1997-1998 Hoop Routine

Elena Vitrichenko Collection


Vitrichenko’s Hoop routines are a niche of their own.  She has unique moves, undisputed elegance that few can parallel.  In the period between 1997-early 1998, Vitrichenko was the unchallenged Queen of Hoop and it was with this routine that she conquered almost all Hoop Titles then (in fact all, except the 1997 Worlds Title due to a loss of control in her vertical spin).

In this piece of composition, Vitrichenko chose “Saltimbanco” to be her background music.  The haunting tune weaves further secrecy into the already dramatically mysterious routine.

Kicking off her routine with a horizontal split while sliding down, Vitrichenko quickly executes a series of flexibility movements, such as a flexibility backbend move, with the hoop encircling round the toes and fingers.  This action demonstrates strength and flexibility, the core values in all RSG routines.  Next, she rolls over to one side, whilst the swiveling hoop is transferred from one leg to the other.  This is an ingenious connection that certainly scores in originality. Demonstrating a well-controlled full body wave, Elena stands up, does a 3-movement balance move (B3202), before swirling into a Ralenkova to reach into standing position again.  While watching these static moves, do note the role of hoop used as a means to portray fusion between the apparatus and the body into one.  This is important, given the fact that many inexperienced RSG gymnasts tend to treat their apparatus as a separate entity.  Their lack of comprehension and feel for their apparatus often result in less than credible performances.

Next, Elena does a 1 movement balance (B1202) cum 360 rotation.  The music then tightens as the thrilling melody blasts off into a flurry of steady drumming and eventually fast chords.  To synchronize the heightened mood, Vitrichenko unleashes her leg toss, executed while the hoop is traveling diagonally across the floor guided by her leg.  This is an especially difficult move, but Elena performs it with great pénche and confidence.  Catching the hoop, Elena (in her 98 competitive season) effects a vertical split variation with her body tilting dorsally towards the right at 90 degree, and the hoop completes a Boomerang toss.  (In the 1997 season, Vitrichenko simply does the retro roll in a semi-kneeling pose. (i.e. the flexibility balance pose B3301 to be exact.) Almost immediately, Vitrichenko fish-flops, followed closely by a pénche balance.   In the pénche position, her toes on the left leg cling tightly to the hoop, before releasing it to allow the hoop slide down the entire length of her leg.

At this juncture, the tempo of the music thumps to its climax.  The hoop is thrown high up into the air.  In the 97 Worlds, Vitrichenko does a split leap with 180 turn of body and legs as a unit and catches the apparatus in a double stag ring leap.  This D plus B difficulty makes this combination a grade F series—something pretty spectacular.  But in the 98 season, she converted her turning split leap into a split leap with a deep arch.  Still, the effort is commendable.

Later, Vitrichenko executes her pivot combination: an assisted vertical spagat and attitude balance.  Throughout, the hoop changes position, creating stunning visual display.  After this, Vitrichenko tosses the hoop and split leaps through it (97 season).  In the 98 Competitive season, she chooses to perform a double stag jump through the hoop.

Now the beat of the music rises to a new apogee.  She performs a side tuck jump through the hoop, while switching the direction of the hoop around the body simultaneously.  This jump germinating into a leap combination is an awesome spectacle—something NOT to be missed.  Note that thus far, only Elena has dared to employ this move in her routines.

Not to be outdone, the finale was equally breathtaking: a high throw, a triple cartwheel and trapping the hoop between her legs.  As the music rings its final note, Vitrichenko does a flexibility move to sum up the beautiful routine.

Great music, lovely choice of body movements, no wonder Elena dominated the Hoop exercise competitions in 1997.  Watch out for how Vitrichenko uses her harrowing eye movements to blend with the silently poignant piece.  A highly recommended piece of exercise not to be missed.


Saltimbanco, Cirque du Soleil

Major scores

1997 World: 10.000 - 2nd
Epson Cup : 9.983 - 1st
1998 DTB-Pokal: 9.933 - 2nd
Grand Prix Finale- 10.000 - 2nd
Deventer: 9.933 - 3rd
World Exhibition: 2nd

Video @ Zaripova.com
('98 Goodwill AA)
Vid Cap

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 Copyright 2001 Derri & Angela See