Although Calisthenics originated in England and Europe in the 1880’s Calisthenics was formed from a Greek word known as ( Kallos,sthenos ) “ Kallos “ for beauty and “ sthenos “ for strength.
By 1903 Royal South Street introduced Calisthenics to their famous Eisteddfod in Ballarat. Royal South Street is still a big focus to all Calisthenics clubs around Australia. The sport then became very popular, and rapidly spread throughout Australia. South Australia being in 1928, and ACT in the mid 1960’s.
Calisthenics uniquely helps students develop discipline of the mind and body, teamwork, competitive spirit, and team commitment. Appreciation for music, rhythms, and melodies is also some things students will intake. Aswell as grooming, stage presentation, and let’s not forget the stunning costumes all the performers get to wear on stage for the adjudicator at competitions.
Between 3 to 6 routines are learnt each year depending on the age group, and routines last between 1.5 – to 4 minutes. All routines are taught and performed with the emphasis of teamwork and uniformity.
There are many different disciplines or routines that are taught in Calisthenics, which is why it is considered such a diversified sport.
The value of correct deportment is HIGHLIGHTED in Figure Marching. The marching team must execute many formations and patterns, but the deportment is the single most important factor and must be maintained strictly at all times. Rhythm and precision must be identical by all team members. As with all Calisthenics routines teamwork is essential.
Freearm Exercise is a series of strong movements, technique, high levels of flexibility. Freearm Exercise demonstrates imaginative choreography and the physical capabilities of the performers. Control and rhythm, testing the performers stamina, flexibility and timing while not involving any apparatus.
Club swinging is one of the routines in which an apparatus is used. It involves the swinging of clubs with perfect rhythm in a circular movement using both hands to swing the clubs in opposite directions and positions.
Rod Ecercise is another routine which uses an apparatus. In rod work the basic detail of leg, foot, and body work is the same as Freearm Exercise. This simple piece of equipment demonstrates the co-ordination that can be achieved. Whilst the rod itself is the focus point the use of the body and legs are incorporated into the set of exercises.
The Aesthetic section comprises with a series of exciting movements, which must be executed with a soft delegate elegance. Aesthetic is a ballet influenced discipline showing the team’s ability to perform with the soft music, and demonstrate graceful movements. This routine should contain a variety of facial and body expressions.
Song and Dance is a routine where a team combines singing with modern and jazz dance steps. A high quality of singing, presentation, style and facial expression and technique of dance steps.
Song and Action is a routine where a team can present a musical item comprising of singing, acting, and choreographed movements. Arrangements should be animated with combinations of groups and patterns, costumes and stage props.
Calisthenic Spectacular is a routine where teams are encouraged to combine many aspects of calisthenics plus dancing, singing, gymnastics, ballet, comedy, and costume changes. Calisthenic Spectacular is normally meant to produce a exciting breathtaking routine for the audience. The routine should be equally balanced 50% physical exercise and 50% dance to a chosen theme.
Rhythmic is based on a mixture of dancing and elevation. Rhythmic can be based on an Aesthetic style or Jazz style of dance as long as it includes many steps of elevation, body line, natural grace, dance quality, poise and interpretation of the theme. The dance can be set to a variety of rhythms. The soloists and chorus may portray the story or theme and create and atmosphere pertaining to the mood. Due to the strength and techniques involved, this routine is only taught in the older age groups.
Folk Dance is a National "dance of the people". Folk Dance is graded on the team's ability to perform and interpret national dances from all over the world theatrically. Teams are expected to show the correct steps in unison as well as convey national character, agility and vitality.
Items in this section MAY include singing, dialogue, calisthenic work and dance (of any style) but these are not compulsory. A combination of the different sections should be used but does not require all items to make up the routine. Items are usually required to be of a longer duration than in other items and often follow a theme. Note that teams are not marked for individual techniques such as, dance, as in Calisthenics Spectacular and Stage Medley.
Again following on from the theme of Calisthenics Spectacular but with these differences. Routines MUST include singing, calisthenics physical work and dance (of any style) all sections must be of equal balance. Teams may perform routines based on a theme or story line.