The girls from the Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics team got the chance to showcase their skills on center court at Madison Square Garden during the halftime show at a New York Liberty game earlier this month.
These children, ages 8 to 12, spend hours of their days, Sundays through Thursdays, honing their skills at juggling balls, hoops, ribbons and ropes, all while perfecting complex dance maneuvers at the Forest Hills Jewish Center, located at 106-06 Queens Blvd.
The team had been preparing for their moment at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” since their Father’s Day performance in June. After that show, they were invited to perform at Madison Square Garden during a Liberty game, since both the WNBA and rhythmic gymnastics are all-women sports.
During their routine on the court, the girls performed intricately choreographed dance moves with hoops, ribbons and ropes, to the delight of the Madison Square Garden crowd.
All of the girls were excited to show what they could do on such a big stage, and Tatiana Nisenboym, one of the dance students, asked her father, “Dad, am I famous now?” after her participation in the performance.
From 1991 to 2011, Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics has taught the centuries-old Eastern European sport to the children of Queens in the basement of the Queens Jewish Center located at 66-05 108th St. In 2011 the dance instruction classes moved into the Forest Hills Jewish Center, where they operate today.
The Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics team has produced athletes that have become state, regional and national champions.
Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport that combines various elements of ballet, gymnastics, acrobatics, choreography, dance and apparatus movement.
The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility movements. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.