About Calisthenics | Athena Cali Club

About Calisthenics

Calisthenics, as it is known today is unique to Australia and has developed from various forms of exercise and dance. Calisthenics competitions have been held as far back as the early 1900’s. In Western Australia, Calisthenics was started in 1957.

Who is it For?

Children from 3 years to adult can participate and enjoy calisthenics.

The Benefits – While the sport is spectacular to watch, it has much to offer its participants. From a very early age the children develop self-discipline, teamwork and high self-esteem. Physical fitness, a healthy lifestyle, confidence, loyalty and a strong emphasis on camaraderie are also integral components of Calisthenics.


Calisthenics teaches 6 different disciplines. All work is carried out in teams (normally from 8 – 16 students). The routines are choreographed to music and are intended to develop co-ordination, flexibility, grace, deportment, team work and confidence. The following description of each discipline may assist you to understand our sport:

1. Free Exercises – choreographed exercises using smart arm and footwork combined with gymnastic movements set to music. Aimed at developing strength and flexibility of the body.

2. Rod Exercises – students use an aluminium rod. The rod is manipulated while performing similar movements to those done in Free Exercises. Rod work is patterned to show artistic ability and precision. A unique aspect of Calisthenics which improves co-ordination, control and balance.

3. Club Swinging – two wooden clubs are swung in unison to the beat of the music. Intended to develop rhythm, co-ordination, control and deportment. This is also unique to Calisthenics.

4. Aesthetic Exercises – simplified ballet movements set to music. Intended to develop grace, elegance, poise and use of expression.

5. Deportment March – creation of various patterns while marching. Aimed at developing and strengthening deportment, poise and body discipline.

6. Fancy Items – only one fancy item is performed each year on a rotation basis. The items included in the rotation are: folk dance, song/s with actions, song and dance, Calisthenics spectacular, rhythmic interpretation and dance composition (intermediates and seniors only). This item is usually the “fun” item for the students.