Dancers learn from Olympian Pegg

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Gymnast Dominique Pegg has done less competing and more coaching since returning from the London Olympics.

The Rondeau native is still busy in the gym, but she also helps occasionally at Erin's Dance Club studios in Chatham and Blenheim.

Pegg, 19, shared advice with young dancers Sunday at an acro class, which combines gymnastics and acrobatics.

“It's pretty cool,” she said about teaching. “I've learned a lot from my coaches and ... (they've) helped me out. Now I can share that with a few of these kids and help them out.”

She's worked with the competitive and recreational dancers, teaching them strength and stretching exercises.

She's “very inspiring,” said club owner Erin McCord.

Pegg can offer the same advice as the club's coaches, but it's different coming from someone who's worn the Maple Leaf on the world stage.

“I can tell them to point their toes to no end,” McCord said. “But when an Olympian says it, it's a whole new ball of wax.”

She's also talked about nutrition. The dancers have been especially interested in a proper diet since fitness competitor Emily Stirling spoke to them in November.

Her older sister, Cassiah Pegg, is an instructor at Erin's Dance Club.

Pegg was 17th in the women's all-around final last year at the Olympics after helping the Canadian women place fifth in the team final.

She still works out at the Bluewater Gymnastics Club, but she hasn't competed since the Summer Games.

“I'm still training – training hard – and probably going to compete at the nationals coming up in April. It's not 100%,” said the former Blenheim-Kent Golden Eagle gymnast, who lives in Sarnia.

No matter how she does at the national championship, she won't compete for Canada again.

“It's kind of a sendoff, kind of a retirement,” she said. “Compete just for fun. Say goodbye to everyone.”

Still a teenager, her best days on the mat are already behind her.

“It's a short-lived sport,” she said, wearing a necklace with the Olympic rings. “You hit your peak around 18. Some girls, depending on their body type, they can go longer.”

Pegg isn't done competing, though. There's a good chance she lands this fall at the University of Alabama, the two-time defending NCAA champion, but the paperwork is far from complete.

She's in her final year at St. Christopher Catholic Secondary School.





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