January 11

Acro vs Gymnastics – Is there a difference?



This is the most asked question parents have when we mention that we offer acro & tumbling, but not gymnastics. While the two are very similar, it’s the execution that makes them different. Both require the performance of extraordinary physical feats such as balance, agility, flexibility and mastered motor coordination.

The long and short of it is the answer is YES there is a difference. Gymnasts perform hard hitting single passes with straight lines, whereas Acro & Tumbling focuses more on body contortion and tricks that defy the center of gravity.

Image result for gymnastics versus acroGymnasts train on a spring-floor, with actual springs built into the mats (think 2”/4” springs under 1” of plywood, with 2” of carpet bonded foam layer overtop). This allows the gymnast to get a lot of height in their tricks, and is a forgiving surface on which to repeatedly practice advanced tumbling passes over and over, day after day.

Acro & Tumbling is performed on a hard stage, and so the dancer must train the body to be able to withstand the impact of the hard floor. Dancers don’t get the “rebound” action out of a hard floor like gymnasts do out of a spring-floor. Therefore, dancers must train to get the necessary lift from their bodies to safely make their tricks look light and effortless. Emphasis on a strong ‘hub” (hips, glutes, core), and full extension through the body up into the air, is a must for an acrobat to be able to perform tricks that flow effortlessly through their dance.

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Yes, Acro Dancers tumble, but where a gymnast may perform a run into a round-off, back handspring, full-twisting back lay-out, an AcroDancer may perform a softer, more graceful line, such as: fouette turn, swinging directly into a cartwheel, back handspring (full) split-out, finishing into a needle position, and rolling up to stand. Two very impressive passes, with two very distinguished and distinct “looks”.

The specific training that is required to look and perform like an AcroDancer will serve your students well in their overall dance training. A well-developed AcroDance conditioning program will create stronger and more flexible dancers, which will transfer over into other dance forms.

A dance schedule that includes true AcroDance classes will create stronger, safer, and more diverse dancers, which will, in turn, create more impressive, exciting, and artistic dancing.

Elan Dance Arts (EDA) offers dancers a new level of dance training through programs that are not offered anywhere else in the city. Starting from ages 2.5 to adults whether it’s for certified examinations or simply for health, fun and recreation, we’re the studio for you! We have Acro  and Tumbling classes starting from ages 4 and up. At EDA we strongly believe that Dance as an art form is one of the most beautiful and exciting experiences one can have in life. We are highly devoted and dedicated to the process of the development and popularization of dance activities among people of all ages. We are also fully committed to providing our students with the highest level of education.


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