High Bronze Member
Registered: 1396955214 Posts: 46
Reply with quote #1
And honestly, I still don't get acro honestly and am not really a fan lol. I really like our new studio, but they are extremely acro heavy. The studio we left, didn't even offer it, but now after 9 years, they do. I would bet they probably have someone unqualified to teach it as well. Our current studio pretty much puts a back hand spring, ariel, scorpion, in EVERY single comp. number, and at random times. I'm also one of those parents who would be PETRIFIED, if that was my kid doing gymnastics on a dance floor.
I've noticed most of the recreational dancers, even the 4 year olds, take acro as well. They piggy back their classes so there's an acro class offered before each genre. When I first registered DD last year, the receptionist penciled me in for the acro class before (which of course raises the tuition) and I had to tell her DD would only be taking the dance class and not acro. The acro routines in he recital were a bore too. It's literally the girls running down the mats attempting to do a roll or cartwheel, which most can't do, and then coming back on the mats and shaking their hips. DD (she's 6) already started complaining that she's the only one in her class not in the acro class after her jazz class. I simply told her it wasn't in the budget (and well I don't think she's missing anything by not taking it) and maybe come the summer she can try a class. So is acro even necessary to become a good dancer? Or for a recreational 6 year old whose taking dance for fun? Or does it sort of become a way for studios to just make more money?
High Silver Member
Registered: 1464537488 Posts: 121
Reply with quote #2
Our studio does not teach acro, yet they are putting acro in comp dances. I do not like it. We just aren't acro people, but I do see it so much in comp now. DD is a great dancer, but tumbling terrifies her. She takes more ballet than most, and she is a beautiful dancer, even without the acro. So, no, I don't think it's necessary, but it does seem to be where the comp world is heading. So, is your DD dancing for herself or comp? My DD dances for herself, so if someone puts acro in their solo and beats her, so be it.
Registered: 1460994425 Posts: 14
Reply with quote #3
I see a lot of acro in the younger kids routines, but as they get older, it's more about dance! If your child is only doing recreational dance, then I really don't see the need for it, unless she is just interested in it. However, every competition that I have been at lately, acro tricks are in most routines for ages 5-12.
Registered: 1404857069 Posts: 68
Reply with quote #4
Originally Posted by
rubydancemom Our studio does not teach acro, yet they are putting acro in comp dances. I do not like it. We just aren't acro people, but I do see it so much in comp now. DD is a great dancer, but tumbling terrifies her. She takes more ballet than most, and she is a beautiful dancer, even without the acro. So, no, I don't think it's necessary, but it does seem to be where the comp world is heading. So, is your DD dancing for herself or comp? My DD dances for herself, so if someone puts acro in their solo and beats her, so be it. I could have written this about my DD. She simply is not an acro girl and does not have any desire to be one. She is a beautiful dancer and ballerina has has great technique. Ballet is where her heart lies but it does sting at the comps when she is beat out by someone with just OK technique but tons of tricks. Her studio offers acro but it is not their speciality. She used to be required to take acro for the competition team but they no longer require it so she doesn't take it. She would rather take an hour of ballet or jazz technique instead of doing cartwheels for an hour.
Registered: 1486178785 Posts: 465
Reply with quote #5
My opinion is that acro need is dependent on long term goals.
If the competition circuit and success on that circuit is the goals, unfortunately, yes, I think it's necessary. Not necessary from your studio, but necessary. Perhaps a tumbling class at a gymnastics center would be a better use of time and money. Each time I think the acro edge has been sufficiently pushed, further and further it goes. See my post about broncos and head springs (death drops?)... it just never seems to stop. That doesn't mean I like it, but it seems very much rooted and not going anywhere. Too many are following the trend. Now, I fully support any parent and dancer who says, my body, my art, my choice, I do not like to tumble, it terrifies me (my kid) and we will hold heads high, choreograph without it, and let the competition results fall where they may. I just think that SOs and teachers will increasingly make certain acro skills mandatory for certain group dances or levels and you'll have to stick tight to your values.
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1214478534 Posts: 3,131
Reply with quote #6
Well personally I,love acro, for all my kids it is one of their best subjects. I studied ur myself as an adult, and my 2nd DD is a gymnast. But I HATE seeing acro done poorly!
