2001 Hoop Routine

Alina Kabaeva Collection

Alina Kabayeva’s hoop is definitely a must to see for all RSG fans. Her moves are daring, risky, original, and always breathtaking. She displays great flair, and is definitely formidable. Over the years, her hip-hopping style has gained maturity, of which her 2001 hoop routine is the dominant illustration.

With her hands cupped together and the hoop tucked neatly between the legs, Kabaeva kicks her routine with a spectacular move: a retro roll (i.e. the hoop rotating away and then rolling back towards you), followed by a walkover. Here with immense precision, her left leg hooks the hoop and kicks it high into the air. In a double ring jump position, she catches the apparatus before rising up the mat via a back scale pivot.

Next, she releases the hoop for a large throw. Flying off to a turning split leap (deep arch) followed by a turn, she catches the hoop. Without hesitation, she performs a double stag ring leap and holds her free leg in a back catch balance, whilst the hoop continues its rotation around one of her hands. Accompanied by the faint thumping of the music “Desert Rose”, Alina frolics diagonally across with hoop encircling around the girth of her neck. The music accelerates in an exhilarating tune. Kabaeva then effects a nimble Ralenkova to catch the apparatus in a back scale position. The hoop falls freely down the length of her body. This is an innovative move that requires great accuracy and speed during execution. Notwithstanding these difficulties, Kabaeva showed great poise and confidence in this move, showcasing to others her strength and mastery over the apparatus.

A consecutive toss follows. This time, she hops into 2 double ring jumps and on the receipt of the hoop, spins into a triple pivot combination; a leg up pivot + a back catch pivot + another leg up pivot.

A point to note about Kabaeva’s routines would be her enlightened use of hip dancing to blend with her choice of thumping music. This allows the gymnast to take a short break, as well as to add live and light touches to the grave atmosphere, i.e. the competitions in this case in point.

Dancing to the music, Alina performs another huge throw, releasing the apparatus from an elbow rotation. Catching it, she transfers the hoop from the front to the back in an arching split leap. Hurling her body into mid-air, she does a half turn and on landing, back bends into a back catch pose. During her MG pivot, the hoop swirls from the top of her extended leg towards the lower half of her body, to compose stunning visual effects.

Following the thrilling yet mysterious tone of the music, the hoop is tossed up again. She performed a double stag ring leap twice before catching the hoop in a flexibility position. Subsequently, the hoop is made to roll along the hand length beginning from the dorsal side towards the anterior view, of which finally the hoop would fall down from her shoulder blade and be received by her extended left hand. This movements fuse the body with the apparatus well.

After a reverse illusion and back scale pivots, Kabaeva collapses into her signature flexibility move (S1202) rated D. Both her legs are extended skywards vertically; her body arched into a cup shape, one hand supports the vertically pointing legs and the other in a hi-five pose. Throughout, her hoop swivels around her legs, making it a great spectacle to watch.

Next, she executes another impressive move: a body wave cum MG variation from a kneeling position. The rotating hoop is allowed to tumble freely from the tip of her free leg towards the waist level. This is a refreshing action, one of the few capable of combining dexterity with complete flexibility.

As the music rises towards its highlight, Kabaeva demonstrates her most eye-catching move thus far, Tossing the hoop, it bounces back on hitting the floor while Alina kicks it up again with her side straddle before catching it. Wonderfully controlled and brilliantly executed, Alina roars with this impressive move.

To complete this awesome exercise, Kabaeva releases a final throw after a pivot: a reverse throw from the back, doubling into a roll and flips into a downwards flip up to trap the hoop between her legs. This is highly difficult move. Even Kabaeva finds it hard to control (worlds etc) and has only proven successful in some competitions, most notably her Europeans 2001.

Incredible back flexibility and clever adroit handling of the apparatus, this routine is one of a kind.

Amazing Alina never cease to amaze with the hoop.

Copyright Zimmerman


Sting's Desert Rose

Major scores:

Gym. Masters: 28.200 - 1st
Europeans: 29.250 - 1st
Goodwill Games*: 28.450 - 2nd
Worlds*: 27.450 - 2nd
Videos of Zaripova.com:
European Champs.
Goodwill Games
Vid Cap

*she DROPPED the hoop

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 Copyright 2001 Derri & Angela See