Rhythmic Gymnastics – poetry in motion
Performed mostly by women, Rhythmic Gymnastics is a discipline combining grace, coordination, agility and artistry. Accompanied by stirring music, the gymnast uses small hand apparatus to weave a routine of flawless beauty moulding gymnast, music and apparatus into one.
The handling of apparatus whilst performing complex turns, pivots, balances and contortionist like movements are characteristic trademarks of this intriguing gymnastics discipline.
Providing participation opportunities for individual or groups, Rhythmic Gymnastics is the perfect sport for those with a penchant for dance and movement to music and where personality and expression can be nurtured over the following pieces of apparatus:-
The rope is made of hemp or synthetic material. The length may change in proportion to the size of the gymnast and instead of a handle, each end of the rope terminates in a knot.
Routines can be performed with the rope open or folded, held with one or both hands, with or without the rope changing hands. The relationship between the rope and the gymnast can often evoke an aggressive image, as when the rope takes hold of the gymnast and wraps itself around. However, flexibility, agility, and gracefulness will always transcend this moment of "fury".
The hoop is composed of wood or plastic and its inner diametre can range from 80 to 90 centimetres. The minimum weight of the hoop is 300 grams. The hoop must be rigid enough to retain its shape when used in a routine.
The hoop carves a space that must be fully used by the gymnast, as when she passes through the hoop or when the apparatus rotates around any part of her body. Frequent grip changes require well-developed coordination and the shape of the hoop is ideal for rolling and rotating on the floor or on different parts of the body.
The ball is made of rubber or synthetic material and its diametre is between 18 to 20centimetres. The weight of the ball must be a minimum of 400 grams.
The ball is the only piece of apparatus that can never be held, it may only be balanced on the body or rolled over. This requirement results in a perfect union between the body of the gymnast and the apparatus. The spectacular throws of the ball are in neat contrast with the softness and precision of the catches, both of which are also requirements of the routine.
The clubs may be made of wood or synthetic material and their length is between 40 to 50 centimetres. Each club weighs 150 grams.
Clubs provide games for the hands! The gymnasts perform mills, rotations, circles, throws, and many asymmetric movements in combination with complex movements of the body. Club handling requires rhythmic work, coordination, and clockwork precision.
The ribbon stick is 50 to 60 centimetres in length and 1cm in diametre. It is typically made of wood, bamboo, plastic or fibreglass. The ribbon is made of satin or a similar material without starch. The maximum weight of the ribbon is 35 grams, its width is between 4 to 6 centimetres, and its length is a minimum of 6 metres.
The ribbon is a long, flexible and light piece of apparatus that shapes patterns in space. When used by the gymnast, its aerial movements carve forms and images. Snakes, spirals and throws represent the main routine elements when using the ribbon.
Rhythmic Gymnastics is poetry in motion. Join a gymnastics club today.