Gymnaestrada held at Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville

The hoops, ribbons, scarves, rope, balls and other apparatus used by rhythmic gymnasts all appeared on the stage at Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville on Friday evening, May 27 as the Kanata Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Club held its annual spring gymnaestrada.Rhythmic_group

This event was a celebration of the work and effort done by the Club’s recreational gymnasts over the past season while also featuring some special performances from the Club’s advanced gymnasts. This year’s gymnaestrada included performances from the Club’s national-level athletes as well. Several of these athletes have qualified for Nationals which are coming up in Manitoba.

This year’s gymnaestrada featured 25 different routines which included routines using hoops, lollipops, rope, teddy bears, ribbons, scarves, pom poms and balls. There were also free routines, a stretching routine and a warm-up routine presented.

National gymnast Cynthia Zhang presented a free routine while fellow national gymnast performed a rope routine. National gymnast Emma Yau presented a hoop routine while national gymnast Erika Lin performed a ball routine.

Various groups of gymnasts presented a variety of routines bearing such names as “Soda Pop,” “Sugar Sugar,” “Hoola Hoop,” “Flowers and Butterflies,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Seven Dwarfs,” and “Fireball,” among others.

The Kanata Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Club was founded in 1975 by Dasa Lelli who remains as the Club’s head coach. A former rhythmic gymnast in her native Czechoslovakia, Dasa is a level three certified coach as well as a fitness instructor.

Dasa coaches and oversees all levels of rhythmic gymnastics within the club, shaping the Club’s philosophy of teaching physical skills, sportsmanship and everyday conduct supported by strong moral values.

She received the Ontario Coaching Association’s Coach of the Year Award in 2010.

The Kanata Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Club holds its instructional programs in various locations in the area including at St. Stephen Catholic School in Stittsville and the Glen Cairn Community Centre, St. Gabriel Catholic School, Bridlewood Elementary School, the Old Town Hall and the Mlacak Centre, all in Kanata.

Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport in which individuals or groups manipulate one or more pieces of apparatus such as hoops, balls, rope or ribbons. It is a sport that combines elements of ballet, gymnastics, dance and apparatus manipulation. The choreography involved must cover the entire floor or stage and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility movements.

Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.

Competitive rhythmic gymnastics began in the 1940’s in the former Soviet Union. The first world championships for individual rhythmic gymnasts was held in 1963. Rhythmic gymnastics was added to the Olympics in 1984.

The Kanata Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Club can be contacted at 613-867-5774 or via email


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