How to Teach Rhythmic Gymnastics Ribbons

To teach rhythmic gymnastics with an apparatus, the instructor must first know musicality, anatomy, and a basic understanding of jazz dance. Students with advanced level gymnastics, aerial, dance and tumbling skills have an advantage. Routines may vary depending on whether the student will perform in a group or solo.

Develop hand-eye coordination between the student and their apparatus by having them create various simple shapes with the ribbons.

Have the students draw large circles in the air with the ribbons, front to back.

Have the students move the large circle from a front-to-back to a left-to-right motion.

Have the students turn themselves around 360 degrees, while moving the ribbons in a large zigzag shape vertically.

Have the students take the zigzag shape into a spiral while turning 360-degrees in the other direction.

Have the students stand facing the front as they move the ribbons in a "cowboy" over-the-head motion while they pose on one leg to balance.

Have the students make a figure-eight shape with the ribbons while kneeling on their knees and standing back up. Repeat as needed.

Once they're on the floor, have the students move into various deep stretches and positions while recreating the same shapes as listed above.

Depending on the level of your student, have them begin with a ribbon trick, such as flicking the ribbon stick into the air and catching it.

Have the student perform a few turns with the ribbon spiralling around them.

Have the student come out of the turns with a leap and the ribbon trailing through the air.

Have the student land and prepare for floor tumbling while the ribbon is tossed into the air.

Have the student perform a contortion move to stand back up as they pass the ribbon under their leg and hit a difficult position to finish.


Make sure to have your students warm-up properly before dancing. Catchy music will motivate the students to perform at their peaks. Have the students constantly engaging their core muscles. Students must always point their toes.


Do not try to push the student beyond their ability. Refrain from negative feedback; use encouraging vocabulary and constructive criticism.

Things You'll Need

  • leotard (optional)
  • 2 ribbons attached to a stick
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About the Author

Jeanette Prather has worked as a copy, managing and production editor and reporter for "Dance," "Movmnt," "Valley Scene," "L.A. Splash," "Beautiful/Decay," "U25," "I.E.F.E" (France) and "Move" (UK) magazines, and the "Daily 49er" newspaper. She has published two books (prose and fiction), and is working on her third. Prather holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, international studies and French (emphasis in dance).