About Us

Inters Team 1 Rods 2014

Calisthenics is a unique Australian sport that originated in Victoria in the Gold Rush of the 1800’s. It was derived from European physical culture or gymnastics, which was designed to keep men, women and children who lived in the city healthy as they were no longer participating in the strenuous physical activity of rural life. It was practised in church halls and the drills were executed to musical accompaniment and words of command.

Today, Calisthenics in Australia is considered an artistic or performing sport as are rhythmic gymnastics and ice dancing. It is a year round sport with a strong emphasis on being a team sport. Participants are separated into sections according to their age (Tinies, Sub-Juniors, Juniors, Intermediates & Seniors) and are then placed in teams according to their skill level and experience.

Each team learns between five and seven routines that are designed to develop strength, flexibility, fitness, poise and confidence. Routines are performed on a theatre stage to music and the emphasis is on precision and uniformity across the team.

Above: The Australian Calisthenic Federation’s promotional video. Check it out for a brief introduction to calisthenics.

There are many different disciplines or routines that can be taught in Calisthenics, that is why it is considered such a diversified sport. The core items which are taught every year and form the basis of Calisthenics skills are:

Figure March – Develops rhythm, core stability, extension and deportment of the body. It involves a team executing intricate patterns on the stage. Watch a YouTube video of March…

Club Swinging – Involves the swinging of clubs in unison with rhythm and uniformity. Clubs are often swung in different directions and doing different movements. (Not performed by Tinies) Watch a YouTube video of Clubs…

Free Exercises – Displays team strength and flexibility. It is a series of movement involving flexibility, strength, control and uniformity performed with no apparatus. Watch a YouTube video of Free Exercises…

Rod Exercises – Similar to Free Exercises but is performed with a long rod. Participants twist, manipulate, and flash the rod to develop the shoulder, arm and wrist while incorporating leg and dance work. Watch a YouTube video of Rods…

Aesthetic/Rhythmical Aesthetic – A Ballet influenced discipline and is performed with a long flowing dress. The team interprets the music through graceful, flowing body movements. Watch a YouTube video of  Aesthetics…

Fancy Items: Folk Dance, Character/Folk Dance, Song and Dance, Song and Action/Movement, Calisthenic Spectacular, Calisthenic Revue, Rhythmic Interpretation, Dance Rods, Dance Arrangement, Stage Medley.  These routines are usually highly costumed and theme based. Watch a YouTube video of Calisthenics Spectacular or watch a YouTube video of Song & Dance / Action Song.