by Noreen Connell Focus 01 thi s artic le wil l be on th e "judged" qua lity of the participant in women' ~ gymna sic co mpetition , however, the inherent f luid ity of dance appli ed to execution of gymnast ics makes it meaningful to any performer. The benefit of thi s ear ly art form makes dan ce training a mo st important fa ctor in the developm ent of th e competit ive gymnast. The gymnast must demonstrate control, isolat ion , techniqu e, strength , and differences in dynamics . Wh ere else but in th e atmosphere of dance trainin g are th ese attributes to be learned and perfec ted? Despite th e bes t of intenti ons, the " average" gy mn as ti cs coach is most often und erqualifi ed to teach or demonstrate the difference between a correct or incorrect rond e de jambe . Th e effect on performance sco re can be the d etermining factor in compet iti on and yet both th e gymnas t and the judge must be aware of th e sub sta nces of dan ce techniqu e. Ballet is basi c; va riation s from th e regim en can be modified to the "cu te" style of an Olga Korbut , to the " c la ss ic" qualit y of a Joa n Moore Ri ce . Styl e must be adapted to th e phYsi ca l conf iguration and comfort of th e gy mn as t but good techniqu e must always be ev ident in execution. Adapt ions can b e developed in th e major forms of dance arts be it ethnic, modern , folk , character, jazz , ball et or creative movem ent. Ea ch technique ha s its own bib liograph Y of development and its own perfection and its own application . Performan'ce ca n be, sho uld be, and must eve ntually be judged o n the qualit y and m erit of the form se lect ed b y th e gymnast. Origin alit y can ben e fit or p enali ze the performer if the judge recog ni zes co nsi stency in style. Semanti cs in gy mna sti c co mpul so ry routine descriptions needs unifo rmity , a piqu e turn
GYMNAST Apr. '75
endehor is eith er that ". o r it 's th e p erform ance described in Adva nced Compul so ry Fl oo r Exe rcise, paragraph II. Th e r eve rse app ea rs in the sam e routin e, where " omi ss ion of jump w ith rond e de jambe " is li sted as a pena lty d'eduction but n o such term i s id entifi ed in th e description of the routin e. Dance and sports world s are m erged in wome n' s gy mn as ti cs, knowl edge, term in o logy and mutu al recognit ion are in ev itab le. It mu st be the function of the coac h to produce th e stellar gymn as t and of th e judge to recogni ze, apprai se and cla ss ify th eir e ffort s. Noreen E. Connel is a D ance m ajor gradua te of th e Boston Conservatory of Mu sic, State Competit ion Cha irman of U.S .G .F., a m ember of the D ance Teac hers Club of Bo ston , and Dance Chairman of M assac hu se tt s Girls Gymnasti cs Associatio n. She is a member of the executive committ ee of the New En gland Gymnastics Clini c, Inc. , Dance and Gymnast ics Director for th e Ha yden Recrea ti o n Center, Lex ingt on , Ma ss .; own e r of th e Noree n Conne ll Floor Exercise and Dan ce Studi o ; a Nationa l rated USGF jud ge and form er coach of the championship Merr imack Val ley Leagu e gymnastics team , North Rea ding High Schoo l.