1997 Ball Routine

Alina Kabaeva Collection

I particularly enjoy this routine because the music is so lively and blissful. It totally fits Alina as a junior, portraying her charisma as well as the joy of rhythmic gymnastics. Her difficulty in this routine (in 1997) has shown her great potential when she competes as a senior.

When the music begins, Kabaeva skillfully tucks the ball on her stomach, allowing it to drop on the floor and bounce up. Holding the ball, she performs perfect attitude spins into back catch pivots. When she performs pivots, it alw ays seems so free and easy. Alina adds a little bit of touch to the light music by bouncing the ball up with her right leg.

As the main theme of the background music is introduced, Kabaeva releases the ball for a throw, catching it confidently in a double stag ring leap position. Following the throw, she displays her back flexibility and combined dexterity as she allows the ball to roll down her hands (at the back) and stopping it with her back. She performs a large roll of the ball as she raises her free leg.

Her second throw is simple but beautiful. She throws the ball as she executes a 180 degrees flexibility jump and catches the ball effortlessly. The next consecutive throw requires precise timing. Releasing the ball, Kabaeva does an illusion turn. As the ball drops on the floor and bounces back, she bounces once again the ball with her knees and catches the ball finally. This throw is in fact considerably risky. Here, she continues with a beautiful back catch pose, displaying her back flexibility.

Not to be outdone, she unleashes a fourth large throw, catching the ball after a fast Ralenkova. Considering the fact that Kabaeva is only a junior, a throw into a Ralenkova is definitely spectacular. Of course, she includes her difficulty in it, for example her perfectly controlled triple leg up pivots.

In the middle of the routine, Kabaeva pauses slightly, frolicking with the ball, showing some cute movements.

As the main theme returns, Kabaeva once more creates the atmosphere with her style. First, she bounces the ball as she performs a side split. Almost immediately after, she executes a back catch pivot, stopping at a scale balance. Subsequently, she shows her trademark combination. Rolling the ball vertically away, she effects a variation walkover to roll the ball back with her left leg and gets up with a body wave.

I must agree her last section is the most exciting part. Throwing the ball, she catches it while doing a split ring leap. A second later, she releases the ball again while she executes a double stag ring jump. Sitting down, she catches the ball tightly under her legs. Tucking the ball tightly, she displays her favourite acrobatic combination (one that she uses till now) Her ending throw, a clever one, is commonly done by her as well. After throwing the ball, she splits her legs on the floor, tuck them straight together right above the falling ball and catches it with a back bend. Of course, Kabaeva always add some humour by turning her body 90 degrees in the same position, popping her head out when the final music sounds!

Amazing Alina awes all audiences again.


Finale (Carnival of the Animals)

Major scores:

LA Lights: 15.750 - 1st AA
Vid Cap

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 Copyright 2001 Derri & Angela See