Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics


a sport, a women’s competition in which combinations of various gymnastics and dance movements are performed to the accompaniment of music either with an object, such as a ribbon, ball, hoop, corde (similar to a skipping rope), or pin, or without an object. The current program for international competitions includes an all-round competition, consisting of one compulsory and three optional exercises with an object, and a team exercise with an object. Winners are selected in the all-round competition and in individual and team exercises. A ten-point scoring system is used.

Modern rhythmic gymnastics originated as a sport in the USSR during the 1940’s. The All-Union Section of Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics was created in 1945, and in 1963 it was transformed into a federation of the USSR. In the late 1940’s a classification program and rules of competition were developed. Annual championships have been held in the USSR since 1949; competitions for the All-Union Cup in Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics have been held since 1965. All-Union junior championships have been held since 1966. Among those who have contributed to the establishment and development of modern rhythmic gymnastics in the USSR are the teachers and coaches M. T. Okunev, A. N. Larionova, Iu. N. Shishkareva, V. S. Zinchenko, and A. M. Seme-nova-Naipak and the athletes A. R. Bashnina, V. K. Sivokhina, L. B. Nazmutdinova, and E. V. Biriuk.

After exhibition performances by Soviet gymnasts in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s in a number of countries, modern rhythmic gymnastics was accepted as a sport by the International Gymnastic Federation. World championships have been held in oddnumbered years by the International Gymnastic Federation since 1963. Several important international competitions have been held since the early 1970’s—for the Intervision Cup, the prize of the newspaper Student Tribune (People’s Republic of Bulgaria), and the Eighth of March (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic) and Golden Hoop (USSR) prizes. Modern rhythmic gymnastics has developed in most socialist countries, as well as in France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, and the USA.

All-round world champions over the years include L. P. Savinkova, E. A. Karpukhina, G. A. Shugurova, and I. I. Deriugina (USSR), M. Gigova (People’s Republic of Bulgaria; three times), C. Micechova (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic), and C. Rischer (Federal Republic of Germany). Champions in the individual competitions include the Soviet gymnasts L. A. Paradieva, T. V. Kravchenko, E. P. Averkovich, L. V. Kachkalda, Zh. P. Vasiura, and G. A. Krylenko, who have won 59 medals, including 21 gold medals, of the total 114 awarded (1977); other individual champions include K. Filipova and N. Robeva (People’s Republic of Bulgaria), U. Lehmann (German Democratic Republic), H. Machatova (Czechlosovak Socialist Republic), C. Rosenberg (Federal Republic of Germany), and M. Hiraguti (Japan).

In 1977 about 85,000 persons participated in modern rhythmic gymnastics in the USSR, 900 of whom annually participate in master of sports competitions. There were 264 divisions of modern rhythmic gymnastics in juvenile sports schools and 14 specialized modern rhythmic gymnastics juvenile sports schools. There were more than 1,500 coaches and teachers, including eight Honored Coaches of the USSR, including V. G. Bataen, G. P. Gorenkova, M. V. Lisitsian, and A. N. Deriugina.


Khudozhestvennaia gimnastika. Edited by L. P. Orlov. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Each show is a truly a unique experience combining a variety of modern rhythmic gymnastics, dance, artistic vaulting, tumbling, trampoline and high-energy acrobatics.