Calisthenics combines fitness, teamwork, poise, flexibility and graceful movement. Teams compete in various types of routines such as March, Exercises, Rods, Clubs, Aesthetic and various forms of Dance.
Participants can also chose to compete in individual items including Graceful Girl, Physical Solos or Duos.
The value of correct deportment is the emphasis in Figure Marching. Though the marching team is also judged on its execution of intricate formations and patterns, deportment is the single most important factor and must be maintained strictly at all times. The uniformity of style between marchers is a further basic requirement, whilst rhythm and precision from member to member must be identical. Team- work is essential.
The flexibility and agility pupils must maintain in Free Exercises makes possible the interesting and varied movements (e.g.; backbends, walkovers, leg mounts, splits) which are used in routines to demonstrate the physical capabilities of the performers. The Free Exercises section, whilst permitting a variety of more complex movements, is built on a series of basic ones, each of which must be correct in detail.
Rods are a challenging exercise in the use of apparatus. The rod is made of metal and is approximately 5 – 10mm in diameter. The manipulation of this simple piece of equipment demonstrates the pinnacles of coordination that the members of a disciplined team can achieve. Whilst the rod itself is the focal point, the use of the body and the legs are also incorporated into the exercises.
Club swinging is a most difficult art. It demands coordination, concentration and many hours of practice. An accomplished team can execute complex movements as each club swings through a perfect circle on an imaginary plane. The performers must aim to swing as mirror images of one another and again, teamwork is essential.
The aesthetic section comprises a series of movements, which are soft and flowing. Music is chosen for its variety of mood and tempo, but more particularly to facilitate the flow of the routine and the expression of the performers.
Rhythmic can be based on balletic or contemporary dance styles. The key elements of this item are correct technique, natural grace, dance quality, poise and interpretation of the theme. Due to the strength and techniques involved, this routine is only taught in the older age groups.
Song and Dance
Throughout this type of presentation, singing and dancing must be evenly balanced, with the theme of the song carrying through and influencing the dance. The type of dance performed is optional and the coach has unlimited freedom in the choreography of steps and movements.
Formerly known as Folk Dance, this item is based strongly around a theme and the team’s ability to portray the character of their theme through dance. Correct technique, uniformity and interpretation are all important in this vibrant item. Mime, acting and creativity bring this item to life.
Creativity and entertainment are the keys to this item which allows great freedom in choreographic creativity. Items are often complex and clever and can represent mini-productions. Teams are encouraged to combine aspects of calisthenics with dancing, singing, acting, comedy and clever costuming – all designed to delight and entertain the audience.