Gymnasts and dancers enjoy top achievements

I-Star Academy girls performing

I-Star Academy girls performing

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I-star Academy is a rhythmic gymnastics and dance centre based in Steyning, Shoreham and Brighton.

We have had a great number of successes over the years including rhythmic gymnasts competing at top level competitions such as World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games. We offer classes in dance and rhythmic gymnastics from recreational level for ages four+ (just for fun and fitness) through to elite high performance level.

We are growing in size and success and we are normally quite quiet about our outstanding achievements but I think that the amazing work the girls do (and have done) deserves a big ‘shout out’ and praise.

Rhythmic gymnastics is an Olympic gymnastics discipline that requires gymnasts to perform routines to music with hand apparatus such as ribbon, hoop, ball. As a club we focus on the group aspect of the sport where five gymnasts perform together on the floor area. The group routines are always a crowd-pleaser as the gymnasts are required to throw and catch each others apparatus, move and perform in sync with each other and to express the style and tempo of the music.

Last year we had four groups (one Espoir (under 12) group, two junior groups and one senior group) qualify for the prestigious British Championships at the Liverpool Echo Arena in July. One of our Junior teams won the overall title of Junior British Rhythmic Group Champions 2015.

This year we were very successful in the qualifying round and have had five groups qualify (two Espoir, one junior and two senior groups). This is 27 gymnasts in total that have qualified for the British Championships in July at the Liverpool Echo arena. I understand that as a club we have the biggest number of entries across the UK in group this year for British Championships.

Alongside our very successful rhythmic gymnastics programme we also run a dance squad system for ages five+. Last year we entered a competition in London – Starpower International Talent Competition - with various solos, duos and group dances. One contemporary dance piece ‘Cagebirds’ (nine dancers aged ten–19) qualified for the World Dance Championships in New York in August 2015. Competing against hundreds of entries to get to this stage, the girls went on to qualify for the grand final and came second overall. It was a fabulous experience the girls will never forget.

We attended this competition again recently (Starpower May 6-8 in London) with our expanded squads and qualified for the World Dance Championships with an amazing four routines (32 dancers in total aged eight-20 years). We now begin the process of planning, fundraising, practising and finding sponsors to make this exciting opportunity happen. We are all extremely excited and proud!