What is PHYSI and how is it different to dancing?
WHO CAN DO PHYSICAL CULTURE?
Physical Culture is a sport for girls and ladies of all ages. Preschool classes are held for 3-4year olds; a fun class using many familiar action songs to help them learn the basics of physical culture. For girls aged 5-16, classes are run in age sections. Choreography is new each year, with age appropriate routines and modern music. Older girls, aged 17+, move into the seniors class. They begin out as 1st year seniors, then move to 2nd year seniors before progressing to the ultimate class - the Open Seniors. This work is challenging but, when perfected, looks ever so effortless and graceful. When the seniors work starts to feel too much, ladies can move into a relatively new section called Extended Ladies. This is a combination of work from the Seniors syllabus and the Advanced Ladies section.
Thinking about starting physi as a lady? Go for it! The ladies section is divided into experience groups, starting with Elementary Ladies (who have never done physi before), to 1st year, 2nd year and finally Advanced Ladies. There are many ladies in their 70s who still compete and there are just as many ladies who just come for the exercise and social side that physi classes have to offer.
WHAT DO YOU WEAR?
For competitions, girls and ladies are required to wear a leotard, skirt and ballets. Leotards are usually made out of lycra but any material that has 4 way stretch will work. While Edith Parsons Physical Culture does have some regulations that you must follow for your leotard style, you can be creative and design your own leotard. If sewing is not your thing, you can order leotards to be made. The girls in the younger classes are encouraged to wear leotards to class to get them used to working in one, but the seniors and ladies can mostly be found wearing gym gear to classes each week, saving the leotard wearing to the last possible moment....
Thankfully, the older girls and ladies are also able to wear shimmer tights or fishnets, which help to pull all those loose bits in so you feel more comfortable.
Ballets can be purchased though BLOCH, Neon Dancewear, Grand Active Dancewear and other dancewear stockists for around $60-70. We have a second hand pool of ballets that you can also look through to find one that fits. These vary in cost depending on the state of the ballet but is certainly a more cost effective option, particularly for ballets to wear to practice.