history of artistry in Artistic Gymnastics

Dance educator, Circus and Gymnastics choreographer Chris Houston put together a research paper for an undergraduate degree titled The Art of the Sport.

Here’s an excerpt:

… A significant area of research that merits further investigation is the exclusion of the women’s compulsory program. This program demanded that the gymnast perform fundamental skills with the highest form of precision possible. These routines distinguished the technically proficient gymnast from the gymnast with poor form and substandard artistry.

The floor routine required exquisite dance technique, superior flexibility, and exceptional acrobatic execution. Each nation brought their own ‘flavor’ in the presentation of these exercises; they tried to stylize the movements to look different from other countries.

The interpretation of the routine allowed each gymnast to demonstrate their unique personality – it encouraged the individual’s artistry.

In 1996, the compulsory program was cut. Since its removal, there has been a gradual decline in the execution of dance …

Download The Art of the Sport as a PDF.

What is artistry?

Click PLAY or watch some of Chris’ work on Vimeo.

standing 1/1 on Beam

Gabby Perea, Legacy Elite.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Simone Biles – Beam double double dismount

Simone can do it. But her coach, Aimee Boorman, in an entertaining GymCastic interview said there were no plans to add it to her routine.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Gym Blog Brazil links to a number of other routines (in the past) with full twisting double back, including this one.

Click PLAY or watch Shawn Johnson on YouTube.

Simone’s Beam dismount

Fantastic. But not quite perfect.

Simone Beam dismount

(via Tsuk the Pain)

Ragan Smith – Beam

WOWSER! #PGChamps Jr day 2

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. 15.200 (6.4, 8.800)

Simone crushes Beam


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. 15.900 (6.9, 9.000) … NOTE 0.1 stick bonus.

Has she ever competed a better routine?

Alyssa Baumann – Beam

Top score day 1 #PGChamps.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.