Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful for Real Connections

I know it's a few days after Thanksgiving, but I have come up with something that I'm thankful for, gymnastically speaking--this beam set from Maria Livchikova.

What I love most about this set is the presence of real connections between elements, not the code whoring ones that virtually every gymnast on the planet uses to ratchet up her start value. Livchikova starts with a front aerial into an immediate front tuck. Then she follows it up with a front handspring directly into a front pike. But Livchikova wasn't yet done--she did an aerial cartwheel directly into a layout step out. No pause, no holding her leg up to signify continuity o. Just momentum from one skill carrying into the next. The way "connections" used to be.

None of this should be hailed as particularly revolutionary. Mo Huilan showed a great gym-acro series on beam in 1995--back handspring into a split jump without a pause. Or Olesya Dudnick doing an aerial cartwheel into two layout step outs in 1989. And so on and so forth.

But since we seldom see true connections on beam these days, I'll take what I can get. So thank you to Maria Livchikova for giving us a beam routine with real linkage between elements. (And also--thanks for working the beam in both directions, which is also rare to see these days.)


SSB said...

Thanks for sharing this exciting and lovely routine! It reminds me of Olesia Dudnik's 1989 beam routine. She connects an aerial to two layout steps AND a roundoff to a sky-high full twisting layout. She also moves like taffy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysfUV1irzqo

Dvora Meyers said...

I love that routine too!