Bulgaria's New Star

Katrin Taseva is looking more confident with every competition and has recently received high scores both in Bulgaria and at international event. I previously really liked Katrin's ball and clubs routines, but she has shown great progress in all four events so I would like to share her ribbon routine with the fans.

I really like that Katrin has both very clean lines and flexibility.Each movement she makes flows into the next one. In the future, we will see even more amplitude and expression in her routines so I really hope we get to see her at many world-class tournaments..


This is How the Ribbon Should Move

This season Neviana Vladinova from Bulgaria presents four very different and original routines. I love them all, but I have been watching the ribbon over and over again because it simply shows an excellent example of how to use the apparatus.  Many of the ribbon routines in the elite do not achieve this level of mastery, namely:

1. The ribbon does not stop moving
2. The lines of the ribbon are clean and the shapes shown are different in different segments of the routine
3. The ribbon movement and throws "cover" the entire carpet
4. The ribbon stays close to the gymnast's body
5. Both the risks and the general handling show original decisions
6. The dance steps are in harmony with the ribbon movements
7. The ribbon moves in different planes: above the head, at the feet, close to the floor, at eye level etc.

Good luck to Neviana in staying consistent and clean. I think she is working on taking this routine to the next level. There are a lot of small, but intricate details in this routine that will just take them to "iron out." This routine is designed to capture the attention from start to finish.


Katrin Is Ready to Show Playful, Glamorous Style

I have been following Katrin Taseva for a couple of years. I think the Bulgarian Federation made a mistake by not including he in the national team earlier and by not sending her to move international competitions last year.

Katrin is very flexible, has made a lot of progress with both her pirouettes and leaps, and, this year, she also has a lot more originality. Some of the risks with clubs you can see in this routine, despite the minor mistakes, are very different from the what most other gymnasts show on the carpet. Also, she is expressive, playful, and just fun to watch.

I am excited that this season she is showing off new and routines with very new and beautiful leotards that bring out her personality and style. I think she can be a real gymnastics diva, who can do perform to some very fun and fast music, and also really engage the audience, while not losing her focus on the difficulties that she is showing. I think these sparkly but elegant leotards will look even more beautiful with medals!

From the competition in Espoo, Finland, I like her clubs performance best, even though it was not the highest scored. This is very clearly a routine that has the potential to be remembered when Katrin becomes more confident.

This year at the Espoo International Tournament, Katrin got scores mostly around 16.8- 17.0. I think if the judges had seen her more last year, she would consistently receive over 17 even with some minor errors, just because at this point in there development she has enough difficulty to earn that. She usually appears very confident and I am pretty sure the mistakes will go away with time, too. At this stage, I definitely think Katrin has made more progress than Sara Staykova, who is the other candidate for the number 2 spot on the Bulgarian team. Sara had the chance to compete at a lot of events last year, and although she is very beautiful to watch, some of the inconsistencies in performance that we saw last year appear not to have changed at all.

I wish the Bulgarian Federation would consider investing some more time and effort in Katrin's international presence so that the judges will not perceive her as a brand new gymnast or as a "reserve" on the team, but rather as a competitor who can claim spots in the finals in the not so distant future. I have really enjoy how Katrin handles the clubs with her feet at the ending of this routine and I can't wait to see her perform it even better.