Rhythmic Gymnastics is the perfect combination of sport and art, linking expressive dance steps and gymnastics with skillful manipulations of the ball, rope, ribbon, hoop or clubs and the result in absolutely magnificent to watch!
Peerless artistry, jaw-dropping choreography, and unreal body control; rhythmic gymnasts perform jumps, tosses, leaps and other moves with the different apparatus, and are judged on their grace, dance ability, and coordination as well as the tumbling components of the floor exercises.
Rhythmic Gymnastics apparatus descriptions:
Rope - Light and supple, in hemp or synthetic material; use the rope to leap over or skip then add in swings, throws, circles, rotations and figures of eight.
Hoop - made of plastic or wood; rotate the hoop around the hand or body then add rolls, swings, circles, figures of eight, throws, passes through and over the hoop.
Ball - made of rubber or synthetic material, 18 - 20 cms in diameter; rest the ball in the hand then add throws, bounces or rolls.
Clubs - made of wood or synthetic material; use the clubs for rhythmical tapping then add mills and small circles, asymmetric movements, throws and catches.
Ribbon - 6 meters long and probably the most popular event for the spectators; use the ribbon for large, smooth flowing movements to make spirals and circles then add swings, circles and serpents.
Freehand - performances without apparatus; instead the emphasis is on style, technique and execution of dance skills. Freehand is most often seen in lower levels.
Rhythmic gymnastics is one of just two Olympic sports where only women take part. This female only sport is rewarding physically, emotionally and mentally and is a great artistic outlet as well. Rhythmic gymnastics helps:
Develop posture and confident body movement, for sport and life
Enhance co-ordination and agility, for body awareness and balance
Enhance creativity and builds self-confidence
Increase flexibility and strength and prepares the body for the life's challenges
Develops ability to compete under intense pressure and the discipline and work ethic to practice skills until perfection is achieved
Develops healthy minds and bodies for now and later life