History

Owners - John Mann and Joe Dondero

Many people ask us why two Naval Academy graduates would start a children’s development center that focuses on Motor Skills, Music and Creative Arts. When Joe and I were kids, we were involved in many different sports and other activities that helped develop our physical, intellectual and social skills. In addition, our involvement in these activities helped build the self-esteem, confidence, independence, and many other traits required for a healthy and successful life . . . hence our mission statement. Of course, we didn’t know any of this at the time. As kids, we thought we were just playing and having fun!

As we grew, the benefits became more apparent. Athletics and other creative outlets, as opposed to television and video games, were the primary sources of activity for us. Our friends had similar interests . . . and still do. We both attribute our involvement in these activities as the major factor in our decision to attend one of the premier institutions in America, The U.S. Naval Academy. While there, Joe played varsity lacrosse and I played varsity volleyball. Our athletics contributed tremendously to our success at the Academy, in the Navy, and ultimately, in our lives as more productive leaders and citizens.

After leaving the Navy, we both worked in corporate America and found ourselves unfulfilled by our jobs. When we started talking about starting our own business, the idea of working with kids, their families and our community appealed to both of us immensely. We knew that we both wanted to enjoy what we did everyday and do something meaningful with our lives . . . this was more important to us than just making money. It was with this in mind that we decided to explore the children’s Gymnastics model, and after some thorough research, we agreed that this was the path for us.

In creating Rolly Pollies, Joe and I wanted to put a new spin on the traditional gymnastics concept. Coupling the Gym portion with the best Music and Creative Arts programs anywhere, we felt we could add that much more to the Rolly Pollies experience and give our kids a more well-rounded development opportunity. Providing an atmosphere that promotes fun and creativity, exposes kids to music and art and teaches them to enjoy physical activity and establish healthy habits as they grow older is what we are all about.
We are thrilled with how our vision has come to life, and are very excited about where our program is headed. Please let us know if you have any comments/recommendations for how we can improve and get better. Additionally, if this is something you can see yourself doing in your life, please Contact us. . . we would love to speak with you!