Who is DDGA?

About Us


Dominique Dawes is a wife and mother of 4 young children who inspires her advocacy of health and wellness related endeavors. This three-time Olympic gymnast (Barcelona ’92, Atlanta ’96, Sydney ’00), Dawes is an Olympic Gold Medalist and Owner and CEO of the Dominique Dawes Gymnastics & Ninja Academies. Dawes opened the gyms to continue her commitment to developing a healthy and compassionate culture in the sport of gymnastics. Her first academy opened in the midst of a global pandemic, July 2020, her second location opened in April 2023 and her third location will be opening in 2024 in Columbia, MD. “Every day, I watch young girls and boys walk out of my facility sweating and smiling. This journey has been more rewarding, more thrilling than standing on any Olympic podium.”

Dawes’ passion has always been to educate and empower families, women and young girls on issues related to physical and mental health. She has been a national ambassador for a number of non-profits and corporations, and she was the first national spokesperson for the Girls Scouts of the USA of “Uniquely Me! The Girl Scout/Dove Self Esteem Program”. She continues to work with the Boys & Girls Club of America and has been a prolific speaker since the 1996 Olympic Games. Dawes served as the co-chair of the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition under the Obama administration alongside Drew Brees.

Alongside LeBron James and Maverick Carter, she served as Executive Producer of the Peacock docu-series “Golden”, the journey of USA’s elite gymnasts on the road to the Tokyo Olympics, which was nominated for a Sports Emmy. Sports Emmy nominated docuseries.

Most recently, Dawes was featured as part of E!’s docuseries, “Black Pop”, celebrating the power of black culture and her impact in the sports world.
Dawes is a newly elected board member of VetSports, a veteran owned non-profit that serves to help veterans through sports.

She is a newly elected member of the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame, Fall 2023.

Dawes holds her degree from the University of Maryland/College Park and was inducted into UMDs prestigious Hall of Fame in 2022.

June 22, 2024, her hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland will honor her career and legacy with a life size statue to continue inspiring the next generation to follow in her footsteps.

Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy

At Dominique Dawes Gymnastics & Ninja Academy, our mission is to empower children and help parents recognize the value of being in an empowering and positive environment.

We understand the importance of gymnastics as a sport, but we also recognize the toxic culture that has plagued the sport in the past. Our goal is to change this paradigm and create a healthy and nurturing environment for all children.

Our founder, Dominique Dawes, is a three-time Olympian and member of the “Magnificent Seven,” the first American team to win gold in women’s gymnastics at the 1996 Olympics.

However, Dominique’s experiences as a child in gymnastics were not always positive. She has been a vocal critic of the sport’s “toxic culture” and has spoken out against the emotional, psychological, and physical abuse that she and other gymnasts have endured.

At our academy, we prioritize the mental and physical health and wellbeing of every child above scores and rankings. We limit the number of hours children train to ensure they don’t live in the gym 24/7, and emphasize the importance of a well-rounded life outside of gymnastics. We also focus on building a culture of kindness and respect, where children are encouraged to be good teammates and to support one another.

In addition to gymnastics, we also offer ninja classes for children.

This unique program combines obstacle course training to build strength, balance, and coordination. Our ninja classes also help children develop problem-solving skills and focus, and can be a great way for children to burn off excess energy.

We also offer classes for preschool-aged children, where we focus on nurturing the child’s physical and emotional development, all while improving motor skill development and strength. Our instructors are trained to work with young children and create a fun and safe learning environment.

We understand that choosing a gym for your child is a big decision, and we invite you to visit our academy and see for yourself the positive and nurturing environment we have created.

Whether your child is just starting out in gymnastics or looking for a unique sport like ninja, we have classes and programs to meet their needs. Thank you for considering Dominique Dawes Gymnastics & Ninja Academy for your child’s gymnastics and ninja training.