Saturday, 10 November 2012

Fav Floor Routines Part 3- 2009 to London 2012

Sorry the third part of this has been so long coming. Where to start? We have been treated to so many artistic and expressive floor routines over the last quad, ranging from the beautiful balletic style of Ana Porgras to the powerful (and in my opinion, equally as artistic) Jordyn Wieber. A gymnast that links powerful and cleanly executed tumbling with difficult spins and leaps will get a good mark. However, the gymnasts that set themselves apart from the rest of the field do so by portraying their own unique style and flair to the audience and judges. Artistry generally ripens with age, but some young gymnasts have 'it', such as Victoria Moors (Canada) and Anastasia Grishina (RUS). I'm not even sure what kind of style I enjoy, but I have put together a list of my favourite floor routines from the last quad.

Ana Porgras (ROM)
The young Romanian appeared on the international stage in 2009 at the World Championships held in London (same venue as the 2012 Olympic Games). Romania is not particularly well-known for their artistry on floor, but Ana was in a class of her own. She has lovely long lines and performs well to a waltz piece. She had an extremely well-polished routine for a gymnast so young. Unfortunately Ana retired before the Olympic Games in 2012, due to ongoing injuries. She would have been a huge asset to the Romanian team on beam and bars in particular.

Ana showing off her gorgeous lines during the floor final at the 2009 World Championships in London (tied for 5th place with Rebecca Bross)

Ksenia Semenova (RUS)
I've said it before and I will say it once again. Semenova's '09-'10 routine is simply divine. The choreography gels perfectly with the music and her routine is entirely her own. I have never seen a gymnast perform as she does, she captivating and tells a story with her routine. Note the interesting spins with the leg held behind the head. Love love LOVE this routine.

Semenova's routine at the 2009 Memorial Gander Competition. 

Sui Lu (CHI)
This Chinese gymnast deserves to be on the list for her stellar tumbling alone. She is always so clean and has one of the best triple twists I have ever seen (except for perhaps Larisa Iordache!). Sui has since gotten a new routine, but I prefer the older one for some reason. I mean, who couldn't love her with her cute Chinese choreography and little white gym shoes? Check out her awesome, cleanly executed spins too.
Bronze medal floor routine from Sui Lu at the 2009 World Championships in London

Aliya Mustafina (RUS)
The 2010 World Championships were Aliya Mustafina's and Team Russia's time to shine. She was at her peak and was the best gymnast in the world at this time, and she knew it! Her floor routine was totally captivating. She has the classic Russian lines, the sass and the tumbling to boot. She performs as though she owns the place! I especially love her close-to-the-floor dance section, it changes the tempo of the routine and builds suspense for the final tumble.

Mustafina's floor routine in the 2010 World Championships Team Final, where Russia took home gold for the first time in history

Jordyn Wieber (USA)
Many people complained about the lack of artistry in Jordyn Wieber's routines, the World all-around champion from 2011. I was also sceptical, but found myself loving her new floor routine performed to 'Wild Dance'by Ruslana. Jordyn may not have the classic lines of the more elegant gymnasts, but her floor routine suits her body type and personality so well. She performs with great energy, shows beautiful control and even looks as though she is enjoying herself out on the competition floor. I love the bit before her last tumble run, where she sweeps her arms around towards the audience, this routine interprets the music extremely well. Another great thing about Jordyn is that you know that she will always land on her feet! Unfortunately the same can't be said for a lot of gymnasts out there (particularly Russia!)

Jordyn on floor at the 2011 Visa National Championships

Ksenia Afanasyeva (RUS)
This Russian veteran was the 2011 World Champion on floor. Her routines have always been beautifully artistic but this one was a step above the rest. She has beautiful choreography, great turns and powerful, clean tumbling. She pays attention to detail and always finishes dance skills on toe point. Like Mustafina, she is captivating and absolutely stunning to watch on floor. Well deserved gold medalist on this event!
Afanasyeva wins the floor at the 2011 World Championships

Victoria Moors (CAN)
One of my general rules is that gymansts shouldn't reuse floor musics. However, Victoria's interpretation of Aussie Daria Joura's music is fantastic. Man this girl can dance! Her confidence is extremely impressive in someone so young! (At 15 she helped Canada to their 5th place finish at the Olympics this year). Also check out the air that she gets on her double double opening pass. Victoria is a very exciting newbie for the Canadian team and I'm sure that she will medal in World Championships on floor exercise in the coming years.

Victoria's floor routine from the 2012 Pacific Rim Championships

Aly Raisman (USA)
Aly has developed into this routine over the '11-'12 period. At first I disliked it, but it has grown on me over time. She is, without a doubt one of the most powerful and clean tumblers of all time. Her opening pass is a jaw-dropper, double-piked arabian to immediate layout punch-front, I'm not sure how this is even possible, this girl is a machine. Like Jordyn, Aly proves that you do not have to have a classical, balletic style of gymnastics to be successful. Check out the best floor routine from the 2012 Olympic Games. I was so pleased that she got her individual gold medal at these Games, she is extremely hard working and deserves to be in the spotlight and have her talent recognised. I really hope Aly continues to stick around, I'd love to see her compete again at a World Championships and see her get that all-around medal she deserves. 

Golden Girl Aly performs in the floor final at the 2012 Olympic Games

Stay tuned for part 4 which will include recent junior routines!

See parts 1 and 2 below
Fav Floor Routines Part 2- Athens 2004 to Beijing 2008
Fav Floor Routines Part 1- Golden Oldies

Article by Imogen Browne (@ImogenMireille on Twitter)


  1. Umm, Jordyn's floor music is Wild Dances by Ruslana, who won the 2004 Eurovision song contest with it - I don't think it's a Cirque piece.
    I looked it up when my daughter had it for one of her RG routines a couple of years back.

  2. Thanks for pointing that out! I was thinking of her old floor music, that one was defintely a Cique piece.