Rhythmic Gymnastics is one of the most beautiful and precise Olympic Sports. It is a combination of the dynamics and flexibility of gymnastics, the technical knowledge of ballet, and the self-expression and rhythm of modern dance. Unmatched for its elegant, expressive, precise and graceful movements, Rhythmic Gymnastics is using hand-held apparatus such as hoops, balls, ropes, ribbons, and clubs in specially choreographed rhythmic group and solo routines.
From Isadora Duncan to an Olympic sport
French choreographer Jean Georges Noverre, French philosopher Francois Delsarte and renowned American dancer Isadora Duncan advocated the expression of art through movement. Their teachings led to the development of rhythmic gymnastics in the early 20th century.
The fledgling sport was particularly popular in eastern Europe, and became a competitive sport in the Soviet Union in the 1940s.Events incorporating hand apparatus were included in the women's gymnastics program at the Olympics from 1928 to 1956. But the sport we now know as rhythmic gymnastics didn't come to the attention of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) until the 1960s, when enthusiasts called it "modern gymnastics."The FIG recognized it as an independent sport in 1962, and the first world championships were held in Hungary two years later.The individual all-around competition was introduced at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, the team event was added 12 years later.
Benefits of rhythmic gymnastics
Rhythmics, performed at the competitive level is a dynamic and compelling sport for girls. At it's best it requires top athletic development, yet the resulting performance appears as effortless and fluid as that of a prima ballerina.The benefits of Rhythmic Gymnastics to girls in their formative years include physical fitness, self-discipline, positive self-esteem, lasting friendships, team skills, love for sport, dance and music,fun and healthy lifestyle that the gymnast will sustain for life.
In reality, Rhythmic Gymnastics is a unique combination of the best off all three worlds.
The essence of Rhythmic Gymnastics is self-expression. In the absence of extremely difficult acrobatic elements used in Artistic Gymnastics, the movements in Rhythmic Gymnastics are elegant, expressive, precise and graceful. Athletes require a full range of flexibility throughout the entire body in addition to explosive power. Both factors combined allow athletes to maintain perfect body alignment in leaps, balances, pirouettes and other intricate body movements.The highest-level competitors take great pride in their original compositions as they appear to become one with the music and the apparatus.