Top 30 favorite choreographies of 2015

Honorable mentions: Gaelle Mys (Belgium), Axelle Klinchaert (Belgium), Amelia Montague (Great Britan), Simone Biles (USA), Ksenia Afanasyeva (Russia), Larisa Iordache (Romania), Madison Kocian (USA), Tuyta Yilmaz (Turkey), Rebeca Andrade (Brazil) Masule Kabuba (Namibia) and Andreea Iridon (Romania)

30. Zhu Xiaofang, China

This is so beautiful to watch. Xiaofang is such a graceful gymnast, with gorgeous body posture, beautiful lines, lovely extension and stunning toe point. There’s a certain lightness that makes her so special, her choreography is beautiful and I love how she always works on her toes. I wish we saw more routines like this one from the Chinese team.

29 Elizabet Vasileva, Bulgaria

This routine takes my breath away every time I watch it. Does this girl even have bonus? It certainly looks like she doesn’t. She has the flexibility, the musicality and the elegance of a rhythmic gymnast. She has a unique style, she works well with her music and she performs to the crowd. And that ending choreography is probably the most beautiful thing I have seen on floor during the entire year.

(her routine starts at 11:07)

28. Marlene Bindig, Germany

This is such a pretty routine coming from a country which is not renowned for their artistry. It’s needless to say that Marlene doesn’t have enough difficulty to challenge for a spot in a major team. However, her grace, her elegance and her expressiveness are hard to go unnoticed. Her choreography is beautiful, she feels her music and you can see the passion in her eyes. This performance is absolutely captivating.

27. Jade Barbosa, Brazil

I always loved Jade for her power and her difficulty, but I never considered her a particularly artistic gymnast. And then, she came to Glasgow with this routine. The fact that she had a double layout and a piked full in even though she hadn’t competed floor for the entire year was beyond impressive, but her choreography was what made me love this routine. This is such a dynamic, elegant and dramatic routine, she connects with her music, she has beautiful choreography and she’s so expressive. I absolutely love it and I hope she keeps it for next year.

26. Anastasia Dmitrieva, Russia

Nastya Dmitrieva had a special spark from a very young age and it was great to see that she hadn’t lost it as she transitioned into the senior ranks. I love everything about this routine. I love how she enters the floor with a leap, how she makes eye contact with the audience and how she hits every single note. I also love her playful choreography, her bright smile, her clean tumbling and her low to the floor work. This performance is just so much fun to watch. In my opinion, this is the most artistic routine in the Russian senior national team and it deserves recognition for this.

25. Eva Mickova, Czech Republic

Some times I wonder how many brilliant floor routines from athletes from small countries never got the attention they deserved because nobody bothered to film them. This is the only recent competition video I could find from her floor and I am so grateful that the FIG shared videos of every single athlete who competed at worlds, so we could witness this beauty. Eva is absolutely captivating. So graceful, so elegant, so expressive… Her routine is beautifully choreographed, she connects so well with her music and I love the way she uses her arms throughout the exercise.

24. Nina Derwael, Belgium

What I love about Belgium on floor is that they are unique. They don’t go for the typical pretty routines that will surely make everyone fall in love, they try new stuff and even though not everyone likes this style, everyone notices it. This is also true about Nina’s routine. It’s different, and to me, it’s fabulous! From the very first moment of this routine, she shows off her excellent flexibility, as well as fantastic rhythm and plenty of attitude and I find her low to the floor choreography absolutely gorgeous. And then, when you think it won’t get any better, the tune changes and she starts dancing like nobody is watching before finishing with a beautiful ending pose. Every routine Nina has shown during her career has been interesting and unusual, and I hope she can continue pulling off performances like that as a senior too.

23. Oreane Lechenault, France

Τhis is such a unique, theatrical and entertaining performance, but did you expect anything else from the French team? They always find a way to keep things interesting on floor. Oreane is a star in the making. Not everyone would be able to pull off a routine like that but she does a brilliant job. She works well with her music, she performs her choreography beautifully, she tells a story with her movements and she is an absolute joy to watch.

