Not Just Ribbons And Rhinestones: The Truth About Rhythmic Gymnastics

When they start making money in rhythmic gymnastics

A TOUGH ROUTINE : Rhythmic Gymnasts Try to Overcome Obscurity in U.S.

She stands elegantly, waiting for the music to start. Her hair is in a bun, eyeliner and eyeshadow applied to her face, and Swarovski crystals stud the leotard that hugs her body.

In her hands, she holds a ribbon Rhythmic gymnastics. There are no flips or tumbling in rhythmic gymnastics.

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No bars or balance beams. And for that reason, people either have no when they start making money in rhythmic gymnastics what it is or have a twisted image of it.

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Well, I beg to differ. Rhythmic gymnastics is an official Olympic event, not a frou-frou hobby.

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Yes, when it comes to competitions the gymnasts do wear elaborate leotards studded with gems, and yes, they do perform with ribbons. The rest — the training, what really makes up the sport — is hidden.

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A rhythmic gymnast has to leap, turn, contort, and dance, all while manipulating and tossing different apparatuses, and all to the beat of the music. And that all starts with hours and hours of training and practice. The gym is full of girls in leotards and dance shorts drenched with sweat. Bruises dot their legs and backs. Straighten your knees!

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Kicking, extending, holding their bodies in different positions, trying to target and strengthen every muscle. On top of being strong, a rhythmic gymnast must be incredibly flexible. As for the legs?

It has to go beyond degrees. This is achieved by stretching between two chairs, with one ankle on each chair, forcing the split to go further. The gymnasts grimace in pain, but they soldier through the stretches.

Peter Henry Ling further developed this idea in his 19th-century Swedish system of free exercise, which promoted "aesthetic gymnastics", in which students expressed their feelings and emotions through body movement. In Beecher's gymnastics program, called dance without dancing", the young women exercised to music, moving from simple calisthenics to more strenuous activities. She went on to develop "harmonic gymnastics", which enabled late nineteenth-century American women to engage in physical culture and expression, especially in the realm of dance. Stebbins provided the means, rationale, and model for what could be accepted as the appropriate practices for middle and upper-class women. George Demeny of France created exercises to music that were designed to promote grace of movement, muscular flexibility, and good posture.

And yet, these warriors are given virtually no respect or recognition. No one doubts the strength of a football player or a wrestler. But for some reason, people roll their eyes when they hear about rhythmic gymnastics. Little do people know that the most delicate and graceful of these athletes are often the strongest. Rhythmic gymnasts work for hours and they work hard.

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A spectator probably will not realize the effort that goes into controlling each apparatus that rhythmic gymnasts perform with. It takes a lot of painstaking practice to master acrobatics and skills with balls, hoops, clubs, ropes, and ribbons.

When it comes to competition, rhythmic gymnasts get one chance to prove themselves. One chance to demonstrate all that practice and work under the unwavering gaze of the judges, in a routine that lasts just one minute and 30 seconds. No one stops the music if the gymnast messes up. She has to go out there and bravely stand up to the pressure.

No tomorrow for rhythmic gymnasts

Though she is covered in rhinestones, inside she may be full of doubts and fears. But she has to swallow them and stay composed. When the music begins, she either flies, the apparatus becoming one with her body, or she falls, letting her fears get the best of her.

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There are no second chances. The rhythmic gymnast either owns sites make money online floor or lets it own her.

Editor's Choice

In this sport, there are many talented, hard-working athletes who want to become champions. And even though many train to be the ones to represent their country, with their national flag on their leotard, only a handful live the Olympic dream. And only one rhythmic gymnast of that handful will get the gold. Competition is always in the air as they work.

Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup

And no one knows whether all that work and sacrifice will pay off. So why do rhythmic gymnasts bother? Rhythmic gymnastics is addictive in a strange way. Yana Kudravtseva, youngest rhythmic gymnastics world champion.