We had the good fortune of connecting with Dennis Chesney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dennis, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.

In relation to Arizona Element. What makes me happy is the actions and reactions of the children we are training each day as to their performances. When they take the floor at a competition, they do so as a team. They are hyper sensitive to what is going on around them while the performance is taking place. They can see what is going right, what is going wrong. Their faces both excitement and fear shows their emotion. The part that makes me happy is the ownership if something does not go right and, the pure adrenaline rush of when everything goes right. They can all feel it, its as if they are one. Their enthusiasm while leaving the floor and during review is something that make your heart pump faster and harder. While I do not compete with them, I feel their excitement and that is what makes me happy.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

Arizona Element is a Allstar Cheerleading training and competition company. It was started after seeing how other gyms operated and realizing there is a better way. Our gym while a very competitive gym is also a family. Our doors are open to anyone. We offer training to any cheerleader or cheerleader want to be. We offer classes for all and private instruction for anyone. In fact, we train many cheerleaders that are in Allstar that are not with us but, cheer for other Allstar teams/gyms.

Starting a gym is not an easy endeavor. There is a lot of investment into equipment and facilities. Your look has to be on point and your training must be dead on. Our look is what drove us to national attention. My daughter Nicole designed a uniform that was the talk of the industry for a long time. We would show up at competitions as unknowns and people wanted to take pictures with our athletes just because of our uniforms. To this day, we are still getting stopped and complimented on our uniforms even though they have changed several times.

Besides this new normal of COVID, the biggest challenge we face is, making sure the athletes are ready for their competitions and life outside of cheer. We become more than just coaches of a team, many kids rely on us for direction in life outside of cheer. A cheer coach sometimes knows more about what is going on in an athletes life than the parents and as their coach , they look to us for guidance. Training wise, we are there. The unexpected COVID case has created a lot of challenges but, because of our relationships with the families that we have at our gym, we have many who are willing to help out in order to keep the team successful.

We have learned that we will never be a 100% fit for everyone. Our style and our attitude towards our athletes is different. Some facilities, athletes and parents are just athletes and parents this is not how we operate. Our athletes and parents become friends and we hold those bonds even after they are no longer cheering or move to a different facility. Once an Element athlete, always an element athlete. A good athlete (skill excluded) always has a home with us. We have never turned away an athlete except for bad behavior which, does not fit our culture.

What I want everyone to know about Arizona Element Elite is that we are all family. Each and every athlete in our gym is treated as if they were one of our own. We worry abut them, care about them and try to guide them as if they were ours. Parents come to us with issues they may be having at home or with their athlete, we then work with the athlete and family to support them in any way possible. We are not just a cheer gym, we are a self contained world amongst ourselves. Yes, we are competitive and rough when it comes to training but, our doors are always open for discussion, most parents have my personal cell phone number and They will tell you, I answer them all day, all night if that is what it takes. We talk as family would talk. If we are mad about something we get it out. If a parent is upset, my door is open for them to talk to me.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Besides the obligatory trip up to Sedona/Flagstaff….

Firebirds at P83, Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, Old Town Scottsdale for more shopping and eating. Another eating trip to Lolo’s for their amazing Chicken and Waffles. Kierland Commons and the Quarter are a must. A visit to South Mountain would be on the list, More eating at the Arrogant Butcher downtown.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

I believe a great leader surrounds themselves with great people and I have surrounded myself with AMAZING people, I cannot acknowledge them all by name but, every one working fo us today is vital to the organization and we care for them as if they were family.

My success would not be possible at Arizona Element first and foremost if it were not for my wife Christine and Daughter Nicole. They thought I was crazy for starting this company. They have both put up with my craziness when it comes to ideas, and directions. They keep me grounded and focused. The two of them have envisioned and designed some of the most excited apparel, uniforms and retail merchandise that I have ever seen. They have both pushed me outside my comfort zone and helped me realize there are other options beyond my initial thoughts.

In addition to my family there are several coaches that have contributed to my success and while everyone of my coaches are absolutely the best in this state, I must mention these three coaches. Coach Preston, I fought long and hard behind the scenes to get him out of cheer retirement. Our initial growth at the gym would not have been so successful without him. Coach Preston is one of the driving forces behind some of our most successful teams.

Coach Jordan has forged relationships with so many athletes and their families. She grown as a coach to be a force to be reconned with not only in this state but across the country. Her training and knowledge of this sport is hard to compete against. She trains killer athletes and her teams are amazing to watch.

Coach Rachel, our Allstar Director: Coach Rachel over the past 7.5 seasons has become one of, if not the best coach in the state.I would put her against anyone nationwide as far as coaching. She has produced amazing athletes and even more amazing teams. Coach Rachel was responsible for one of the biggest surges in enrollment any business could imagine. She is super tough as a coach but, she knows how to break it down and build it back up, many have tried to recruit her but, If you treat your people with the respect they deserve, you don’t worry about those things.

All three of these coaches have taken opportunity to soak up as much knowledge as they could when presented with opportunity to work with others in order to grow and expand their knowledge. Without them, Arizona Element might be a smaller company than it is today.

Website: www.arizonaelementelite.com

Instagram: @azelementelite

Twitter: @azelement

Facebook: @AZElementEliteCheer

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