Physie (short for Physical Culture) is a dance sport for girls and women. This Australian sport contains elements of modern dance, ballet, Pilates and gymnastics as well as yoga and jazz ballet. It can be enjoyed socially or competitively and improves co-ordination, flexibility, strength, posture, balance and memory.
Clubs all over Australia teach the annual syllabus beginning in February each year. Students aim to perfect this syllabus in time for the competition season which offers both individual and team events.
A Brief History
Physie originated in Hobart, Tasmania. The Bjelke-Peterson School of Physical Culture was founded in 1892 by Hans-Christian Bjelke Peterson. His brothers and sister soon became involved in the business. The Hobart Institute of Physical Culture offered exercise courses and classes for men and women which soon grew to have a number of branches in Sydney and Melbourne.
Exercise programs were taught in a number of colleges and convents in Sydney and the School was involved in hosting annual demonstrations and competitions.
It was during the 1920’s that the Bjelke-Peterson brothers established physical culture classes for young women in businesses such as David Jones and Nestles. They also offered ladies classes and training courses to become physical culture instructors.
Clubs were opened in many suburbs in Sydney and as numbers increased, zone and state competitions were introduced between clubs for both team and individual categories for girls and women. The Bjelke-Peterson School Of Physical Culture has clubs all over Australia to this day! In 2017, BjP Physie celebrated it’s 125th Anniversary with a spectacular celebration involving girls and women from all across the nation.
There are a number of codes of Physical Culture including the Bjelke-Peterson School of Physical Culture (BjP), Australian Physie And Dance Association (APDA), Edith Parsons School of Physical Culture, The Burns Association of Physical Culture, the Lea School of Physical Culture and WZ Physical Culture.
To learn more about this unique and iconic, intergenerational sport take a look at the articles below!