2001 Ball Routine

Jessica Howard Collection

Howard’s 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).

As 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).

When 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.

Howard’s 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.

Next, 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.

The 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 leap position.

After 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.

I 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.

Being 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.

Nevertheless, 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…

© 2001 Tom Theobald, reverse illusion


No idea (contact me)

Major scores:

US Championships: 1st
US Rhythmic Challenge: 1st
LA Lights: 2nd AA
Kalamata Cup: 14th AA
Corbeil-Essonnes: 16th AA
World Games: 25.400 - 5th
Goodwill Game: 24.800 - 5th
Video of Zaripova.com
Vid Cap

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 Copyright 2001 Derri & Angela See