Ruby’s First Calisthenics Competition

For the last few nights I have not been sleeping well. I have been waking up every few hours checking the date and time, making sure that I haven’t slept through the event marked in red on my calendar – Ruby’s first Calisthenics competition.

As I understand it, Calisthenics was started in Victoria as a way of keeping women fit while their men were away at the goldfields in the late 19th century (because, you know, women have a tendency to just sit around if men aren’t there!!!) There are various different events –

  • Rods – metal rods about the length of your arm are twirled by not in a majorette way
  • Clubs – wooden skittle type things are swung around
  • Free exercise – strong, rhythmic movements
  • March – Erm, marching in formation
  • Aesthetics – Floaty, girly, expressive dancing
  • Review – A mixture of some or all of the above set to fun music!

Ruby started a couple of months ago and immediately LOVED it. The girls in the group are lovely, the coach is so sweet to them and she really enjoys the program. It’s not as stringent as ballet or gymnastics but boy do they take it seriously!! With about 4-5 hours of rehearsal per week she has done her best to be ready for today

So after waking at 1.30am, 3.30am, 4.30am and 5.30am, my alarm went off at 6am and it was showtime! We got up and organised – Ruby had to have a ‘hair sprayed within an inch of your life’ bun, foundation, blusher, blue eyeshadow (the eighties are alive and well and living in Victoria – you should see the mullets!) and flicky eye liner. It feels so wrong to put all that gunk on my beautiful girl’s face but I know that from the auditorium she will look like a ghost otherwise! Costumes were packed, headpieces bagged, kirby grips and emergency sewing kit on standby – at 7.30am we were off (on a Sunday morning – that Mother of the Year award is surely in the post!)

We drove to the theatre in Werribee and lots of excited little girls packed into the tiniest dressing room ever to get into their first costume. Then dressing gowns on so that they didn’t get cold!


Ruby’s group were first on so there wasn’t really any time for the butterflies to set in. The music started and the girls marched their little hearts out!

The program moved along nicely and the girls were doing well in all their events, placing first or second each time!

I loved the aesthetics event – the girls all looked so pretty and floated around like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths!


The review was great too – their theme was ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and Ruby was ‘Violet Beauregarde’.

She had a couple of times when she was at the front of the stage which was a bit scary (for me) as she had no-one to look at but she knew just what she was doing 🙂 It was really obvious that they had put in A LOT of practise because they were really sure of what they were doing.

So when the final scores were in – Melton had won!!! I was amazed!! Before we had arrived, I said to Ruby that winning was not important, that the most important thing was that they had fun – well they definately had fun AND they won too!!!


I was so proud of Ruby. This time last year I was writing sad, sad blogs about how miserable she was. I was finding her lying in bed, sobbing about how lonely she was. She was such a sad girl – not herself at all and it broke my heart. Today she was there amongst a group of girls, giving it her all and loving every minute!

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3 Responses to Ruby’s First Calisthenics Competition

  1. correen says:

    Brilliant laura. So so pleased Ruby is a happy little spud again. X

  2. Tracey Hand says:

    Your last paragraph made me well up. I can so sympathise with the effect that has on a child (and a parent!)
    It’s wonderful that she is so happy now. It just goes to show that, as hard as change can be (especially change by choice) it can pay off in spades 🙂
    Yay for happy Parks!
    (meant to post this when you first blogged this but wasn’t on laptop)

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