Why should dancers take acro?

“Whether you are perfecting your skills or just starting out, here are just a few of the benefits that a dancer will attain by taking acro classes…

ATTENTION TO FORM. Even if you already have a few tricks you have mastered, it is constructive to work on skills such as keeping your toes pointed, legs straight, and so on. A perfect aerial is more than just landing on your feet! And if you find that you struggle through certain tricks a lot – for example, you get stuck in the bridge position in your front walkover – it could be as simple as an instructor correcting the alignment of your hips or showing you when to engage your core to help pull through.

LEARN HOW TO SPOT. This is a tool that is useful for practice outside of the classroom, with friends or siblings. It will also help with warm ups during competitions or shows, when your dance instructors have many dancers to work with throughout the day.

TUMBLE LIKE A DANCER. As dancers, we don’t approach tumbling the exact same way that traditional gymnasts do. One of the reasons why is because we don’t have a spring mat to tumble on. That’s why the Olympic gymnasts can do those amazing tumbling passes that seem impossible on the ground. (The truth is, they are MUCH more difficult on a floor that doesn’t spring with you!) We have to learn to use our momentum differently. Whereas running on a spring mat adds bounce to a gymnast’s tricks, running just takes energy away from a dancer. Plus, let’s face it… running across the stage just doesn’t look very impressive. We like to sneak those tricks in our routines and go for the element of surprise.

It’s also important to remember that acro is not just about the tricks.

Some students are concerned that they aren’t as advanced in acro skills as their peers. But this is not a reason to avoid acro! Here are some examples of how skills you practice in an acro class benefit you as a dancer, aside from performing tricks in a routine…

IMPROVED BALANCE AND BODY AWARENESS. There is no better way to find your center of balance than when learning how to do a headstand or handstand. It is a great way to learn how to use your core for stability. The ability to engage your core effectively will help you in every aspect of your dancing, whether it is executing a flawless pirouette, holding a toe stand in tap shoes, or mastering a stall in a hip hop routine.

INCREASED FLEXIBILITY AND STRENGTH. Practicing acro skills automatically increases flexibility and strength, especially in joints that we don’t often pay attention to. For example, as we start each class, we do wrist exercises to help the dancers be better able to support their own weight while balancing on their hands.

And you never know — you might be able to do more than you ever thought possible. You’ll never know unless you try!”

Have a look at the TFX Performing Arts Academy Acrobatics Dance students on stage at Eden Court!

Thank you to RUCKUS DANCE for the original blog post content. 

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