The young ladies of Arpi Avetyan's Glendale YMCA rhythmic gymnastics class were in high spirits as they rehearsed their moves Thursday afternoon.
The intermediate and advanced girls had just returned from a successful Junior Olympics state competition in La Jolla where Avetyan won regional coach of the year, and 9-year-old Leilani Hernandez of Glendale won a second-place silver medal in overall competition.
The girls also recently returned from a Junior Olympics competition in Oregon. The older students are now preparing to travel to Chicago for another Junior Olympics national competition later this month.
The class has been taking students to competitions for about three years, Avetyan said, traveling to Ohio and Virginia Beach.
"I was proud of these girls," said Avetyan. "They work pretty hard."
The YMCA program began five years ago with one student, but now includes more than 40. Avetyan, a gymnast, has been a member of the Glendale YMCA since she 5 and has always considered it her second home. Her motivation behind teaching rhythm gymnastics is the beauty behind the sport, she said.