Physie FAQ

This information is taken from The Edith Parsons School of Physical Culture site

Edith Parson Promotional Video -2014

What is Physi or Physie?

Physical Culture (“Physi” or “Physie” as it is commonly known) is a unique competitive sport combining dance, floor and standing exercises for girls and ladies aged from 3 years up. Based on basic ballet and modern dance, Physi is great for physical fitness, flexibility, coordination and posture, and builds confidence through participation in competitive events.Have fun, make friends and keep fit!Improve your strength, flexibility, coordination and confidence in a fun and friendly atmosphere.Each year girls and ladies learn a new syllabus of routines which are refined and improved through regular classes and culminate in competitions for both individuals and teams of six. Grand Finalists in individual competition perform at the Sydney Town Hall in November of each year, the winner of each age group being named Champion Girl, and one senior girl being awarded the overall Grand Champion Girl.

Competitions are not compulsory but generate a feeling of togetherness and club spirit.

The Edith Parsons School of Physical Culture is a not for profit  organisation.

Who Can Do Physi?

Physi is enjoyed by girls and ladies of all ages.Girls from 3 years of age are welcome to join our clubs. They then progress through all age groups until they reach 17 years of age when they become members of our Senior Girls. They are able to stay in these ranks until ready to join our Ladies classes.Of course girls and ladies may join a suitable class at any age and at any level of fitness. We have many ladies coming back to physi having been members as children. They find the exercise, fun and friendship just the thing to keep both mind and body active and many mothers and daughters have the pleasure of enjoying a common bond – their love of physi.Many life-long friendships have been formed through physi and these are renewed each year when clubs come together for our annual competitions in October / November. These culminate in our Grand Finals at Sydney Town Hall in late November.

Who is Edith Parsons, and how did it all begin?

Our founder, Miss Edith Parsons, began her physi career as a pupil at age 16 and in the following years she competed in numerous Champion Girl competitions as well as becoming renowned as an excellent teacher.In 1961 Miss Parsons (or ‘Teach’ as she is affectionately known) branched out on her own to establish the Edith Parsons School Of Physical Culture with nine clubs and the following foundation teachers: Anne Johanson, Norma Sullivan, Lillian Nutting, Shirley Johnson, Hazel Lane, Iris Leany and Shirley Bullock.Teach was greatly encouraged and helped in those early years by her dear friend, Mrs. Alice Lewis, who was her pianist for many years at one of the numerous clubs at which Teach taught. These included clubs in churches, business  houses, private schools and at a school for the hearing-impaired where Teach was  able to devise a system of clapping her hands to enable the members to ‘feel’  the beat as they were unable to hear the music.Her School rapidly increased to include clubs from the North Coast to the South Coast of New South Wales, and also in the ACT. She herself travelled far and wide to visit teachers and their clubs and take classes wherever required.

Teach’s talent for choreography is legendary. She was the sole choreographer for her School until her retirement – a truly outstanding accomplishment when  one considers the many thousands of exercises that this entailed.

Teach’s high standards of choreographic excellence are now maintained by  devoted teachers who will continue to dedicate their time and skills as long as there are girls and ladies to whom we can introduce the healthy and happy lifestyle of Physi.

A Fond Farewell

It was with great regret that we learned of the passing of our beloved “Teach” on February 8, 2010 aged 94 years.Whilst not being actively involved in her School for a number of years due to ill health, her presence was always felt by her teachers and their pupils. Under  the direction of a Board consisting of present-day teachers, the School has  continued to instill in our members the values and ideals for which Teach was  renowned and we will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.We thank Teach for having the vision, wisdom and foresight to begin her School which has seen so many girls and ladies over the past 50+ years gain great  enjoyment, exercise and friendship from their involvement with physi.

Celebrating 50 Years

2010 marked the 50th anniversary of our School. It was a wonderful year of celebrations including two fantastic dinners in Sydney and Coffs Harbour which were attended by over 500 ladies, all of whom had a long connection with our School, many still involved either as teachers or pupils. The final celebration was incorporated in our Grand Finals at Sydney Town Hall on November 28.We invited all of our ex Grand Champions to join us for this special occasion and we were very pleased that so many of them were able to do so.We were especially honoured to have with us our very first Grand Champion Girl from 1961, Barbara Hayes, who presented the trophy and sash to the 2010 Grand Champion Girl, Melissa Brailey from our Tuggerah Lakes club.To see all these ladies in the parade of ex Grand Champions was awe-inspiring and was certainly a fitting conclusion to the night which was enjoyed by all present.

We trust our School will continue for at least another 50 years!

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