Local Girl Selected for Prestigious USA Gymnastics’ “Future Stars” Program in Rhythmic Gymnastics
Tis the season when competitions begin for rhythmic gymnasts and Laguna Hills-based Irene School of Rhythmic Gymnastics is going for gold.
The Irene School of Rhythmic Gymnastics (ISRG) has been preparing rhythmic gymnasts all year long for various competitions. Several of their student gymnasts have been invited to compete in many events this season. The school’s goal? To develop the next rhythmic gymnastics gold medalist.
Rhythmic Gymnastics marked its debut in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Although a relatively new Olympic sport, Rhythmic Gymnastics has been growing in popularity in the United States. This beautiful sport has appeals to young girls and parents because it helps children grow in coordination, balance, good posture, elegance, strength, flexibility, discipline and confidence.
ISRG is thrilled that two of their students, sisters Christina Dragan, age 7, and Annaliese Dragan, age 9, were selected to be tested for the USA Gymnastics “Future Stars” program. Both the girls started training at ISRG in June 2012 and have been shinning stars for ISRG.
The USA Gymnastics Future Stars program tests rhythmic gymnasts to determine if they are suited for an elite level of Rhythmic Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics is a non-profit organization that was established in 1963 and is dedicated to creating a viable national program for gymnastics in the United States.
“The goal of this very elite camp is to bring together the best of best and see the potential of these girls in hopes of identifying a future Olympian. It is at this camp that coaches and gymnasts learn to develop presentation and technique with well-known coaches. This is definitely a great achievement for both coach and gymnast,” says ISRG co-founder and coach, Anastasia Fomin.
Annaliese Dragan was one of six girls that made it into the National Youth Squad Camp and proudly earned the title and position as Future Star. “This is a proud moment for ISRG as one out of thirty girls was tested nationally, two from our school were selected to be tested and one made Future Stars,” says Fomin.
ISRG has already competed in USA Gymnastic-approved events this competitive season, including the Los Angeles Rhythmic Academy where ISRG gymnasts showed very good results in each level of competition. Each ISRG gymnast that competed stood on the winning podium.
“One of our greatest achievements this year was being selected to participate in the National Competition, the Stars and Stripes Cup,” says Fomin. The Stars and Stripes Cup is a national competition for rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, synchronized trampoline, double mini-trampoline and tumbling. Approximately 1,000 athletes, coaches and officials participated in these combined events. ISRG was also personally invited to participate in the Elite Squad Camp in Texas in November. Annaliese Dragan represented the school and is the youngest to have been invited to this prestigious camp.
Becoming a future Olympian requires dedication and a passion for the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Girls begin their training as early as four years old. There are different levels of courses offered to girls who just want to explore the sport and art as compared to those girls who are serious competitors.
Thinking about Rhythmic Gymnastics?
If your child likes to dance around and flutter like a butterfly, she may want to try out ISRG’s beginner’s course. This course is great for girls ages five to seven years old. It teaches fundamental and rhythmic gymnastics skills with the goal of developing motor skills, strength, flexibility, attention span and listening skills through creative themes and lesson plans tailored to the pre-school level child. Colorful apparatuses (ribbons, balls, and hoops) bring a lot of excitement and enhance the child’s hand-eye coordination.
Recreational Rhythmic Gymnastics is the best way for girls 6 years old and up to discover the beauty and elegance of the sport. The recreational program is perfect for the beginner athlete, or for girls who may not be interested in a competitive environment. This program is designed to develop basic movements, coordination, concentration, rhythm and team skills.
Competitive programs start at Levels 3-4. In order to gain a spot in the competitive program girls are tested for flexibility, strength, grace and coordination. The program develops the beginning skills required to advance through the competitive USA Gymnastics system. The classes are structured so that the girls learn basic rhythmic gymnastics body technique, fundamental apparatus technique, dance preparation and choreography of age-appropriate routines.
Levels 5, 6 and 7 are invitational programs for girls 8 years old and up that prepare them for national and international competitions. Their competitive program involves a floor routine and three apparatus routines choreographed to feature their best qualities and strengths. The goal for the preparation is through participation at invitational, state and regional meets to qualify for the National Championships.
The Rhythmic Gymnastics community hopes that Rhythmic Gymnastics will be recognized and appreciated in the near future as one of the most beautiful Olympic sports, featuring athletes full of grace and talent, and ISRG and Coach Anastasia hope that Orange County will stand out as a great source of that talent in years to come.
If you are interested in exploring Rhythmic Gymnastics for your daughter, or if your organization is interested in having the ISRG athletes perform at your event, visit isrg.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. M