Georgian Salome Pazhava Brings a Powerful Dance Heritage into Gymnastics

This year, 16-year old Salome Pazhava from Georgia, who was a bronze medalist at the junior European Championships in 2012, has showcased an absolutely unique choreography with clubs, which stands out with speed, rhythm and originality. I think this is one of the few routines with clubs  not set to Latin dance music. It looks decisively, unforgivingly better than the other choreographies, because it comes alive with the music's tremendous energy and it takes gymnastics into a different territory.

 Salome represents the inspiring tradition of Georgian folk dances, which have astonished audiences all over the world.  She spins, she jumps, she adds fast step sequences, and she doesn't take a breath:

This routine is from an earlier competition where she received a bit under 17 points for it, but at this year's European Championships in Baku, Salome deservingly got a 17.400 mark, which was the 6th highest score with clubs. Congratulations to Salome's family and friends, and to her coaches and choreographers!

Here is Salome dazzling everyone at Georgia's got talent:

And, finally, if you have not experienced the world treasure that is Georgian folk dance, here is a treat you should not have missed. It will elevate your spirit and speed up the beat of your heart:

One of the most unforgettable experiences in life is to observe a young person reaching the depth of her peoples' roots and growing from them. Salome represents her ancestry with mastery and absolutely contagious emotion. She shows everything a gymnast needs to be: an athlete and an actress at the same time, but also someone who is able to both appreciate and enrich the world's culture.

Here is a photo collage in honor of Salome prepared by my friend Lidia Rozdilsky. With ribbon, Salome performs another very exciting routine, this time to music by Michael Jackson, which I hope to discuss in another blog post.