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concerning the use of ballet, the publication of suitable music and a ballet training manual. We had little time for a full discussion due to the crowded schedule, but the Committee did agree that a pianist should be employed to accompany the girls at national and international meets. On page 95 in the Gymnastic AAU Rule Book for 1960 you will find the ' report on music. On Page 96, paragraph 8 it states: "For competition, a pianist should be employed who will practice with and play the music for each contestant. This applies to both compulsory and optional gymnastic compositions." You will notice in the AAU Rule Book on page 94 that it states: "Free Calisthenics exercises are tending to move more and more toward classical ballet. It was noted in the World Championships that the top exercises were free of any hold positions and the style of continuous motion was very noticeable ... etc." Subsequently, I had a letter {rom Mr. George Gullack, then Chairman of the Natiorial AAU Gymnastic Committee. From this letter dated May 22, 1959, I quote: "It is regrettable that we did not have sufficient time to exchange views during our visit at Kent. However, I want to assure you that I am fully in accord and strongly in favor of the work you are doing. My observation of the performance by the Floridians during the meet prompts me to make this statement. As I have explained to many people since the meet, there is a marked improvement in the area where we needed proper instruction. You will be interested to learn that calisthenic movements for men are beginning to follow the trend already established by the women. Therefore, it is most desirable that this phase of gymnastics be taught wherever and whenever possible. Music is not yet required for the men's calisthenics, but will be perhaps, in the very near future. ' The men's compulsory exercises for 1960 indicates the new trend, and it was already apparep.t in some exercises by the Russians and Poles in Moscow last summer. Personally, I feel that there will be an accelerated demand for this type of instruction. As you probably know, the AA U is charged with the responsibility of providing our members with the latest material and exercises eminating from the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, it is not our function to teach. Anything you can do to enable our gymnasts to get on the right track of the prevailing trend will be greatly appreciated. Please accept my best wishes for your success." My next step was to find a musician who could write or adapt music suitable for the free exercise. I knew many pianists who could read music beautifully, but I wanted an accompanist . . . one who could follow the movements of the gymnast and if there was the slightest error in timing on her part, could speed up measures if necessary to give her the proper support when needed to enhance her performance. I found this person - Mr. Jay Gilbuena. He was the arranger for the late Mr. Oscar Hammerstein. He composed many original arias for free exercise and arranged scores of familiar American music to fit the Olympic timing requirements. These were all done to a minimum time of one minute to a maximum of one minute and thirty seconds, with variations. I asked the Olympic Committee to put these on the market, but I had found out that it is not their function to do this. I had to find someone in the business who could market it for us. Mr. Bob Kimble, president of the Kimbo Record Company, seemed to be the ideal person for this job. Mr. Kimble evidently thought the idea was tremendous, but he decided to go ahead without Mr. Gilbuena's arrangements. Therefore, the records he produced are not the original ones intended and in my opinion do not fulfill the need of the really modern gymnast. I'll have to keep trying, 1 guess, to find a record company to make this available for us.

Inspired by all of this encouragement from the officials, I will continue plugging away in my efforts to help gymnasts. I am above the petty jealousies and disputes that plague our sport. I want to help gymnasts. We must have a short-cut to ballet if we hope to compete with countries who support a complete program, which includes ballet. There is definitely a short-cut, a new American approach. This has been proven by Imperial Studios who trained Miss Claudia Cravey (story in the July-August 1962 edition of the Modern Gymnast) in a record breaking three and a half years. At the age of 13 she appeared as guest artist with Ruth Page's Chicago Opera Ballet Co., thus becoming America's youngest dancer to play leading roles with a recognized major ballet company. This highly personalized and revolutionary approach to ballet is the very short-cut needed for gymnasts. Money has always been a problem in our sport, so we needed a benefactor ...

WE HAVE ONE! Mr. Frank J. Hale has donated six scholarships for gymnasts to study ballet at Imperial Studios under the direction of Joanna and her teaching staff. Mr. Hale will house you at his Academy Royale. He evens plans to hire a chef to take care of your dietary needs. You will have the oportunity of working at Mr. Hale's famous theater, The Royal Poinciana Playhouse, which has always brought a dazzling group of stars to study under the direct suervision of one of America's greatest ballet teachers and learn all the professional secrets that make a performance great. There will no longer be any "guess." You will learn all the elements of timing, breathing, body placement, drama, show business "sell" and all the little tricks of the performing arts. It is yours for the asking. Write your qualifications to the editor of the Modern Gymnast. If you are in the senior division, male or female, and have placed in a championship recently, let us know. If you are or have been an Olympic or World Games team member and wish to take advantage of this remarkable training . . . let us know. Our first scholarships will start this summer. Apparatus will be available. ,No doubt you will be wanting to know who is Frank J. Hale? Why is he making gymnasts eligible for his Academy Royale Scholarships, and just what" is it all about? Frank J. Hale is a man of vision, and integrity and has a deep devotion to his fellowman. He is the President of

Imperial Studio teacher Cynthia demonstrates how to get an ex tra-stretch in ,the split by lifting the back leg. Directing Miss Kno x is Joanna , watching are : Mr . Bob Cummings, Mr. Frank J. Hale and teaching staff Mrs . Richmond Dodd, Grace Kaywell , Marie Hale and Linda Hand.


Profile for USA Gymnastics

Modern Gymnast - January/February 1963  

Modern Gymnast - January/February 1963