroom while working hard and working up a sweat! 

Alysha Valentine

Choreographer/ Coach Emeritus

Note: Alysha is very ill with a couple of auto-immune diseases and unable to hold a regular position at Head Over Heels. Please pray for her and for her family as she works toward recovery.



  • USAG Instructor Certification

  • USAG Safety Certification

  • AACCA Fundamentals of Coaching

  • AACCA Spirit Safety Certification

  • CDC Concussions in Sports

  • First Aid Certification

  • Heartsaver CPR AED


Alysha is married to Steven and together they have three kids, Olivia, Hailey, and Noah. Alysha took dance and gymnastics in Sandpoint as a child until her family moved to Polson when she was nine. She took classes in the Flathead until she became a member of a pre professional tap dance company. Alysha was a cheerleader all through high school, then served as the head coach of her Polson High School cheer squad. She loves teaching at Head Over Heels, the outdoors, and shopping, but most of all anything she can do with her family.


Lisa O'Rourke

Dance Instructor


Lisa O’Rourke is passionate about dance and crazy about kids. The foundations of her class are kindness, open exploration and respect. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dance Choreography and a Master’s in Education. After school, she moved to New York to dance professionally while further developing her teaching chops. She designs her classroom environment to help children discover their creative potential and develop self-esteem. Lisa sees dance as a tool for personal development, both on and off the dance-floor! 


Paige Mergenthaler

Gymnastics Instructor

Paige is the daughter of Brande and Heather Mergenthaler, was born and raised in Polson, MT.  She has lived here for her entire life along with her older brother.  She is in 11th grade and attends school at Polson High School. Paige has been in gymnastics for 7 years. One of those years she trained at Flathead Gymnastics Academy in Kalispell. She started in gymnastics and dance when she was 4. Her favorite event in gymnastics is the beam because it takes so much skill, balance and technique. She loves floor as well. In the past she has also done cross country, cheer, dance, softball, and soccer. She enjoys teaching gymnastics classes because she loves kids and being at the gym. Most of all she loves time with family and friends.


Taleah Hernandez

Gymnastics Instructor/Team Gymnast

Taleah is a Sophomore at Polson High School and is fifteen years old. She has lived in Polson her whole life and enjoys all of the fun activities you can do on Flathead Lake. She has been taking gymnastics from Jessica for five years. Before taking gymnastics with Jessica she took gymnastics for five years with other teachers. Taleah enjoys spending time with her friends and family when she is not at Head Over Heels Gymnastics. Most of all Taleah enjoys learning gymnastics and being able to incorporate her knowledge into teaching.


Jeff Newton

Gymnastics and Tumbling Instructor/Team Coach

Note: Jeff is being deployed into active duty again. Please pray for him and for his family while he is away.

Jeff is father to three little girls, husband of Cora, is a disabled Army Veteran and Reservist, long-time gymnast, life-long adventurer, and now an instructor and Coach with Head Over Heels! We love the fun and experience he brings to the gym. To the left is a photo caught of Jeff in mid-air at the 4th of July parade in Polson. This and several other photos credits on this page go to our Athletic Trainer, Kyota Shizuku. Thanks!