A gymnast performs a delicate and passionate routine with the ball apparatus in rhythmic gymnastics. She must demonstrate skills in ballet, dance and artistic gymnastics to achieve the required points for competition. The following techniques are difficult to learn but rhythmic gymnasts make them look easy.
Catch. Throwing and catching the rubber ball are required routine elements.
Hold on. The ball apparatus is 7 inches in diameter. The gymnast must hold onto the ball loosely and softly. She cannot grip the ball at all and it may not rest on her wrists or there will be deductions.
Grab it. A gymnast must raise her arms in the air and hold the ball in her hands. Next, she must let go of the ball and let it roll down her arms and grab it before it lands on the floor.
Roll. In this move the gymnast lays on her back with her arms and legs extended, placing the ball at one end. Then, as if a continuous motion, the ball will roll from one end of the body to the other in simple harmony.
Balance. This body position looks like a seal. The gymnast lays on her belly and flips up onto her chest with her legs elevated behind and upward. She must keep her chin up, bracing herself with her hands, while balancing the ball on the front side of her legs.
Get into rhythm and move the ball in continuous motion throughout the space above and around you. Figure-eights, bouncing, circles and rolling the ball on the body and floor are all required technical elements.
Dance. Graceful and theatrical movements are choreographed to the music in the ball apparatus routine.