March is a team item, where team members perform a series of intricate patterns and formations around the stage. The main focus of a march is correct deportment, rhythm and precision of each of the team members. March is set to a piece of music and is very entertaining for the audience to watch.
Free exercises (commonly called Freearm) are performed by the team with no apparatus. The flexibility and agility of the participants make possible the interesting and varied movements, which involve strong gymnastic style movements. Younger sections start with simple basic movements that must be correct in detail and uniformity. As the item progresses through the age groups, it becomes more challenging depending on the team’s strength and abilities.
Commonly known as ‘rods’, this is a challenging item. Based upon similar movements to ‘Freearm’ with the added challenge of manipulating a long rod constantly and effortlessly. The rod is made of metal and is approximately 5 –10mm in diameter. The manipulation of this simple piece of equipment demonstrates the pinnacles of coordination that the members of a disciplined team can achieve. Whilst the rod itself is the focal point, the use of the body and the legs are also incorporated into the exercises.
Club swinging is a most difficult art. It demands coordination, concentration and many hours of practice. An accomplished team can execute complex movements as each club swings through a perfect circle on an imaginary plane. The performers must aim to swing as mirror images of one another and again, teamwork is essential. It requires no special physical attributes, just pure determination and lots of practice. An excellent performance of club swinging can hold an audience breath-taken and a single murmur will not be heard.
The aesthetic section comprises a series of movements, which are soft and flowing. Music is chosen for its variety of mood and tempo, but more particularly to facilitate the flow of the routine and expression of the performers. Movements should be soft and flowing whilst maintaining poise, strength, and at times demonstrating flexibility. Arm and feet positions are taken from Classical Ballet with a softer feel. Elevated movements are not permitted.
These items are rotated between the age groups each year, enabling a greater variety in the work performed each year. Generally one fancy item is performed by younger age groups and two fancy items are performed by the older age groups.
SONG WITH ACTIONS:
Song with Actions is performed in the younger sections. It involves singing and acting to tell the audience a story. With stage props and colourful costumes, children enjoy acting out fantasies and make-believe whilst singing their favourite rhymes and songs. Singing is the most important aspect of the item and many hours of practice is required to present a tuneful and entertaining item.
SONG & DANCE:
This item is predominately seen in the older sections. Combining singing with modern dance, it is important to make sure the theme of the song is carried through to the style of dance steps and costume choice. Equal weight is placed on both the singing quality and correct dance technique. Overall presentation, facial expression and style, also play a key role in presenting a successful Song and Dance.
Character/Folk Dance is a dance item performed in the younger sections. Music, costumes and props are chosen to convey the theme and performers are required to portray their ‘character’ through body and facial expressions. Correct technique of steps, team work and overall entertainment is of essence.
Rhythmic Dance is only taught in the older sections. It requires graceful dancing, strength and poise as with aesthetic, however elevation is an essential component. Interpretation of a theme is portrayed through the use of mime, graceful dance, classical music and beautiful costumes. It begins with the curtain down, lifting to reveal an item that is often compared to a classical ballet performance.
Calisthenic Revue is a fairly new item, which gives the coach a chance to be creative with the choreography and themes. The item should be entertaining with lots of variety, energy and enthusiasm. Calisthenic revue can include singing, dancing, physical work or any other component of calisthenics. Marks are generated based on technique, musical choice, entertainment value, theme and variety of composition.