Bulgarian gymnast Boyanka Angelova is known for complex and difficult combinations in rhythmic gymnastics. We still can’t get over her performance with the ball at the Junior European Championships in Turin in June 2008. She came second to Russia’s Yana Lukonina, but was very popular with the public. Angelova’s routine is so mind-blowing, it makes you wanna scream: “It’s impossible!” It looks like the word “impossible” is not in this girl’s vocabulary. Please, enjoy and SHARE this talented performance with your gymnastics fans.
Gymnastics originates from early Greek civilization. Facilitating physical development through a series of exercises was a big deal there. After conquering Greece, The Romans turned the exercising activities into a more formal sport, which helped them prepare for warfare. With the decline of Rome, interest in gymnastics diminished, considering it a form of entertainment.
Rhythmic gymnastics grew out of the ideas of Jean-Georges Noverre, a French dancer and balletmaster (1727–1810); François Delsarte, a French musician and teacher (1811–1871); and Rudolf Bode, a German educator and founder of the expressive gymnastics (1881–1970). The all three believed in expressive movement, which helped exercise various body parts. Peter Henry Ling further developed this idea. He pioneered the teaching of physical education in Sweden in 19th-century. Ling allowed students to express their feelings and emotions through body movement. He called it “aesthetic gymnastics.”
During the 1880s, Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss composer, musician and music educator, developed Dalcroze Eurhythmics, a method of learning and experiencing music through movement. In 1837, Catharine Beecher founded the Western Female Institute in Ohio, United States. She loved the idea of young women exercising to music. She introduced gymnastics program, called “grace without dancing.” Around the same time, George Demeny from France, who was one of the nineteenth century’s premier scientific investigators of the phenomenon of movement, created exercises to music that were designed to promote grace, muscular flexibility, and good posture. All the above-mentioned styles were combined around 1900 into the Swedish school of rhythmic gymnastics.
In 1929, Hinrich Medau, who studied music, sport and gymnastics, founded The Medau School in Berlin to train gymnasts in “modern gymnastics”, and to develop the use of the apparatus.
Competitive rhythmic gymnastics began in the 1940s in the Soviet Union. The International Gymnastics Federation formally recognized this discipline in 1961, first as modern gymnastics, then as rhythmic sportive gymnastics, and finally as rhythmic gymnastics. The first World Championships for individual rhythmic gymnasts was held in 1963 in Budapest. Rhythmic gymnastics was added to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, with an individual all-around competition.