Rhythmic Gymnastics is a relatively young sport, but its roots go back in time.
Throughout the mid -19th and early 20th century in Europe and in America, music and expressive movements for physical education gained popularity. The philosophy included using the connection between music and movement in physical education. Rhythmic schools in Europe during this period started to focus on developing musical sense and rhythmic movements.
By the end of the 1920s, teachers at the Lesgaft’s Institute of Physical Education in St.Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia, developed the criteria for rhythmic gymnastics to become an independent sport.
In 1934, at Lesgaft’s Institute of Physical Education was opened Higher School of the Art Movement, which brought together theorists and teachers of the leading studios of plastic and art movements, folk and classical dances as well. The inclusion of choreographers from Mariinsky Theater to the Institute staff helped turn gymnastics into a truly sport. And it is became the main subject of special training program for students. That is why Russian’s school of Rhythmic Gymnastics is considered to be unique and so appreciated in the world.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) officially recognized Rhythmic Gymnastics in 1962. It was added as an Olympic sport in 1984, and an individual all-around competition was held. In 1996, group competition was added as an event.