22. Lu Yufei, China

Having a bad day? Don’t worry, Yufei is here to cheer you up! She’s such a graceful and charismatic young gymnast with delightful choreography and excellent presentation. I absolutely adore the part after her second tumbling pass… so much cuteness! This girl certainly one to watch in the future.

21. Marta Pihan – Kulesza, Poland

Marta is one of the athletes I have enjoyed the most on this event during the quad. She has had this routine for a while now but I will never get tired of it. She’s just so exciting to watch. Her choreography is excellent, she shows elegance, flexibility and personality and she does such an amazing job at performing it to the crowd. She always makes eye contact with the audience, she smiles and she makes everyone watch her perform. She has this sparkle, this special something that makes her stand out even in the deepest field and I will miss this so much when she retires.

20. Rose-Kaying Woo, Canada

Rose has such a powerful presence on floor. This is such a hard piece of music to interpret but she’s doing an excellent job. She has fantastic choreography, all her movements are crisp and dynamic and she hits all those notes, it’s just beautiful to watch. I absolutely love her choreography and her energy and I can’t wait to see her performing as a senior.

19. Rifda Irfanaluthfi, Indonesia

This is such a delightful performance! Rida has beautiful lines and extension, she’s elegant, she’s graceful and she’s an excellent performer. Her choreography is quite different than what we usually see in gymnastics but it’s very entertaining to watch and her smile is bright enough to light up the entire arena.

18. Milla Fabre, Monaco

This is another routine that makes me extremely grateful for FIG’s coverage of the worlds qualifications. Milla does not have difficulty. Her first pass is only a front layout and she actually sits it down. But she has incredible elegance, excellent style and plenty of attitude to make up for it. This girl can dance. She moves with incredible fluidity and rhythm, she works with her music beautifully and she shows her flexibility and her personality.

17. Flavia Saraiva, Brazil

Flavia is a ray of sunshine who never fails to brighten my day. She has great rhythm and musicality, she knows how to perform, her smile is infectious and she can always put a smile on the face of everyone watching her. It doesn’t matter if she competes in her home country or not, the crowd always LOVES her because she has this special something that makes you want to watch her over and over again.

16. Louise McColgan, Great Britain

When I first heard this song used by MyKayla Skinner, I thought that it was the worse floor music I had ever listened to and I couldn’t imagine how anyone could possible make it work. And then, Louise performed to the same piece and she was absolutely brilliant. This is such an interesting routine, full of unique movements and she performs it beautifully. I love how the change of tempo gives her the opportunity to showcase two different styles and I love how this routine is both playful and elegant. All her movements go perfectly with her music and this is perfect example of how you’re supposed to work with the corner rule. Louise is delightful and every routine she has had during her career has been absolutely fantastic.

15. Juliette Bossu, France

France never disappoints on floor and each and every one of their athletes seems to have a beautifully choreographed routine that suits their style. Juliette’s choreography is playful and full of energy. She never stops moving, she uses her entire body during her dance, she works very well with her music and she shows excellent lines and flexibility. This back spin into her beautiful ending pose is one of the most beautiful finishes I have seen during the entire year. In my mind, her music is so connected with Roxana Popa, that I never thought I would actually enjoy watching an other athlete performing to it but Juliette does such a brilliant job with it. She really has the whole package on this event. She has the grace, the artistry, the flexibility and the power, so I’m hoping to see her reaching a major final at some point of her career.

14. Olivia Cimpian, Romania

Olivia’s artistry was what made me fall in love with her back in 2012, but I could have never imagined that she would grow into such a powerful tumbler too. But of course, this is all about her dance. I could never imagine someone else performing to this music after Grishina interpreted it so well and broke our hearts while it was playing in 2012, but Olivia is so beautiful to watch. She has the flexibility, the musicality and the fluidity one would expect from a former rhythmic gymnast and her choreographer took full advantage of that while creating this routine. I just love the little details in this performance. Her double stag jump, her semenova turn right into her beautiful low to the floor choreography, the way she works on her toes and her scale before the third pass. This is probably what FIG had in mind when they created the corner rule. I just hope that she will maintain her incredible artistry as she grows.

