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    About RG

      Rhythmic gymnastics grew out of the 19th-century Swedish system of free exercise developed by Peter Henry Ling, who promoted “aesthetic gymnastics,” in which students expressed their feelings and emotions through bodily movement. This idea was extended by Catherine F. Beecher, who founded the Western Female Institute in Ohio, USA, in 1837. In Beecher’s gymnastic program, called grace without dancing the young women exercised to music, moving from simple calisthenics to more strenuous activities. During the 1880s, Emil Dalcroze of Switerzerland developed eurhythmics, a form of physical training for musicians and dancers. George Demeny of France created exercises to music that were designed to promote grace of movement, muscular flexibility and good posture. All of these styles were combined around 1900 into the Swedish school of rhythmic gymnastics, which would later add dance elements from Finland. Rhythmic gymnastics as a sport began in the 1940 in the former Soviet Union.

      The FIG recognised this discipline in 1961, first as “modern gymnastics” then as “rhythmic sports gymnastics, and finally as rhythmic gymnastics. The first World Championships for individual gymnasts took place in 1963 in Budapest, Hungary. Groups were introduced in 1967 World Championships in Copenhagen Denmark. Rhythmic gymnastics was added to the the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

      Today Rhythmic gymanstics is a sport is which single competitiors or five person teams manipulate five types of apparatus: Ball, Clubs, Hoop, Ribbon and Rope. The victor is the participant who earns the most points, as awarded by a panel of judges, for leaps, balances, pivots, flexibility, apparatus handling and artistic effect.

      International competitions are split between juniors, girls under 16; and seniors girls 16 and over. The largest events in the sport are the Olympic Games, World Championships and others like the Corbeil-Essonnes Tournament.

      As of 2005, Rhythmic gymnastics is largely a sport for women and girls, but a growing number of men participate. The Japanese version of Men’s rhythmic gymanstics includes tumbling and is performed on a spring floor. Individuals compete with four types of apparatus: rope, stick, double rings and clubs. Groups do not use any apparatus. Japan hosted the first Men’s World Championships in 2003.