There are just so many risks. Not just the danger of the child falling and hurting herself, but a much more significant (and often overlooked risk) are the stress injuries which can occur from doing moves over and over again incorrectly or if the body is not physically prepared. You don't see it when they are little, but by the pre teen/teen years kids can end up with things like stress fractures in their backs, wrists etc from practice too much poor technique for too long,
Then there are the contortion moves (can't stand this, I love the tumbling and balance). These moves should only be attempted by kids who suffer from hypermobility syndrome, but now all the kids are trying to do them and their bodies are not designed to do so, injuries galore. Even for those kids who do suffer hyper mobility syndrome it's not nessesarily safe to do the contortion. They need to strengthen the joints as well as stretch them, and this rarely happens. They are just making their already unstable joints even more unstable.
Even studios who claim to be "qualified" to teach acro, that doesn't nessesarily make it safer. You get qualified by paying your money and attending a weekend seminar. They may as well be YouTube qualified.
The other problem is the push to do skills too quickly. Dance studios want the back handsprings and aerials. In gymnastics kids train for years on basics first before working these skills.
Double Diamond Member
Registered: 1184694329 Posts: 13,350
Reply with quote #7
Our first studio was a big acro studio and DS finally decided at 6 that he wanted to try it. I let him. In the year he learned an "okay" cartwheel, a bridge and a tripod headstand. Once that year was over he told me he didn't want to take it again and that was the end of acro. It didn't hurt him any. His specialties were tap, ballet and song and dance and no acro in those routines.
High Silver Member
Registered: 1490819226 Posts: 157
Reply with quote #8
So I agree with Noel it is dependent on your goals. When my DD6 at the time wanted to be in competition dance, and I attended a competition prior to her joining - there was no question that she would need those skills.
Luckily, we do have a very good Acro teacher at our studio, she is very conscientious of development, the tricks being learned correctly, using the correct muscles - and making sure that tricks aren't one sided. For every back walkover you have to do be able to it both sides (either leg). She doesn't push and is a stickler of moving through levels. Even still we supplemented at a traditional gymnastics gym at a tumbling class, so that she could learn moves correctly. My DD is not a fearless type, so she needed a lot of practice and coaching and slow growth. She is a bendy type, and was able to get those moves much more quickly then jumping moves. Although she can do back limbers no problem, back handsprings still are a mental hurdle. She after almost a year of practice and learning from several coaches, got her Aerial on Tuesday. This is a huge achievement for her, which we celebrated. Now she needs to work on keeping it. That being said I do observe that the 12 and under crowd have acro skills in most any style of dance. My DD8' s new solo really only has one small trick, which will likely stand out in her age group as "not enough". But then again - the girls from our studio that went on to college dance teams - also still had their tricks.. so there's that.
High Bronze Member
Registered: 1488084394 Posts: 44
Reply with quote #9
Former tumbler here. It's easier to teach and spot those tricks when younger. I learned most of mine in high school and my biggest problem was between my ears.
Registered: 1329494474 Posts: 6,027
Reply with quote #10
It really all depends on the specific question.
Is it necessary to become a 'good dancer'? No.
Is it all about the money? Sometimes it very much is, yes. Is it necessary to do well in competition? Generally speaking no it isn't but it is true that there are some comps that seem to love it. And it is true that the younger kids... who don't often have much to show yet in the way of technique and artistry... can more easily impress and therefore win/place with it. The older a dancer gets however, the more the judges expect them to 'dance'. It's actually not at all unusual to see winning pieces in the teen/senior categories without so much as a more difficult turn or leap, never mind some fancy acrobatic trick. So bottom line, should you have your kid do it? If they want to. And you want them to. It really is as simple as that.
Registered: 1375924477 Posts: 335
Reply with quote #11
Originally Posted by
nyklane That being said I do observe that the 12 and under crowd have acro skills in most any style of dance. My DD8' s new solo really only has one small trick, which will likely stand out in her age group as "not enough". But then again - the girls from our studio that went on to college dance teams - also still had their tricks.. so there's that.
Two daughters who take Acro but have zero tricks in their solos. They both place nearly every single time. Plenty of others in our studio have them, but it hasn’t seemed to negatively affect my girls.