There are no words to describe the feeling of competing at Royal South Street. It is an absolute honour and something so very special – memories that I will cherish forever.

 

On October 14th 2023, I was fortunate enough to win the prestigious Royal South Street Society Peace and Quiet Day Spa “Most Graceful Girl” title. A moment I have dreamt of for many years. It still feels surreal that “I actually did it!!”, I achieved my ultimate goal in my Calisthenics career. Feelings of joy, relief and sadness overwhelm me when I think about this incredible moment, as I can no longer compete and be a part of such an amazing and special competition as I was also lucky enough to win the RSSS Calisthenics Solo in 2022.

 

I can still remember my very first “road trip” to Ballarat with mum. As a subbie, I sat there in absolute awe watching the senior graceful girls. Wide eyed, just taking it all in. It was from that moment I had dreamt of performing in Ballarat like “the older girls”. I have been lucky enough over the years to have competed and placed in both the Graceful Girl and Calisthenics Solo competitions, and was also a part of the very first Ballaarat Solo Competition in 2016.

 

RSSS is one of, if not, most prestigious individual competition held for Calisthenics competitors, one that brings together so many talented competitors from around Australia. It has been an absolute honour to compete in this respected competition over many years. I’d like to thank RSSS and all the volunteers, staff and organisers for enabling this competition to happen year after year. It is even more special that this year we celebrate 100 years of Graceful Girls at RSSS!

 

The journey to becoming the 2023 Royal South Street Society Graceful Girl Winner was truly something special. It was a journey over many years of endless hours of training, dedication, sacrifice and hard work, all of which were worth it in the end. The moment I finished my routine, I ran off stage and hugged my coach Melissa Lydyard, with tears of joy and relief – I knew in that moment I had given it my all and for once I could say I was proud of myself. This is a memory that is so fond to my heart and I will cherish forever. My journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing – there have been many hard times and challenges along the way; times I wanted to give up when the pressure was too much; and times I didn’t think I was good enough. But with the support and encouragement of those close to me, I have always strived to achieve my goals, and finally, I did it.

 

Being involved in RSSS over many years has helped shape me into the person I am today. It has taught me resilience, courage, strength, determination and the will to never give up on your dreams, no matter how unreachable they may feel at times. I have made incredible friendships with girls all across Australia, and shared so amazi ng memories with them, both backstage, during competitions and celebrating together after.

None of my achievements would be possible with the unwavering dedication, support and love from my family, coaches and Calisthenics Club of 26 years, Marden Calisthenics College (SA). Achieving these two incredible titles was something I had only ever dreamt of and never thought would be possible. I could not have done it without my Mum – my most honest and harshest critique. She has been by my side through absolutely everything. Days and hours (literally) spent at the hall just the two of us – no finger or foot can go uncorrected. It meant the world I got to share these incredible memories with her.

 

Winning RSSS for both my Graceful Girl and Calisthenics Solo, one of the greatest accolades of my Calisthenics career, is an absolute honour and privilege – something I never thought would be possible, but to have my name in history amongst my idols and being the first South Australian to ever win both titles is something I am so proud of.

 

My advice to all the beautiful girls competing in this year’s upcoming RSSS competition. Believe in yourself and enjoy the journey. Fight hard for your dreams, give it your all and do it for “YOU”. I look forward to watching the 2024 competition later in the year and wish every competitor the very best of luck for the upcoming auditions!!

 

Elyse Pavan

Marden Calisthenics College, SA

2023 Peace & Quiet Day Spa Graceful Girl Winner

2022 Ballaarat Calisthenics Solo Winner

 

 

 

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