Jana Alemam only joined the Wascana Rhythmic Gymnastics club a few months ago, but it already seems like she has been a member her whole life.
The nine-year-old fits right in with the other gymnasts. She moves with confidence.
Alemam, her mother, father and two brothers moved from Egypt to Regina in May. Her mother Ghada Aboeldahab wanted to give her family a fresh start.
"You know we have a political situation there in Egypt right now. So, I started to think to come here to let them have a better life," Aboeldahab said
Jana's flexibility stands out instantly as she warms up. She is able to bend her body in ways that leave the average person grimacing. When asked about it she smiles and answers, "No, I learned how to do this". She seems to be used to comments and questions about her skills. Her mother signed her up for rhythmic gymnastics when she was three years old. She thought the sport was feminine and would make her young daughter strong. Rythmic Gymnastics combines elements of dance and traditional gymnastics. Rhythmic gymnasts perform on the floor with a rope, hoop, ball, clubs or ribbon.
Jana was good from the start. Coaches noticed her speed and flexibility, but also her charisma. She has an impressive collection of medals, leading in her age group overall at a Cairo competition and an Egyptian national competition in 2018. Her new Saskatchewan coach Anya Patlosova said she would like to see Jana place in the top three at the western Canadian championships and the top ten at Canadian national championships in 2019.
Jana is currently training about 20 hours a week and attending Monseigneur de Laval, a fransaskois elementary school. She speaks Arabic, English and French.
Sometimes when she sees herself in pictures and videos she surprise's herself by what she is able to do.
"I say it's not me, but it is me!"