Who danced it better?: Have Nagila

Hava Nagila is always a crowd favorite. Every time the song starts playing in a competition, the audience immediately gets into it and starts clapping along with the routine. This is probably why it has been used by many Olympic champions, like Lavinia Milosovici, Lilia Podkopayeva, Sandra Izbasa and Aly Raisman as well as many other excellent gymnasts.

Lavinia Milosovici:

Lavinia was great at many things, but dancing was not one of them. Besides some notable exceptions, the Romanians did not seem to pay much attention to artistry back then and Lavinia does not naturally have the best sense of rhythm out there. I actually think this is one of her best routines she had in terms of choreography and I live for her combination pass but this can’t be compared to other athletes’ performances to the same song.

Giorgia Villa

Giorgia is a promising young gymnast from Italy, who has shown significant progress on floor. I love how she uses Aly Raisman’s 2011 – 2012 floor music, because this shows that the Olympic floor champion had a big impact on her. But what I love more, is that her choreography is far better than Raisman’s ever was. During her routine, she shows beautiful, clean lines, lovely toe point and great flexibility. Hopefully, as she gets older, her ability to sell the routine will also improve. She already is a delight to watch and her opening triple twist is simply gorgeous. I can’t wait to see more of her in the future.

Gael Mackie

What a delightful routine! It looks like her choreographer was inspired by Lobaznyuk’s 2000 routine and she really did her best to do justice to it. Her exercise is very nicely choreographed, it goes perfectly with the music and she is doing an excellent job performing it. I absolutely adore her smile and her very original chest stand at the end.

Brooke Walker

This is an other very entertaining routine. Even though Brooke’s tumbling is not really special, her choreography is quite unique. She has some moves we don’t see every day, she shows personality and flexibility and she works very well with the music. I wish she was a little bit more expressive but I absolutely enjoyed this performance.

Sandra Izbasa

I always thought this was an unfortunate music selection for Sandra. At that point of her career, it seemed like a mature, elegant routine would suit her better than a playful one but at the end it worked for her. Unlike most people, I actually enjoy the dance after her first tumbling pass and I think her choreography is good enough. It’s a shame that she wasn’t able to perform to the best of her abilities at the floor finals because then, we could have had a world and an Olympic champion who used the same music at this quad.

Lilia Podkopayeva:

Lilia is known as one of the most artistic gymnasts of all time and not without a reason. I’m definitely not obsessed with this choreography but this still is one of my favorite routines, every floor routine Lilia has ever done is among my favorite floor routines. This girl could dance. You can see the hours she has spent on the ballet bar every time she moves. Her body posture, her lines, her extension, her toe point, her sense of rhythm are simply stunning and she could be literary standing in the middle of the mat, she’d still be artistic. This is not Podkopayeva’s most well known or best routine, but it’s playful, it’s fun and it’s entertaining.

Aly Raisman

Aly was never famous for her artistry and to be honest, I never really fell in love with this routine. I thought that the choreography could be much more beautiful and that she could have sold it to the crowd it better. However, this doesn’t really matter because this exercise is iconic. This is the routine that secured USA’s Olympic team gold, this is the routine that rightfully won the gold medal on floor, this is one of the most characteristic routines of those Olympic Games and of the entire 2009 – 2012 quad. For the years to come, when gymnastics fans listen to Hava Nagila, Aly Raisman will come to mind.

Yekaterina Lobaznyuk

Talking about iconic routines, here’s Lobaznyuk’s performance from Sydney. Worlds can’t express how much I love Russia’s 2000 Olympic team and how much I adore this exercise. There was a time when I used to watch it every single day because it always put a smile on my face. The choreography is simply perfect for her. It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s playful, it’s delightful. In my opinion, nobody has and nobody will ever interpret this piece of music better than Katya did.

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