Miss Val with Tanya Service

Miss Val’s Favorite Floor Routines*

I could have retired a long time ago if I received a nickel every time someone asked me what my favorite floor routine was. So when I wrote my first book, “Life is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance” I knew I had to address this topic. In it, I share the routines I believe pushed the artistic envelope and furthered the artistic quality of the sport.

Now that the book has been out a couple of months, several people have commented how they wished they could go online and see the routines that I highlight in the book. So, without regurgitating the details, below are the videos with just a brief description of what sets them apart. Also, I promise I wasn’t trying to imitate Don King with my early hairdos.

Donna Kemp

  • Why: My all-time favorite beginning move of a floor routine. The music started and she wound up and executed a spot-on triple turn.

Kim Hamilton

  • Why: Kim’s 5’7″ and her long legs made it seem like she floated in the air forever. She does a simple roundoff layout step out, but it demonstrates the awesomeness of simplicity.

Leah Homma

  • Why: I love the decrescendo to just breathing at the end of the routine. One judge wasn’t so enamored and suggested we get rid of the “sex scene.”

Tanya Service (Chaplin)

  • Why: Since she was so quick twitch she was able to move beautifully and effortlessly through intricate turning choreography.

Heidi Moneymaker

  • Why: Heidi would try anything–the crazier the better. Her routines were unique, fast twitch, and full of crazy dance.

Stella Umeh

  • Why: Stella is inarguably one of the most artistic gymnasts ever. Her understanding of movement quality and musicality was unmatched.

Amy Thorne

  • Why: Amy pulled off a satirical routine like an Academy Award–winning actress–something that’s easy to overdo and look contrived.

Anna Li

  • Why: Her bold embrace of drama in telling to story of struggle and triumph.

Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs

  • Why: Elyse is simply an amazing dancer. If that weren’t enough she would penetrate one’s soul with her piercing blue eyes.

Brittani McCullough

  • Why: Brittani was captivating. She excelled with powerful tumbling, dramatic dance, and the catwalk–literally walking around the floor for a full eight counts staring down the audience.

Ariana Berlin

  • Why: Ariana blended street genres of hip-hop and break-dancing; and she’s the only gymnast I know of who freestyled in breakdancing fashion the last 16 counts of her floor routine.

Hallie Mossett

  • Why: Hallie absolutely commanded the arena with a simple tilt of her head and the snap of her fingers.

Angi Cipra

  • Why: Angi is probably the best actor/performer I’ve ever worked with. Angi understood how the subtlety of a facial expression could transcend choreography and bring a performance to life.

Gracie Kramer

  • Why: Her timing and ability to bring music to life through movement is remarkable and not easy to teach.

Felicia Hano

  • Why: Felicia’s routines are playful and bit comedic, which is almost unheard of, and like Amy Thorne’s routines not easy to pull off.

Katelyn Ohashi

  • Why: Watching Katelyn perform is like watching the personification of joy. You can’t help but smile.

Danusia Francis

  • Why: Danusia unapologetically uses her femininity (and flexibility) to seduce the audience while her charm and performance take out the competition in true Bond-girl fashion.

Sophina DeJesus

  • Why: Sophina owned the cultural zeitgeist. She smiled, she whipped she nae nae’d, and she made you want to go dancing with her at the club.

BONUS: Christine “Peng-Peng” Lee

  • While Peng was never able to perform on floor for UCLA because of previous injuries, on bars and beam, Peng was able to bring movement to life unlike any other gymnast on the planet.

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BrittanyLaura AnneMeganColleenAlison Smart Recent comment authors
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I started following UCLA gymnastics around the time that Leah Homma was competing and not only did I love her floor routine but she was absolutely GORGEOUS on bars! I was so lucky to see her in person when your team competed against UC Stanta Barbara back when they had a team. I also got to see Stella Umeh and she was equally as amazing on beam. I love that you come up with a character and concept for each athlete on floor. I find that it provides a stronger connection with the audience and I love having a story… Read more »

Laura Anne

ha ha! I did a post similar to this a week or so ago, as a lot of friends kept sending me the link to Katelyn’s routine or tagging me in facebook comments sharing the videos about it after Deanna’s video went viral on your second meet of the season. Angi Cipra’s phone routine is possibly one of my all time faves, and I love Katelyn and Gracie’s this year so they are possibly going to knock Angi off of the BrunetteKoala fave floor routine podium spot! But the ones I would add is Onnie Willis routine (and Sadiqua’s legacy… Read more »


I think we need a part 2 (and 3, and 4, and 5, etc. )!

Alison Smart
Alison Smart

and Karen McMullin (How the West Was Won) 1984(?) <3

Paul Franco
Paul Franco

Always loved Heidi’s. I would add Alison Stoner and Kristen Parker’s Riverdance.

Scotty B
Scotty B

This is your list but I want to add one of my favorites! Malia Jones


That attitude turn to scale, wow! She is lovely to watch!

Natasha Goyco Ortiz
Natasha Goyco Ortiz

Loved this. Thanks for sharing! Undoubtedly each routine is fantastic and wonderful, great things you have done Miss Kondos.
P. S. Don King had nothing on you! 😂