Breaking Down Aly Raisman's Dancing with the Stars Debut

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMarch 18, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07:  Bronze medalist Alexandra Raisman of the United States poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Beam final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 7, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If she wasn't considered the favorite to win ABC's Dancing with the Stars the second she was announced as a contestant, she must be now that she has turned in her first routine of the competition. 

Athletes have always found great success on this popular show, and Raisman is not just any athlete: She is an Olympics gold medalist in gymnastics. 

You don't have to be a gymnastics buff to know that there are plenty of elements that go into a floor routine that would help prepare someone to pull off a spectacular dance routine, and that is exactly what the 18-year-old did on the season premiere: 

Raisman is paired with Mark Ballas, and the two certainly look like they will have great chemistry, which isn't all that surprising considering, according to the Boston Herald's Mark Perigard, that the two have already been practicing for three weeks. 

Apparently, they haven't just been practicing dance moves. They also crafted, as Perigard tells us, a team nickname: RaisNBall.

I've got to be honest here: That nickname does not come off as well as their first routine did. I mean, a raisin ball does not exactly paint the most appetizing picture. In fact, I think I've pulled a few of those out from under my couch cushions. 

At least it's better than "BallMan."

Let's not get caught up in nicknames, though. That is not going to win or lose the competition for these two. What is going to win it is Raisman's natural rhythm and graceful movement, the kind she displayed in this routine and like she did in London last summer.

Of course, it will also help that her and her teammates' performance in winning the team gold vaunted them to an iconic status, and Raisman undoubtedly has a legion of fans who would vote for her even if she fell flat on her face. 

I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about that happening.