Del Sante Gardens History

Del Sante Gardens Calisthenic College boasts a rich history and tradition in the world of calisthenics. With a legacy spanning over five decades.

Established in 1968 by Rosaria Day. She believed the various facets - calisthenics, classical ballet, gymnastic, jazz and tap - complemented each other, so all were offered at Del Sante. The best students selected from Rosaria's two calisthenic clubs - Kooyong and Port Adelaide competed as Del Sante at the Royal South Street Eisteddfods in Ballarat. 

In 1977, Rosaria retired and the Calisthenic College was taken over by Michelle Capel, who remained the Principal Coach for 41 years. 

In 1986, Del Sante Calisthenics amalgamated with Woodville Gardens Calisthenics. It was the start of a successful affiliation and the club joined the Calisthenic Association of South Australia, competing in B Grade. The club has grown stronger throughout the years and all teams are currently placed in Division 1 sections.

Del Sante has taken many teams on country and interstate trips, including Ballarat, with excellent results, including winning many aggregates.

The Club has provided tutoring to numerous State Graceful Calisthenic Competitors, Solo/Duo winners, along with many National Graceful, Solo and Duo placegetters.

In 2018, Sarah Stephenson was appointed Principal Coach of Del Sante Gardens Calisthenic College after Michelle's retirement as Principal. Del Sante Gardens also celebrated its 50th Birthday, along with Michelle Capel and Sonya Benzija celebrating their 50th year as a student/coach at the Club.

2024 marks our 56th year as a club.

What is Calisthenics

The word calisthenics comes from the Greek words ‘kallos’ for beauty and ‘thenos’ for strength. Indeed, the components of the sport aim at achieving those physical attributes, but the sport also influences the emotional and social development of girls and boys through friendship and teamwork.

Calisthenics is a unique artistic sport. It combines dance, gymnastics, singing, apparatus manipulation and ballet. It involves a team of pupils learning routines choreographed to music – each of about three to four minutes duration – and presenting those routines at competitions and concerts. Pupils learn approximately six routines concurrently throughout a year and this is where the diversity of the sport is seen.

In addition to team work, participants can compete in solo and duo items.

Calisthenics can be categorised as both sport and art. As a sport it encourages physical development, coordination, self-discipline and team spirit. As an Art it develops an appreciation of music and rhythm, the beauty of line and the excitement of presenting on stage.

Calisthenics is the perfect sport for those who want to do everything! The variety of genres performed in Calisthenics gives students the opportunity to develop both strength and flexibility whilst performing a variety of routines reflecting classical ballet, gymnastics, modern dance, singing and acting. Some genres are performed annually and the remaining on a rotational basis between age groups.

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