A group of Danish gymnasts will perform at Cortez Middle School on Oct. 19 at 3 p.m.
The group is from a organization called the Danish Gymnastic International Group.
The group, led by Kim Hahn, represents the Academy of Physical Education in Viborg, Denmark.
European style of gymnastics is very different, according to Lani Graham, an organizer of the event and retired physical education teacher from northern Virginia. The group uses very few props, only a trampoline and some mats.
“Kim Hahn brought a group maybe six years ago, and they performed in Durango Schools,” Lani Graham said. “The reception is wonderful because the do a stylish, artistic form of gymnastics.”
In Virginia, Graham was an active folk dancer.
“We had something called the Danish American Exchange, the DAE, which was an exchange of folk dancers, gymnasts and what they call ‘leaders,’” Graham said. “People from Denmark who were interested to come to the states to show their style of dancing and gymnastics.”
The Danish gymnasts who travel here through DGI or DAE are excited to learn about other parts of the world, according to Graham.
“Denmark is a really small and flat country,” Graham said. “For them to see places like Mesa Verde or (Anasazi) ruins ... that is really interesting to them because it is our heritage. Denmark people are very well educated, and they are very interested in what is taking place around the world.”
Graham was an active participant in the exchange program and was sure to let her contacts in Denmark know when she moved to Colorado, that she wanted to stay involved. She continues to organize visits from the gymnasts.
“I just make arrangements for them to perform and to do home stays,” Graham said. “They tell me when they are coming and how long they want to stay and how many performances they want to do.”
The group set to perform at Cortez Middle School is a group of 35 25- to 35-year-olds.
The event will be closed to the public, according to Lissa Lycan, a teacher at the middle school and one of the event organizers.
“We are not able to accommodate any more people in the gym at this point,” Lycan said. “We’re out of room.”