Rhythmic National Staff member Galina Burns participated in the FIG Level 3 Coaches Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria from February 12-19, 2020. The FIG Academy is a coach education program that centers on development workshops throughout the world. USA Gymnastics was invited to participate in the recent Rhythmic Level 3 Academy due to the results of the individuals at the 2019 World Championships.

Burns has been a core technician at rhythmic developmental training camps, including Future Stars, Elite Squads, Squads and is also a member of the High Performance Professional Team. Burns’ knowledge and experience were an ideal combination for the breadth and depth of material covered in the Academy, and the objective of her participation was professional development, and also allowed her to share her experience with US coaches at the 2020 development camps. She will soon come to the USA Gymnastics national office to share her experience and discuss the strategic planning for integrating all she learned into the camp plans. Below is a shared summary reflection on her experience. The Rhythmic Program cannot wait to learn from her in Lake Placid later this year! She completed the course with the third best result, a tremendous achievement having no prior Academy experience: Congratulations, Galina!

“The 10 days in Sofia were amazing!

“The instruction covered multiple themes: bio-mechanics in gymnastics, music theory, planning training loads in RG, medical growth and development, physiological issues pertaining to RG group dynamics, as well as body difficulties and composition for various RG apparatus.

“We learned from the knowledgeable experts of FIG Academy: Mr. Hardy Fink from Canada, the director of FIG Education and Academy Programs; Lasse Harald Nettum, who gave us better understanding and appreciation of music theory; Marta Bobo, Professor of Sports and Physical education in Spain; and Nadya Aleksandrova, member of the FIG Academy Working Group for Rhythmic gymnastics.

“This experience was filled with lots of studies, practical application of what we had learned, preparation for the tests, commeradiere amongst the coaches and judges participating in the Academy, and of course sightseeing in the beautiful Sofia. I was incredibly lucky to have 2012 Olympics bronze medalist Lubov Cherkashina and two-time Olympic Champion Evgenia Kanaeva as my personal tour guides. I loved every minute of it!

“I was thrilled with the results of testing in tying for the third place with Maya Fillipova from Uzbekistan just behind Mariya Kancheva (first place) and my personal idol of rhythmic gymnastics Maria Petrova (second place), and very proud to show the RG world community that USA rhythmic gymnastics has some of the best gymnasts in the world, great visionary leadership, as well as very qualified coaches.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Rhythmic program for allowing me to have such an amazing opportunity. I have learned a lot and I plan to share this information with the USA RG community. Thank you, USA RG community, for supporting and encouraging me throughout the years. Go USA!””