Skylar Smith began cheering when she was ten years old in Moore, Oklahoma and quickly fell in love with the sport. Competitions took her to Florida, New Orleans, California, and Minnesota where they won numerous national championships. After high school, Skylar continued to be engulfed in the sport cheering at Oklahoma City University where they won five national titles at NCA College Nationals.
Skylar has a knack for coaching teams toward championships and decided to turn that into a full-time job less than two years ago, opening Arbuckle Xtreme Athletics (AXA) in Davis, Oklahoma. “My mission is to be a second home for kids while providing a place to improve their tumbling, fitness, and cheer skills,” said Skylar. “I absolutely love hearing when the parents say their kids ask when they get to come back to the gym.”
AXA, which was started in June 2022, became the first of its kind in Murray County. It’s a place for elite-level cheerleaders who want to compete and sharpen their skills, and AXA also offers recreational tumbling & cheer, fitness classes, and ninja warrior classes to anyone over the age of one.
When the gym opened, there were 10 kids in the program and one coach. The gym has grown to more than 100 members in less than two years, employs seven people including coaches and office staff, and is in the middle of a second expansion. Originally, the gym started with 1,200 square feet. Currently they occupy 4,000 square feet and that space will soon double to 8,000. In addition to classes, they offer a place to host birthday parties or small events.
Skylar received startup assistance through the Women’s Business Center and other SBA resource partners and stays connected as her business grows and changes. “I have loved getting to work with the WBC. They have been so kind and helpful and don’t ever get tired of my billion questions. My advice to others in business is you must be adaptable. Sometimes you have to be able to make changes on the spot.”
Current plans for the gym are to grow to 150 athletes. “I would love to eventually be a wellness center and help provide a place where residents of Murray and Garvin County have a place to work out.”