A GYMNASTICS club is preparing to take the biggest leap out of its comfort zone in almost two decades.
When a team of 17 performers from Astro Gymnastics takes to the stage at the Edinburgh Has Talent final next month, it will be the first time in its history that it has participated in a mainstream talent competition.
The competitors, aged between 12 and 27 and known collectively as Astro Eden, are hoping to bring their brand of theatrical gymnastics to a new audience when they go up against singers and a dance team, at what promises to be a glittering evening at the Festival Theatre on November 1.
Head coach and team member Fiona Fyfe said that the team felt the time was right for the Livingston-based club to take the plunge.
“I entered with a dance troupe a couple of years ago and it was a really positive experience,” said Fiona, an ex-competitive gymnast who has represented Scotland. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do with the club for a while and our confidence has really grown this year.
“There is some nervousness because it is such a big change, but we really want to showcase what we can do to a larger audience. On the whole the feeling is one of excitement. The younger ones in particular are saying they can’t wait for the final.”
The team, which will perform an adapted routine which has already been taken across Scotland, to the north of England and Ireland this year, includes competitive gymnasts who are part of the Scottish squad. Fiona, the most senior member of the team, said that she hoped the crowd would be captivated by the teamwork and trust on show.
“The gymnastics are quite dynamic and quick but there’s also a softer and much more controlled quality as well,” she said. “The routine has only been performed at gymnastics festivals – we’re looking forward to doing it in front of a completely new audience.”
It is also hoped that the club, which moved into a new base last year, will receive a boost in interest as a result of performing in the final. It is one of only two in the Lothians to specialise in acrobatic gymnastics.
It is planned that Astro Gymnastics will enter its first international competitions soon, with visits to Paris and Helsinki pencilled in.
For tickets to the final, visit www.edtheatres.com or phone the box office on 0131-529 6000.