Monday 17 September 2012

Top 10: Floor routines

Not individual floor workers, just routines. I've never been the type of fan who judges every floor by 80's soviet routines, I would often much prefer to watch routines that were way ahead of their time, broke the mould in some way, extraordinarily powerful or energetic in movement or just a plain triumphant routine for somebody who was written off by most. In this list, there's about 7 routines that will always feature in a top 10 for me.

10. Andrea Raducan, ROM 1999 Worlds EF, Tianjin

One of my favourite Romanian floor workers, Andreea combined great tumbling with brilliant dance and a real sparkle selling the entire floor exercise. It is the dance that puts it ahead of so many other Romanian floor exercises for me.

9. Dominque Dawes, USA 1992 Dodge Challenge

Her best performance of this routine. Incredibly energetic and really fun to watch, with a great back-to-back tumbling pass in the middle.

8. Deliana Vodenitcharova, BUL, 1988 Olympics TF

So much great Irish music, and this dirge was chosen. Sigh. This routine is so ahead of its time that it would still have a high start value today...24 years later. Excellent tumbling with some nice moves in between. Totally robbed as she always received a much lower score for this than the big names with their weaker tumbling.

7. Olga Strazheva, USSR, 1989 WorldsAA

The modern dance masterpiece, a total antithesis to the usual balletic Soviet floor routines. Her tumbling really is secondary to the dance, though it's not bad at all. She performed this with such ease- every movement was so thought out and so in tune with the music. Just amazing.

6. Chellsie Memmel, USA 2008 Olympic Trials

This is one of the most phenomenal floor exercises, and one I keep coming back to. The combination of the 5 very difficult tumbling pass, her illusion sequence, her presentation at the end of the pass and the most planted double pike ever seen is magnificent, made all the better by the fact that Chellsie was written off prior to Trials due to her long string of injuries. A very triumphant fuck-you to those people, though of course- Chellsie who cemented her place in the team after her Trials performances was injured right before the games.

5. Cheng Fei, 2004 Olympics TF

Perfect combination. Chinese grace and presentation combined with raw power and great energy and sparkle in her dance. Superb choice of music too. Her failure to reproduce this for both Olympic event finals was a travesty.

4. Liubov Sheremeta, UKR, 1997 Worlds TF

Liubov was a better floor worker than Lilia in my opinion. Hard to choose between this and her 1996 routine- but this edges the win due to its quirky choreography. Such a performer with such exquisite tumbling.

3. Inga Shkarupa, UKR, 1999 Worlds TF

 One of the cleanest tumblers ever with such perfect form. This would be higher but I find her choreo a bit lacking. Love the unusual third pass and just about everything, such excellence!

2. Anna Myzdrikova, RUS, 2009 Worlds EF
The third pass is upsetting because she messes it up a bit and it costs her the gold medal. I chose this one because she was at her absolute greatest here, and the first and second exquisite passes are the best she's ever done them- check out the PERFECT double arabian. Unbelievable form, great chorepgraphy and relation to the music. A joy to watch.

1. Tatiana Groshkova, USSR, 1990 USA Vs USSR

There are a lot of Soviet masterpeices that I passed over- Baraksanova, Filatova etc. This one takes the crown not only because it contains beautiful expressive choreography in the typical balletic style but because it contains the most insane tumbling pass. The first pass is a double full-in- which is the same as a double-double except that both twists are in the first salto. It would automatically have a H rating next quad as that's what the double double has. Only one other has ever competed it- Alexis Brion, but Tatiana did it on a crap old floor. Just amazing, the entire routine.

Honourable mentions: Elena Produnova, Olga Roschupkina, Simona Amanar, Oana Ban, Ekaterina Lobaznyuk, Ludivine Furnon, Aurelia Dobre, Lavinia Milosovici, Daniela Silivas, Daiane Dos Santos, Oksana Omelianchik, Irina Baraksanova, Mattie Larson, Henrietta Onodi, Diana Dudeva, Olessia Dudnik, Natalia Laschenova, Tatiana Lyssenko, Kim Zmeskal, Ivana Hong, Viktoria Karpenko, Pang Panpan, Vera Kolesnikova, Maria Filatova, Natalia Frolova, Vanessa Atler, Victoria Moors


  1. Do you mean Natalia Frolova in honorable mention? I loved her floor routine at the 83 world championships!

    1. Yep, although that list is not ordered. I love it too!