2001 ball routine is a display of beauty, grace
and elegance. She definitely expresses herself
quite well. She has a beautiful and classy
selection of leotard for this routine in major
competitions (e.g. Corbeil and Goodwill).
the soothing background music is sounded, Howard
bends in a Cossack balance and does a large roll
of the ball. She executes a second roll across in
a bent supporting leg position as a gong echoes.
Howard continues with a 180-degree jump into a
double stag ring leap (not turning).
second theme is introduced, Howard, without delay,
performs an unassisted 540 degrees vertical
balance, and then a “Timochenko” as she rolls
the ball down her hand. What an elegant display.
Next she artfully creates a full turn combination
as she raises her free leg slowly until it forms a
vertical balance. Maybe this can be considered her
original element. Next, she performs some moves
with brilliant uses of ball. For example this
flexibility move with her splitting of legs.
first throw is a reverse one, catching the ball as
she executes a arching split leap, which is
followed by a double stag ring leap. Putting the
ball on her neck, she performs another nice
flexibility move (F1203) rated C.
Subsequently, she performs a tricky
combination. Supporting the ball on her neck, she
performs a scale balance gracefully (F3303).
Rising up, she continues with a back catch balance
as she exchanges the ball to her right hand and
immediately, effects a 360 degrees of scale
balance. (F3302 rated E, I suppose). However, just
to be picky, I feel that she has not fully
familiarized herself with this.
Howard throws the ball, performs a turning split
leap before catching the ball. Quickly, she
effects a Cossack jump and then a Sissone jump.
She continues after that with a stag leap and then
a slow walkover. Not to be outdone, she further
performs a double vertical balance.
music has gradually reached its climax. A simple
throw follows suit and Howard repeats her turning
scale balance (though lower). Subsequently, she
performs a popular combination of a back catch
balance into a back flexion with her ball
supported on her back. She throws the ball a
fourth time, catching it in a double stag ring
a vertical balance turn (again), she unleashes her
fifth throw, stopping the ball on her neck with
supported arms. She concludes with a vertical
balance turn into a reverse illusion.
have to concur that the subtle yet mysterious
music in G minor is truly an excellent choice. The
overall effect generated from a soothing, and
operatic harmony to a loud and strong tune is
dramatic and captivating.
Howard’s remarkably best 2001 routine, there is
no doubt Howard scores in this ball routine and is
also undeniably a crowd favourite. Alas, it is a
pity that Howard’s ball routine needs perhaps
less repetition, a little more difficulty (though
it has quite a bit of difficulty actually, she has
to make a breakthrough), pivots, as well as
originality. She requires theses elements to
increase her artistry as well.
it is heartwarming to receive a great exercise
from the best American rhythmic gymnast. Being
merely 17 years old only, she can look forward to
a bright future…