13. Catherine Lyons, Great Britain

I remember watching the first half of this routine and thinking that it’s not something special, especially compared to the programs that Catherine had shown in the past. And then, she dropped on the floor and I was immediately in love. It’s hard to believe that a 15-years-old is capable of producing such a dramatic, expressive and mature performance but Catherine is a special gymnast. She has a completely unique style, she’s different than any other athlete currently competing and I can’t wait to see her competing as a senior. She will definitely bring some beauty to the sport.

12. Tjasa Kysselef, Slovenia

I have so much love for this woman and the way she dances. This routine is simply fabulous. She has so much attitude, so much energy. All her movements are dynamic and crisp and perfectly synchronized with her music and she does an excellent job at performing this routine. I absolutely love her music and her ending pose too.

11. Sara Raposeiro, Portugal

Talk about selling a routine to the crowd! This performance is a delight to watch. Sara has lovely, cute and energetic choreography and she couldn’t possibly perform it any better. It’s such a theatrical and expressive routine. She smiles, she makes eye contact with the audience, she uses her facial expressions and she looks like she’s having a blast out there. It’s simply wonderful to watch.

10. Isabela Onyshko, Canada

You know that this performance is going to be special from the very first moment Isabela takes the floor. She has this look on her face, this fire in her eyes, and you just know that this is going to be worth watching. And of course, when the music starts she does not disappoint. A few gymnasts have used this floor music since Ksenia Afanasyeva made it famous in 2011, but Onyshko is the only one who was able to pull it off. She dances beautifully, she shows off her excellent flexibility and she is an amazing performer. Nobody can make eye contact with the audience like she does and her smile is absolutely captivating. I just can’t get enough of her choreography on floor.

9. Ilaria Kaeslin, Switzerland

Talk about fluidity and musicality! Ilaria is such a beauty, she has such impressive quality of movement and sense of rhythm and she does a great job at selling her routine to the crowd. I think I would hate this music if anyone else used it for their floor routine, but she somehow makes it work. I love her work on floor so much and I hope she never retires because she brings so many great qualities and such amazing style in international competitions.

8. Marine Brevet, France

I look forward to Marine’s choreography ever single year. You just know that not matter what style she chooses, she will find a way to captivate the audience with her beauty. Her work is elegant, dynamic and mature, her movements are perfectly synchronized with her music and her musicality is incredible. She has gorgeous lines, extension and body posture, she makes eye contact with the audience, she shows her personality and she demands everyone’s attention when she gets on the floor.

7. Lieke Wevers, Netherlands

What a beauty! I’m so happy that Lieke was able to recover from all her injuries and to be successful in the sport because we needed a gymnast like her. This is such a lovely performance and even her entrance on the floor it choreographed! She has lovely lines and carriage and she puts her heart and soul into her dance. She is elegant, she is graceful and she is expressive. She makes eye contact with the crowd, she smiles, she interprets this music beautifully she just draws you in her performance. This is the kind of routine you can watch over and over again without ever getting tired of it and I’m so glad we got to enjoy it at the worlds event finals.

6. Sydney Johnson –Scharpf

It only took one floor routine from a 13-years-old Sydney Johnson Scharpf back in 2013 to make the world fall in love. This girl just had it! When Sydney was performing, all eyes were on her and everyone was captivated by her elegance, her sass, her confidence and her smile. After a couple of years, it was great to see her actually being competitive and making the junior national team. And what was even greater is that she did not sacrifice her fantastic artistry in favor of difficulty and now, she takes our breath away with both her Dos Santos and her dance. This girl is a super star. She takes the floor and she dares you not to watch. She has incredible musicality and fluidity in her movements, she has beautiful choreography, she performs her routine to the crowd and she always looks like she’s enjoying herself. I don’t know if Sydney can make it to the Olympics but I do know that she will make USA’s senior competitions even more beautiful and exciting than they already are.

