Acrobatic Dance, or acro as it is commonly referred to by dancers and dance professionals, is the beautiful fusion of classic dance technique and the precision and athleticism of acrobatic elements.
Often defined by unique choreography, acro dancers seamlessly blend musicality, emotional expression, line and extension with acrobatic movements in a dance context.
Acro’s roots are in traditional Chinese dance, later appearing as a favoured style on the Vaudeville stage. More recently, acro gained popularity with the wide spread success of the contemporary circus productions of Cirque du Soleil. Main stream media including dance television programs like ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, ‘America’s Best Dance Crew’ and ‘Dance Moms’ have further fuelled it’s demand in amateur competitive dance and studio settings.
Acro is an especially challenging style for dancers to master as training in both dance and acrobatic elements is required. Acro technique includes balancing, limbering, tumbling and partnering, based in flexibility, contortion and strength.
About Acrobatic Arts
To set the standard of excellence in education among dance instructors in order to promote technique and progression in Acrobatic Dance
We believe that proficient dance educators can be taught how to teach acro dance. Great dance teachers already understand the artistic requirements and extension that dance demands, and can learn the progressions necessary to teach their students the skills fundamental to acro dance
The increased popularity of mainstream media, including Cirque du Soleil and Dance Television has created a huge demand for acro dance teachers in studio settings. This has caused some studio owners to hire unqualified instructors or gymnastics coaches (who don’t understand the art of acro, or how to perform the skills on a hard stage) to fill the void.
The Acrobatic Arts Solution
The Acrobatic Arts program provides easy progressions for dance teachers to follow, taking the guess work out of offering acro dance by providing step by step instructions for every level. Acrobatic Arts starts at the very beginning, we teach instructors everything they need to know about proper placement and technique so their students will have the building blocks to progress safely and quickly from one level to the next. Acrobatic Arts Teacher Training and Certification courses provide extensive, hands-on training in spotting and progression so teachers leave feeling knowledgeable, confident and inspired to teach acro dance. Studios who continue with Acrobatic Arts Exams for their students will have continuous support, with adjudicator meetings offering feedback and suggestions to improve the studio’s acro program annually.
Dancers who train through Acrobatic Arts have balanced development, are stronger, more flexible and fearless. Studios that implement this program will see dancers with more skills, who have fewer accidents, and are less likely to develop chronic injuries.
The Acrobatic Arts examination process is designed to motivate dancers. Having defined and achievable goals is a proven way to motivate dancers to excel. Dancers work through twelve exam levels, each designed to create a well balanced acrobat, including elements of flexibility, strength, balance, limbering and tumbling.
Examiners evaluate dancers against a set universal standard, allowing dancers and teachers to see where the dancer stands globally. During the exam, students can expect a class setting with the examiner directing the class and making notes throughout. Required elements will be critiqued and scored by the examiner. The exam will be graded ‘Distinction’, ‘Excellent’, ‘Highly Commended”, ‘Commended’, ‘Pass’ or ‘Retry’ based on the scores achieved for each element as well as grooming and attitude. Students who complete the level they are being tested for will receive a certificate to commemorate their achievement. Students who receive a grade of ‘Distinction’ will also receive a custom Acrobatic Arts medal. All students will receive a report card complementing areas of excellence and suggesting areas for improvement.
Dancers who complete all 12 levels can take the ‘Graduate Study’ and, upon successful completion, will be granted Certified Teacher status (AAC2)