What to remember during your acrobatics classes
Here at LEA we offer many different classes with a wide variety of dance styles including hip hop, ballet, jazz, contemporary, and of course acrobatics. Acrobatics is a dance style that usually gets grouped in with gymnastics or cheerleading but I’m here to tell you that although they share a few characteristics, they are all very different things. “Acro” is a style of dance that includes tumbling and contortion as well as all of the other aspects of dance and is one of the less common dance genres; so here are a few things to remember about acro not only in class, but whenever you’re trying to get a new trick or even just practicing for the fun of it!
First things first, remember your foundations! You can’t go straight in for an aerial if you haven’t perfected your cartwheel just yet, and that’s okay! It is so important to develop foundations such as gallops or skipping in any dance style so that when it is time to move on to the more complicated steps such as leaps and turns you’ve already got a basic idea of how to move your body. So when you add tumbling and contortion into the mix, it is especially important to create foundations such as cartwheels, handstands, and forward rolls so that you can build on them and improve them so that eventually you can achieve all of those more advanced skills that I know all of you will be able to do one day.
The next aspect to focus on is of course your technique; having good technique is vital to any style of dance, including acro. A common misconception about acro is that it’s only about how many back handsprings you can do in a row or how far you can walk in a handstand but without the proper technique even the simplest moves can go from looking strong and sharp to weak and sloppy. So next time you’re in class don’t just wait for your teacher to tell you to point your toes and straighten your legs, work on making it a second nature that your legs are extended as much as they can be in your cartwheels and walkovers; your shoulders are rounded in your cobra position; your feet are pointed and not sickled in your leaps; and that your arms are strong in any tumbling skills you do..
Just like every other style of dance, strength and flexibility play an immense role in acrobatics as many of the foundations that I mentioned before lie in one’s ability to hold themselves. There are many ways to improve strength and flexibility with the main one being stretching and exercising not only in class but for at least 20 minutes a day out of class (check out Miss Maddie’s “Bendy Bodybuilders” stretching routine for a basis of what to do every day). By strengthening and stretching our bodies regularly, we can work towards new skills and achieve so much more as dancers so that we look stunning on and off stage and become the best performers we can be.
Last but DEFINITELY not least is safety. As acrobatics involves a lot of stunting, tumbling, and contortion, we need to make sure that we aren’t being silly and not listening in class or attempting skills that are entirely out of our skillset. With that being said, dancing should be fun and enjoyable for everyone participating and is all about trying new things to push our dancing to the next level. However, without the proper foundations, technique, and strength, it is so
dangerous to go into completely new tricks that we’ve never tried before. So, how can we be safe during acro? Turn those listening ears on and always listen to your teachers instructions; be aware of people around you and what they are doing so you don’t crash into you while you’re dancing; never do anything without help from your teacher first so that you know exactly what you need to do to achieve that skill safely; and never do anything without supervision!
I hope this helped all of you acrobats with your dancing and I can’t wait to see all of you stars smashing your term 2 goals and being the absolute best dancers you can be!
Miss Luana x