Rhythmic gymnastics is a form of gymnastics that relies heavily on music, dance, choreography and props. Rhythmic gymnastics became part of the Olympic Games in 1984 and is competed mostly by women all over the world. This sport began in the Soviet Union in the 1940s and is competed on an open gymnastics floor for competitions.
Rhythmic gymnasts include many apparatuses that are woven into floor performances; it is a sport where the equipment held is intended to make the performance more difficult. Items like batons, ribbons and hoops are used as props throughout each routine.
Gymnasts also include certain skills like leaps, tumbles, jumps and tricky balances to earn points from the judges. Many aspects of dance and ballet are incorporated into the program.
Rhythmic gymnastics requires a lot of training and flexibility. Performers start at a very young age as training and preparation is very vigorous. The performer must be agile and have full body strength, as the whole body is involved in every gymnastic move.
Rhythmic gymnastics is not only beneficial for the body, but it is said to improve self confidence and mental clarity. This is one of the many sports that is considered highly athletic and artistic.