What is Cali?

Calisthenics is made up of a range of dance styles, and each team learns and performs an item in each style.

The various examples of routines shown below are courtesy of Calisthenics Victoria Inc. website.

Free Exercises

The Free Exercises routine is one that incorporates gymnastics-type moves demonstrating strength, flexibility and rhythm.  Moves that may be included in this type of routine include bend-backs, walk-overs, splits, cartwheels and leg mounts.  These moves are taught at a simplified level in the Starlets and Sub Junior teams, with the techniques being added to as participants move through the team levels.


Clubs provide participants to perfect rhythmic movements which include swinging clubs around and across the body, legs and head.  The aim is to have the team perform in unison, and this style encourages timing and builds body coordination.


The rod is a light metal rod that is used to perform a dance routine that incorporates swinging, spinning and manipulation of rods in time with team members. Rods routines also include flexibility, strength and movements in time to music.


The Aesthetic routine is most similar to ballet or lyrical jazz routines, with flowing skirts and graceful movements. Facial expression is also promoted and encouraged to better tell the story through the dance.

Figure March

Figure March is very much about timing and precision.  Teams move through various formations during the routine, and the emphasis is on team cohesion, precision of movement and timing.  Only teams from Sub Junior 1 & 2 upwards to Seniors perform Figure March.  Younger teams are taught basic march but do not perform a March routine.

Fancy Item

Each year the Calisthenics Association selects of format for the Fancy Item, which coaches then choreograph.  The Fancy can be either a Folk Dance, Song and Dance/Action Song, or Medley/Stage Presentation or Spectacular.  The Fancy Item usually has a theme and all team members take part in the Fancy.  This is the one costume each year that is made according to the theme, and is the costume that participants keep.  Starlets are the only group who do not buy a costume, as their Fancy costume is provided by the club, and included in the hire amount paid as part of term fees.