Callie has been going to rhythmic gymnastics (GRS) since September and, at last, it was time for her competition. I’m not really sure why they called it a competition since there were no winners or losers. I reminded me more of what we used to call (in dancing) a recital – except there were judges. Here are some shots of her getting ready for her big performance.
I would be remiss not to mention how different this is from the US version of these events. First off – there were no extra costs to parents. The entire class (running every week the whole year) cost us about 125 Euros. Then, at the competition, they provided the girls with their costumes and medals for free. The adults did have to pay 2 Euros each to watch from the bleachers, but that was it!
Callie was so nervous for the competition. She was worrying about it from the first day it was mentioned at the beginning of the year and, as the day grew closer, got more and more anxious. She ended up hysterically crying on my lap 2 or 3 times the week before the competition. On the other hand, she had times where she was very confident, telling me. “Mom, I’m a bit scared for my competition, but that’s only natural. Everyone is scared before their first competition!” and another time, this: “Mom, the other girls in my group are really lucky to be with me. Since I know the routine better than them they can look at me if they get confused or stuck on what to do!” She also told us how she was imagining how great things would be after the competition, when she had her medal and could show it to her class. In all, her feelings seemed pretty normal to me. I told her some stories about when I was little and got nervous and she really liked that. Once we got there she was ready for action – I love her ‘game face’ and super straight posture shown at the photo at left.
Each group did 2 routines, one a dance and one a dance with balls (OK, I’m sure there is a more technical GRS term for those things, but I don’t know what it is). I have videos of each below – and then some photos.
Of course, I am a prejudiced mom, but when you watch, look at how great she is! She is on the music, has all the moves perfectly memorized and does them correctly. She has such a graceful body and even manages to look like she is having fun. No wonder they put her in the front.
There were 2 other groups of performers from her class including her good friend Lilou (plus other groups from other quartiers) They were wonderful as well!
Time for another note here on French culture. French parents are much calmer than their US counterparts. Yes, families were there, clapping, cheering and taking videos – but all very calmly. When everyone clapped for the opening of the competition, they started out random but quickly became syncopated – just like the kids do during spectacles. There was no jumping up and down, yelling to your kids, screaming after they finished their routine etc… etc…. The hysterics just are not a part of the French attitude, I guess! It was hard for me to hold back to be more in line with my counterparts.
After they finished, the kids came up to the bleachers to watch the older kids and wait for their medals. We were all so proud of how well Callie had done!
We had a packed lunch after the medal ceremony and stayed a bit into the afternoon to watch some of the older athletes. Zander and Callie were both fascinated by the entire thing and didn’t want to leave. Callie was very proud of how she did and brought her medal to school the next day. When I asked her if she wanted to do it again, however, she said no, since ‘It would be even harder next time.” C’est la vie!