Switch Side (Balance Beam)



Balance beam

Skill type

Known as
Switch side
Switch leap 1/4
Switch straddle

Named after
allegedly Kathy Johnson (USA)

So here’s a weird thing with naming: For a long time, the switch side on beam was just named Johnson in the code of points with no associated first name despite there being, you know, a number of people with the last name Johnson. It’s kind of common.

The switch side on floor, meanwhile, is named after Brandy Johnson, but this is beam and not floor, and this one was just…Johnson.

In recent years, the code was updated to reflect that this skill was named after our beloved Kathy Johnson. The only issue being that Kathy famously performed this skill without the change leg. Her version was a split side leap, not a switch side. So what’s even going on here?

Anyway, its C value renders the switch side among the more popular C dance elements, but because it can’t be connected out of very easily (side jumps out of switch sides—it’s coming), it tends to be eschewed by those looking for the very highest D scores, who will prefer dance elements that they can fake-connect out of to rack up bonus tenths.


Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

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