Acrobatic dance combines the elements of classical dance training with acrobatics and floor gymnastics skills to create a unique athletic form of dance. Acrobatic dance, more commonly known as Acro, is typically practiced in smaller subcategories of the style that include stunting, contortion and tumbling techniques. By mastering these skills through intensive, individualized courses, independent from one another, an acrobatic dancer can blend these skills together with their growth and experience.
Acrobatic Dance (Acro)
Our recreational Acro classes are a perfect spot where students begin to learn the fundamentals of Acrobatic Dance. Dancers work on their flexibility and strength before attempting their tricks with experienced and qualified spotters. Basic tricks such as Splits, Backbends, Rolls and Cartwheels are introduced almost immediately after obtaining the proper strength for support. Participants also learn the basic fundamentals of multiple acrobatic balances such as Head, Chest, Elbow and Hand Balances. Front and Back Walkovers are introduced once the participants obtain the Backbend and Recovery consistently, which then prepares them for more advanced skills while applying new and interesting variations to the basics.
Stunting classes focus on the ability to do tricks and different balance positions between a pair or a group of dancers together. Tricks that dancers learn in their Acro classes as an individual are commonly used in the Stunting class with a partner or in a group. Partners in Stunting can vary depending on the trick and the level of experience. The partners learn to become one with the ground as they are now in complete support of each other. “Flyers”, or the acrobat on the top, usually balance upside down over top of the partner or porter(s) with different types of partnering tricks or sequences. These roles can change as we encourage participants to learn both roles of partnering techniques. Partners learn to develop great trust in one another as well as team work throughout Stunting classes.
These classes focus heavily on balance, strength and coordination as individuals and as a group. To Stunt successfully, partners need to be able to work together to find a rhythm that works for them. This style is both fundamental to Acrobatic Dance as a whole, but also challenges dancers to improve their partnering abilities and overall athleticism.
In Tumbling classes, dancers are advancing their basic Acrobatic skills into power tricks while focusing on their ability to execute skills like Rolls, Handsprings, Round-Offs, Aerials and other strength or power moves. While we practice these tricks, dancers are guided by the help of our coaches. First by starting on our Tumble Track, then moving to master the techniques on the floor with a spotter. It is important for students to learn and master the basic fundamentals of Acro in our recreational classes before moving into Tumbling classes. Cartwheels and Walkovers must be obtained before taking the Tumbling class, as these tricks are enhanced and advanced in Tumbling skills.
Though these skills are fundamental to acrobatic dance, they are beneficial to many other athletic and dance areas. Tumbling is often seen in Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Cheerleading, to name a few, but the skills of flexibility and body control are essential to advancement. Tumbling allows dancers to become acutely aware of how to transfer their weight correctly, to gain and maintain momentum, and how to land properly.
Contortion classes are for dancers who have an enhanced natural level of flexibility. These classes utilize this flexibility to shape and contort the dancer’s body in various positions to enhance their skills. With constant stretching and practice, the body begins to comfortably bend in certain ways that a dancer can begin to show off. Stability is key in Contortion, as absolute control over your body must be mastered. Breathing techniques are introduced as a safety measure in the first class and are continued and practiced in each class beyond.
Contortion skills are a fantastic addition to any other form of dance as well. The ability to bend and contort will always benefit dancers while impressing an audience. These skills are also utilized in Stunting and Tumbling, as limbered dancers are able to master other acrobatic dance skills faster than less experienced or less limbered students.
Acrobatic Dance is an excellent way for all dancers to improve their athletic abilities and master control of their muscles while learning impressive new tricks in a safe manner. Dancers of all ages are invited to learn Acrobatic Dance techniques that will push them far in their dance future. Contact us today to learn more about our Acrobatic Dance program and to find out which level your dancer is ready for!