Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport practiced by individuals and teams. It combines elements of ballet, gymnastics, theatrical dance, and the manipulation of what they call apparatuses - ribbon, rope, hoop, ball, clubs. We might think of them as tools.
While in traditional gymnastics, the techniques used in floor routines are strung together with the music layered on top, in rhythmic gymnastics, the music, tools, and movement are one.
Rhythmic is not easy, even as it looks so graceful and effortless. Mastery with a ribbon, a hoop, or a ball comes with a lot of practice.
In some cases, the tool seems to follow the agility of the human form - in service to it. This is where a comparison with the social Web comes in.
This is the only kind you can have - that of your own actions. The tools are there to support you, enhance your communication, allow you to extend your reach. You decide the movement you want to create with your business.
Yes, there are laws - gravity seems to be the biggest to deal with. You can however find the touch points of opportunity, those situations that connect you to those who are looking for what you can do. Where do you shift the movement? How do you coordinate your energies? These are all answers within your reach.
There's no faking your way into a performance. It's very public - and so is failure. Look at the execution to see the skill level. That's what makes it legit. There's a lot of information in success as well. The greater the skill, the easier it looks. It's the same with writing, translating, building, communicating, leading and many other crafts.
Different tools perform differently, depending on what they enhance. They also offer different opportunities to create an experience and deliver an outcome. Breakthroughs in performance come from the core, where passion, will, and perseverance make their home. Are you energizing the right practices?
Doing the right thing
It all comes together one micro movement at the time. When you give your performers the flexibility to express what is inside them, what they're passionate about, they will spend time rehearsing and training to make those adjustments that will result in smoother movements.
You don't need to do away with process, what you want to do is to create an environment in which the athletes on your team embrace the process of creation. Rather than stifling, true engagement lets you harness existing limitations to make the movement possible - if they are creative choices and not imposed bureaucracy.
Because when you trust their motivations, and invest in them, the athletes themselves will learn to know when to time flexing, leaping, and balancing their responses. The tools mere props, supporting mechanisms for the human expression.
You know what else these athletes can do really well? They can be graceful and strong at the same time. They are decisive, results-oriented, and still able to communicate with passion and creativity. Did you also notice how simple the tools are?
What can you do to help them? Create an environment that helps them express their human form. Give them room to exercise and experience what they know and who they are with a process that enhances, instead of stifling. Help them achieve mastery. The art of conversation is another expression of the human condition.
[image by Beniamino Baj]