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lbgarner

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Reply with quote  #1 
My 7 year old is involved in both competitive gymnastics and dance. Originally, we only enrolled her in gymnastics to allow her to learn  some "acro" moves for her dance(current dance studio does not offer that). She turned out to be rather promising in gymnastics and is now on team. However, she is practicing a lyrical/acro solo for competition this season and is really struggling with being graceful. This has never been a problem before, and DT and I think the culprit might be the power tumbling. Many of her moves don't flow and her walk-overs appear "choppy." Has anyone else had this problem. I wonder if it is the result of the  power tumbling requirements. Any ideas/suggestions greatly appreciated. 
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #2 
My dd came to dance from competitive gymnastics.  I think gymnastics is great for strength and flexibility; however, gymnastics movement is rather stiff and tight, while lyrical dance is often more flowing and soft.  It has taken my dd years to change the way she moves away from a rigid gymnastics stance to a graceful flow.  I think a student can learn both, but the movement styles are very different.  You can try and talk to her about how gymnasts and dancers move differently, but that might be hard to understand at 7. Also, I suspect her muscles are getting bulkier with the gymnastics and that can change her movement quality as well. 

I don't think it matters too much at 7, eventually she will pick one or the other (or neither).  If your dd prefers dance, some gyms have acro for dancers classes that might be a nice option - training tricks that dancers use (but this is not power tumbling).
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lbgarner

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for your insight. That is what I fear is happening. She even holds her body differently now when she dances. It is more of a gymnast pose.  I think she will choose dance if we have to make a choice. I hate to do that now because she enjoys both. I will be on the look out for an acro dance class. 
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LoveJillyLilly2Dance

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Reply with quote  #4 
I used to coach competitive cheer in a gymnastics gym....their pirouettes were soooooooo bad. I just wanted to fix them! 
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Twinkletoesx2

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Reply with quote  #5 
I don't know if you can blame gymnastics. Mt younger dd's friend does competitive gymnastics and any walkovers she does in her floor routines are beautiful and controlled. Does your dd have good back flexibility? I find that is needed for the pretty, flowy walkovers otherwise they power through it to get the momentum to get over and up (does that make sense?). The back flexibility is also the difference in a nice, controlled placement of hands in a back walkovers as opposed to kind of falling back harder onto their hands. Of course core strength also plays a big part.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #6 
I can spot a gymnast on the dance floor within seconds... less fluidity, etc... at 7 it may be hard to tell the difference. I have a 7 year old and I feel like one day shes amazing and the next i question if she even knows how to point her toes and straighten her knees. So I also wonder if some of it may be age and learning/understanding body mechanics. You know, like maybe she is happy to get the walkover and realizes she can do it one way but isnt realizing that may not look as pretty. 
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nodrama15

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Reply with quote  #7 
Totally agree with the poster above...I can spot a gymnast immediately.  Especially the younger ones.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #8 
I agree as well. It was never hard to find the gymnasts, pretty much at any level. 

Proper alignment for a gymnast is different than for a dancer, so the differences can even be seen before the dancer begins to move sometimes.
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nicknoralove

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Reply with quote  #9 
They're just very different sports that are often combined because in Gymnastics, you need some "dance" elements on floor and beam and in dance it's beneficial to have some acro training. I would say it's probably extremely rare to find a seamless gymnast/ballerina hybrid.

My daughter has taken both gymnastics (at a gymnastics facility) and acro (currently at our dance studio). We don't go to gymnastics anymore, but they focused more on the tumbling skills, not really on straight legs and never pointed feet at this young age (she's 5). At the dance studio every skill she learns they are focusing on the toe point and straight legs. They also focus on some turns and control during warm ups, which they never focused on at gymnastics.

I know I'm going a little off topic too but I just hate that they have done away with compulsories in gymnastics. I have been a gymnastics fan my entire life, and since 2000 the sport has just lost it's beauty. Sure it's exciting and fun to watch but the elegance is just gone. I watch 80's and 90's gymnastics and just miss it so much. I'm not saying every gymnast was elegant and graceful during that time period, but it mattered to be able to perform the basics and gymnasts with fluidity stood out and were appreciated.
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