RIBBONS, ropes and lots of rhythm.
Those were the themes as Huddersfield Rhythmic Gymnastics Club staged its Christmas competition.
The club, run by Bill and Olga Fleming, held the event at the Jubilee Centre in Bradley Woods on Saturday.
Rhythmic gymnastics -invented in 19th century Scandinavia - was originally an overall fitness programme for girls.
Boys are allowed in some classes, but cannot compete.
The discipline combines dance and gymnastics. Performers use hoops, balls, ribbons, ropes and clubs in routines set to music.
The routines - which allow only leaps, pivots, balances and cartwheels - are designed to display flexibility and balance.
Bill Fleming, who is club secretary, said: "Not a lot of people know what rhythmic gymnastics is. But once they get involved, they really get into it. At the highest levels it can be very challenging. But it's just great for physical development and general wellbeing."
The club's pupils are aged from four to nine.
About 20 were performing on Saturday, in the hope of passing grading exercises.
Some of the students were aiming for grade one, which involved them demonstrating simple skills such as balancing, stretching, skipping and throwing and catching ropes.
Other students were aiming for grade three, which involved performing a routine to music with varying apparatus.
If a gymnast wants to aim higher, they must attend a regional competition.
The grade one pupils were judged by a panel of pupils' parents, while the grade three students were judged by Olga Fleming, who has a senior club coach qualification from the British Gymnastics Association.
This Christmas competition was the club's final session at Bradley Woods.
They have been holding sessions there since setting up the club two years ago.
They also hold classes at Royds Hall Sports Centre, Salendine Nook High School, Moor End High School and at some junior and infant schools.
Bill, a computer programmer, and Olga met six years ago on holiday in Bulgaria.
After a long-distance relationship, they married at Huddersfield Register Office in 2002 and now live at Linthwaite.
Olga, 34, is originally from Grodno in Belarus - the same place as famous gymnast of the 1970s, Olga Korbut.
As a teenager, Olga Fleming was a member of the Belarus gymnastic squad.
Rhythmic gymnastics is an Olympic sport, but Olga had to give up dreams of major competition because of joint problems.
She studied physical culture at college for five years and then managed a sports centre where she taught aerobics as well as gymnastics, tennis and martial arts.
Olga was surprised at British children's lack of fitness and aims to improve their health through her classes.
She said: "Rhythmic gymnastics is very good for fitness and flexibility, but also posture, general health and personal discipline."
Contact the club on 01484 840664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org