© John Cheng

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 18, 2014 – 2014 U.S. all-around champions Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, along with Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, have been named to the 2014 World Championship Team for rhythmic gymnastics. The World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships will take place Sept. 22-28 in Izmir, Turkey, where the U.S. senior group will also compete.

Kerber, Lu and Sereda, as well as Aliya Protto of Culver City, Calif./California Rhythms, will also represent the United States at the 2014 Pan American Championships Aug. 20-22 in Toronto, Ont., Canada. The senior U.S. group will also compete. The event is the qualifier for the 2015 Pan American Games, which will be held in Toronto next July 10-26.

The senior group, consisting of Kiana Eide of Northbrook, Ill., Alisa Kano of Glencoe, Ill., Natalie McGiffert of Northbrook, Ill., Jennifer Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., Monica Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., and Kristen Shaldybin of Chicago, Ill., all of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, will also represent the United States at both the World Championships and Pan American Championships.

Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs in a choreographed routine to music. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots and balances. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.