Rhythmic Gymnastics (RG) is a magical meeting of sport and art. RG combines the body techniques of ballet, dance, acro and gymnastics with hand-held apparatus. Athletes learn, practice then perform or compete creative and expressive routines to music using ropes, hoops, balls, clubs and ribbons. For performance and development purposes any range of hand held props and apparatus can be used (ie. scarves, circus props, fans, umbrellas etc).
At a recreational level:
RG is a fabulous launching pad for all sports and an ideal place to grow your physical literacy! In Recreational RG you learn how to warm-up, gain strength and increase flexibility. You work on hand-eye coordination, physical dexterity, musicality, agility, balance, memorization and confidence. In Recreational RG at our club, athletes work towards earning skill buttons, do fun circuits, memorize and practice skill building routines and perform for parents.
At a competitive level:
RG is an Olympic Sport governed internationally by the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) and Nationally by Gymnastics Canada. Totally based on floor work, it is performed to music and uses apparatus: rope, hoop, ball, clubs, and ribbon performed on a carpet that is 13m x 13m. Individual exercises are limited to 90 seconds per apparatus and emphasize mastery, coordination, expression, flexibility, musicality, balance, strength and agility. For example, it is not unusual to see a wide range of highly technical jumps or leaps in rope exercises.
The hoop, measuring 80-90 cm in diameter, is rolled over and around the gymnast’s body for highly technical movements on the carpet.
The diameter of the ball is 18-20 cm. Characterized by throws and catches, the ball is often tossed high up in the air to allow the gymnast to perform rotations before she catches it with any part of her body.
The clubs are 40-50 cm in length. Holding the clubs with both hands, the gymnast performs intricate circular movements. Throws and catches are the significant elements in the handling of this apparatus.
The ribbon measures 6m (5m for juniors and 4m for novices) and is made of satin. The ribbon creates snakes, spirals, and circular movements, all initiated by the gymnast who is handling the stick to which the ribbon is attached.
In group exercises, four or five gymnasts work together creating exciting routines with exchanges, masteries, formations and dance sections. The choice of the apparatus is determined by the regulations and for each Olympic cycle. In lower levels ages and apparatus are often mixed.