What is rhythmic gymnastics? Is it dance? Is it art? Or is it sport?
In reality it is a unique combination of the best of all three. 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.
Rhythmic gymnastics is one of the most beautiful Olympic sports.
It is a combination of the dynamics and flexibility of gymnastics, the technical knowledge of ballet, and the air and rhythm of modern dance.
The sport provides benefits to girls in their formative years including physical fitness, self-discipline, self-esteem, lasting friendships, team skills, fun and a healthy lifestyle.
Unlike artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics is performed in official competition by women only. Competitors use small pieces of hand apparatus – ropes, hoops, balls, clubs and ribbons as an extension of their bodies in routines accompanied by music. The performance takes place on a carpeted mat that is 13m x 13m. It is slightly cushioned, but certainly not to the extent of a ‘spring’ floor used in artistic gymnastics.
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 movements. Athletes display coordination and cohesion in their use of the hand apparatus with rhythmic sensibility while taking risks with technical precision. The highest-level competitors take great pride in their original compositions as they appear to become one with the music and the apparatus.
Alexandra Orlando is a highly decorated world-class athlete. In her 17 years dedicated to rhythmic gymnastics, she has been Novice, Junior, and 5 times Senior Canadian National Champion. During this time she was Canada’s dominant rhythmic gymnast, while earning a reputation as one of the few non-Europeans competing at the sports highest level.
She was the only athlete from all of the America’s to achieve an Olympic berth, and the first Canadian to make a final at a World Championships in 22 years.
Hundreds of young athletes across Canada look up to Alexandra – she has been an excellent role model and ambassador for sport. Through coaching, speaking engagements, technical skills consultations, self esteem and motivational workshops, she has helped and inspired many young athletes across a variety of sports.
We have Alexandra Orlando LIVE on BEYONDtheCheers Wednesday March 14th to share her story about her path to glory and beyond. Mothers and daughters – tune in to be a part of the conversation @ 7PM EST at BEYONDtheCheers on blogtalkradio or dial TOLL FREE 1-877-357-2448 in Canada and United States to ask a question, chat or talk with us.