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Crenshaw Athletic Club

History of Crenshaw Athletic Club

Founded in 1951

Crenshaw was founded in 1949 by Bill and Bee Crenshaw as one of the first private gymnastic studios in the United States. The first tumbling classes were held in the old University Methodist Church. In 1951, they built and moved their gym to 42nd and Burnet Road. In 1976, Art and Gil Elsass purchased the business to continue the tradition of excellence in teaching. Originally started as a part time business, Crenshaw Athletic Club is now a full-time endeavor. In May of 1984, the club made its present move to 5000 Fairview and became one of the most prestigious gymnastics facility in the country. The programs under Gil and Candace Elsass now include Gymnastics, Swimming, Preschool Education, After School Care, Birthday Parties and an Adult Fitness Center. Crenshaw is also a pioneer in creating a popular program called Palaestra which is a unique combination of academics and athletics for preschoolers.

Building our Current Location

When the new facility was built in 1984, it was decided to expand into adult fitness. Art and Gil again used their experience and foresight to pioneer the tangent health industry. The facility offers a complete weight room, a 440' indoor running track, a 40' heated lap and aerobic pool, whirlpool, steam and sauna. The club also offers water workout classes for senior citizens with limited movement. A no contract policy made Crenshaw unique among fitness centers.

Original Crenshaw Logo

XV Olympia Helsinki - 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland 3 Meter Springboard Diving

"Skippy" Browning

Prior to the 1952 Olympics, "Skippy" Browning came to the University of Texas to complete his final training. While here, a lasting friendship developed with the Crenshaws. He worked many hours with Dr. Crenshaw perfecting his diving skills through the use of the trampoline. Before graduating, "Skippy" taught with the Crenshaws. In 1952 "Skippy" won the Gold Medal on the 3 meter board in what was considered to be one of the finest performances ever witnessed. This award inspired the Crenshaw Athletic Club logo. The tradition of excellence that began with Skippy's achievement is being continued by the club's present owners.


Crenshaw Athletic Club is located on the northwest side of beautiful Austin, Texas. The facility houses a fully equipped 12,000 square foot Gymnasium, Indoor Heated Pool, Spa, Steam Sauna, Assorted Classrooms, Fully Equipped Weight Room, Indoor Running Track and Locker Rooms for our adult fitness program. Take time to come by and tour the facility and ask about special programs for children and adults. 

Crenshaw truly is "A Full Family Fitness Center."