By Anna Rose Johnson

Noted for her unflagging perseverance, Deanne Soza has always battled back to gymnastics despite numerous setbacks, and now she’s gearing up for a run at the 2017 P&G Championships. In this latest installment of our quick Q&As with first-year seniors, the talented 15-year-old chats about training at her new gym and her current progress.

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Inside Gymnastics: What is it like training at Texas Dreams?
Deanne Soza: I love Texas Dreams! Being a gymnast herself, Kim [Zmeskal-Burdette] understands and is really good at helping us in so many ways. She helps us prepare physically and mentally as we train. Chris is also amazing; he jokes around a lot and helps us to stay calm and have fun.

Inside: What’s your favorite skill?
Deanne: My favorite skill is my high to low release on bars: straddle-back half, a Yezhova.

Inside: When will your next competition be?
Deanne: My next competition is the U.S. Classic in Chicago at the end of the month.

Inside: Are you working on any upgrades for this summer?
Deanne: Yes, on beam I added an illusion [turn] and on floor I’m working a double layout and a double Arabian.

Inside: What are your goals for 2017 and for the future?
Deanne: Since I had to have surgery last year when I tore some ligaments on my left elbow, I wasn’t able to train at 100% and had to rest for about 6 months, so my goal for this summer is just to go out and compete the best I can. I am very happy that I was able to qualify for Classics, and hopefully I can get my score for Championships. I’m taking it one step at time, but with the support from my family and coaches I’ve been able to stay motivated.

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Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: