The aerobics program at Ballarat Clarendon College is off to a flying start this season with all four competing teams qualifying for the state finals.
Clarendon is the only Ballarat school participating in the school aerobics program, maintaining a first-place winning streak in the stage one section at the national championships since its involvement in 2015.
“There is definitely a lot of pressure, and an expectation of us now to keep winning,” said Kyra Postlethwaite, member of the year 10-11 Team Machine and last year’s championship winners.
Following last year’s win, Team Machine has had a particularly strong start this season, first-placing in the stage two senior section at the state qualifiers by a significant 3.9 points.
“The competition is really strong and it is difficult to maintain top spot. We can only keep doing our usual preparation which we know is a winning formula,” said aerobics coach Lauren Young.
There are 77 female students involved in the program in years 8-12, and with the inclusion of a new preparation year, the program has seen a 30-40 student participation increase in 2017.
School aerobics does not only provide the students with extended performance opportunities, but it also keeps them fit and healthy through a unique form of exercise.
“It is wonderful to see the girls develop a sense of team, straighten friendships and work together to succeed in a competitive arena,” said Mrs Young.
“It’s exciting to do something different with the skills we have. It also opens up more performance opportunities in different performance environments,” said Miss Postlethwaite.
The teams are marked on a criteria testing their use of synchronisation, artistry / choreography, technique and performance skills.
“Positioning is a big marking factor, so this year we’ve incorporated more into our routine,” said Miss Postlethwaite. “Still, we have to remember not to give everything away too early into the season.”
The state finals will be held early next month at the Geelong Arena, determining which teams make it to the National Championships.
“Our goal is to win a third consecutive national championship,” said Mrs Young, but warned against complacency. “Just because we’ve been successful doesn’t mean we are invincible.”
Miss Postlethwaite said: “We came into the program not knowing anything about aerobics, so we built up this national title from basically nothing.”