5. Laurie Hernandez, USA

What can I even say about this girl? Back in 2012, when she was at an age when most gymnasts are still scared and shy, she could already go out there and make the arena explode with her dance. Three years and two major injuries later, she still has this same sparkle, this same presence, this special something that draws everyone’s attention. When Laurie is on the floor, all eyes are on her. She’s a performer, a super star and nobody can perform a routine quite as well as she does. She smiles, she makes eye contact with the crowd, she uses her face just as much as she uses her body and she is just impossible to ignore. This is actually my least favorite floor routine of Laurie, and yet, it still is one of my favorite floor routines of the entire quad and I can’t wait to see her stealing the show in future senior competitions.

4. Morgan Hurd

I feel that most of the floor routines we see right now, only include a few seconds of great choreography and then, it’s all about poses and hand waving that may or may not go along with the music. Well, Morgan actually dances! She does not just pose, she doesn’t just gracefully move her arms and there’s not even one second of this routine which is not brilliantly choreographed. She’s such a graceful gymnast, with stunning extension and toe point, who moves with incredible fluidity and shows fantastic rhythm and flexibility and that low the floor part… god does this girl even have bones? It’s just breathtaking.

3. Varvara Zubova, Russia

If you are wondering where did the Russian artistry go I have an answer for you! It all went to little Varvara Zubova, who has all the charisma, the charm and the choreography that her country’s team lacked this year. You may need to make a VK account in order to watch this video but trust me, it will be worth it. She is so old school. Maybe it’s because of the excellent choreography, maybe it’s because of her crisp and quick movements or maybe it’s just her hair and the bent knees during her double pike, but this routine looks like it came out of the Soviet Union’s golden days. She reminds me so much of a young Maria Filatova, and this one of the biggest compliments I could say. Her choreography is unique, it really is different than any other routine being done in the world right now and she performs it beautifully. She moves quickly and gracefully, she connects with the music and she just looks like a doll that came into life. I’m praying to the gymnastics gods every day that Varvara will upgrade her routines and make it it big because the sport desperately needs athletes like her right now.

Video here (thanks to dariaskrypnik for founding this link for me)

2. Claire Martin, France

Claire will probably never qualify into a major floor final due to her low difficulty and this is killing me, because it was up to me, she would win every gold medal ever just for her artistry! She has that special something that draws everyone’s attention and she has a beauty that very few athletes possess. Her dance, her rhythm, her interpretation of the music and her lines are freaking fabulous and you can see the fire in her eyes during this routine. She has shown three different floor routines during the last three years, and If I was making a list of the most artistic routines of the quad, I would include all three of them without second thought.

1. Eythora Thorsdottir, Netherlands

No words will ever be enough to describe Eythora’s beauty. This is not just a well choreographed and well performed routine, this is a freaking masterpiece. You can see all the effort that went into creating this routine. There’s so much attention to detail in her choreography, every single movement is perfectly synchronized with the music, every single smile and facial expression is choreographed and every single dance element is beautifully executed. Eythora has always been special. Even at the age of 12, when most gymnasts are still trying to find their personal style, she could go out there and light up the entire arena with her eyes. And as years went by she did not sacrifice her artistry and her originality in order to maximize her difficulty and she worked on her dance and performance quality just as much as she worked on her difficulty and execution and this is what makes her stand out. It doesn’t matter what her start value is or how many tumbling passes she performs. Every time people will hear her floor music in the background of a livestream or a broadcast, they will wish the cameras were on her. No matter who else is performing on the other events, when she is on floor, everyone will watch her and 50 years from now people will go back to watch her routines and remember her as one of the most artistic gymnasts of her era, just like we remember Mostepanova, Boginskaya and Dobre. This is my favorite performance of the year, my favorite performance of the quad and one of my favorite performances of all time and I wish there was a way to thank Eythora for the beauty she adds to this sport.

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photo credit: sports2visual

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5 thoughts on “Top 30 favorite choreographies of 2015

  1. Great list! I loved Kyla’s floor choreo this year too, although she didn’t have the best luck with floor routines this season 😕

    Like

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