Starlight Academy - Acro Dance
Acro-Dance is the beautiful fusion of the artistic motion of dance and the athleticism of acrobatics. Often defined by it’s unique choreography, Acro-Dance blends seamlessly classic dance styles with acrobatic movement. The dance styles can be anything from a fast paced jazz routine to a slow and beautiful lyrical piece.
Acro-Dance is not the same as Gymnastics and there is a need to teach Acro skills differently than Gymnastics skills. Dance training is essential to the success of the Acro-Dancer. We therefore suggest that students take Ballet and/or Lyrical, Contemporary/Street classes in addition to Acro (ideally Ballet).
Gymnasts use some ‘dance’ technique to showcase their gymnastics skills, however dance is definitely secondary. Gymnasts are expected to prepare…tumble…and finish, while Acro Dancers are expected to seamlessly incorporate the skills. In fact, in a well choreographed Acro-Dance routine, the audience shouldn’t expect the skill at all.
The other important difference is, Acro-Dance is performed on a hard stage without mats (though they are used for training in class) while gymnasts have the advantage of a sprung floor giving more height enabling more complex tumbling and stuck landings.
An example of progression in an Acro class would begin with ’Table Top’ at Primary level progressing later on to ‘Baby Bridge’, ‘Push up to Bridge’, ‘Bridge Waving’, ‘Inside Out Bridge’, ‘Bridge down the wall’, ‘Back into Bridge with Spot’, ‘Recover from Bridge with Spot’, ‘Back into Bridge/Recover from Bridge without Spot’, ‘Bridge with Kick and Jump’, ‘Handstand to Bridge’, ‘Bridge with kick over’, ‘Back Walkover’.
The same types of progressions are used for many of the skills and build up to other movements such as ‘Aerials’, ‘Hand Springs’ and ‘Fish Flop'. The classes include a great deal of strength and conditioning exercises along with stretching to allow the children to perform the skills effectively and safely.
Pupils should attend at least one Ballet or Modern class per week in order to support the dance aspect of the Acrobatic Arts syllabus and help improve strength and flexibility.