© Tom Theobald

TORONTO, Aug. 21, 2014 – Led by Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Team USA leads the standings at the halfway point at the 2014 Pan American Championships in Toronto, Ont., Canada. The U.S. team posted a 96.333, ahead of Brazil, 88.766, and Canada, 87.133. Competition continues today with the second half of the individual all-around and team, as well as the group three ball, two ribbon event.

In the individual all-around, Kerber posted a 33.233 for first place after two events, while Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, was second at 32.167. Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, is fifth at 30.933.

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, posted a 15.467 in 10 clubs, behind only Brazil (16.633).

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.