With little more than a clean pair of athletic shoes, appropriate workout-wear and dedicated effort, inspired athletes around the world have become hooked on sportaerobics. A brief look at the history of sportaerobics offers insights into how far the sport has come in a relatively short time. From its inception in the early ’80′s sportaerobics captured attention and earned the respect of athletes who were drawn to it by the challenge and excitement of its high-performance standard. Sportaerobics was created as a showcase for athletes of all ages to demonstrate excellence in the fitness components of muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and artistic performance skills. Today, it is quite common to refer to sportaerobics as “extreme aerobics” and to talk about its future as an Olympic sport.
In 1983 at the beginning of the aerobics and fitness movement, Sport Fitness International (SFI) founded by Los Angeles sport marketers Howard and Karen Schwartz took aerobics from a fitness activity and created the competitive discipline called competitive aerobics. Sportaerobics, as it is known today was the way for students and instructors alike to test their abilities in head to head athletic competition. Shortly after the development of the rules and guidelines by Sport Fitness International, the first National Aerobic Championship (NAC) was held in the USA in 1984. From 1986 Sportaerobics witnessed a vast and rapid development as countries around the world joined the USA and adopted the rules and judging criteria created for the NAC. In 1989 the non profit United States Competitive Aerobics Federation, USCAF was founded as the governing body for sportaerobics in the USA and the Association of National Aerobic Championships Worldwide (ANAC) its governing body worldwide.
March of 1990 was very significant in the history of sportaerobics – the 1st World Sportaerobic Championship was held in San Diego, California featuring athletes from 16 countries. Today, under the auspices of the ANAC, upwards of 30 member nations administer National Sportaerobic Championships laying the groundwork for the future of the ANAC in their countries. In 1998 youth sportaerobics for 7 – 17 year olds was originated and the first ANAC World Youth Sportaerobics Championship was conducted.
In 1996 the Federation Internationale Gymnastic (FIG) accepted sportaerobics as an official discipline gaining official recognition by the IOC and positioning it for future Olympic games inclusion. Sportaerobics was added to the World Games in August 1997.
In 2006 the ANAC adopted the FIG Aerobic Gymnastic Code of Points for all international sportaerobic competitions in the Senior, Junior Showcase, AG1 & AG2 divisions. For the current FIG Code of Points and AeroDance Rules, click here.
Association of National Aerobic Champions (ANAC) is an international sports federation founded in 1990 and comprised of national member affiliates for whom it governs international sportaerobic activities, affairs, events and competitions. The ANAC is the officiating and sanctioning body of the International Aerobic Championship and International Youth Aerobic Championship. The ANAC Headquarters is located in Los Angeles, California, USA.
The United States Competitive Aerobics Federation (USCAF) founded in 1989 is a 501c-3 non-profit corporation and the USA member affiliate to the Association of National Aerobic Championships Worldwide. The USCAF governs sportaerobic activities within the United States and officiates and sanctions official events including the USA National Sportaerobic Championship and USA Youth Sportaerobic Championship.
Sport Fitness International is a live event and television properties that included the USA & World Sportaerobic Championships produced by the ANAC. SFI’s corporate partners in sportaerobics have included Crystal Light, Reebok, Coca Cola, Quaker Oats, Gold’s Gym, Evian Water, Danskin and more.
Sportaerobics (also known as Aerobic Gymnastics) is the only athletic sport founded as a fitness activity that today is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and is poised to become an Olympic Sport. Sportaerobics is performed as a one-minute and forty-five second (1:45) choreographed routine. The athlete must demonstrate the components of fitness including cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination, agility, speed, and power through continuous movement patterns.
In general, participants are everyday people from kids to adult who have a strong commitment to fitness and health and use the sport as a means to reach their fitness goals. Those who participate in sportaerobics come from a multitude of athletic backgrounds including dance, martial arts, cheer, gymnastics, swimming, diving and more. At its highest level the sport draws some of the most recognized and awarded athletes, instructors and personal trainers whose presence in the events continually inspire others to follow a healthier lifestyle.
The ANAC International Aerobic Championship is the official world-class athletic competition for selected winners and/or highest-ranking athletes of ANAC national member affiliates and ANAC associates. The first International Aerobic Championship (Formerly the World Aerobic Championship) was presented in 1990. 2016 marks the 27th Annual International Aerobic Championship. The championship is conducted in individual, mixed pairs, trios, group and AeroDance categories.