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Acro Crazed!

Posted on 7/10/2017
Gymnastics and dance are two forms of movement that seem to be joined at the hip.  In the TV series, Dancing with the Stars, Olympic athletes, Nastia, Shawn, Aly, Laurie and most recently, Simone, traded their grips for high heels and finessed their way to the top of the leaderboard, inspiring audiences in fantastic displays of various dance styles.

Combining gymnastics and dance programs seems to be a no brainer.  Many gymnastics gyms offer a variety of dance classes, and dance studios will often include tumbling classes in their program offerings to appeal to a broader clientele.  

For some athletes, the perfect combination of movement is AcroDance - a dynamic type of dance that incorporates the strength, flexibility and balance of dance with tumbling, contortions and stunting.  Some skills are done individually, other stunts are performed by partners or groups.  In Acro, one may recognize similar elements of skills done in gymnastics - aerials, tumbling skills, rolls, but in Acro the lines are longer and the goal for Acro dancers is to perform skills that flow with complicated elements of dance.

In her article, “Acro vs.Gymnastics, Is there a Difference?”, Melissa Klassen of Acrobatique describes the unique traits of Acro:

“AcroDance is an art form specifically for dancers. Acro has softer, more lyrical looking lines, with the emphasis being on lengthening “through” the tricks and holding pretty balances with interesting variations. In Acro, we teach our students to dance into and out of Acro tricks, with minimal obvious “prep” before and after a trick. Despite being technically difficult to execute, acrobatic tricks are meant to blend in seamlessly with dance steps, providing an extra level of excitement and flair to dance choreography.” (May 30, 2016 by Melissa Klassen - Acrobatique: Notes & Technique )

Melissa has a background in gymnastics and dance and from those two passions, grew a career.

She is an accomplished Canadian AcroDance educator, author and founder of Acrobatique, an online resource and AcroDance Syllabus aimed at teaching the correct and safe progressions to those who would like to pursue teaching the artistry of AcroDance.  

“Before the majority of the dance world understood the specifics of Acro, I noticed that there was a big gap between the proper training of true AcroDance and what dance studios were currently offering.”

Dancing with the Stars both challenged and inspired Olympic gymnastics superstars allowing us a peek into the crossover of sport and art.  AcroDance classes are popular options in dance studios across the nation.  Find one and give it a whirl..or a spin...or a lift….   For more information about what AcroDance is all about, check out Acrobatique at