Acro Dance Styles and Techniques

handstand, acrodance and gymnastics class

Acro Dance Styles and Technique: What your child will learn at the Renaissance School of Dance (RSD)

Acro dance classes are great for kids because it helps them build strength, flexibility, coordination, and much more. At RSD kids get to work  in teams which helps them develop and grow  their confidence and self-esteem. 

We published an article with the benefits of acro dance last week. In this article we go more in-depth with some history, what to expect and some actual moves your child will learn in our acro dance classes in South Auckland

preschool dance classThe History of Acro Dance

Acro Dance is a combination of Acrobatics and simple dance moves to create a fun and enjoyable dance genre. It teaches kids a great range of skills using body strength and flexibility to develop gymnastic-based tricks. It is the fusion of classic dance technique and the precision and athleticism of acrobatic elements. 

This form of dance is very athletic and has unique choreography to incorporate gymnastic-like elements into dance. But where did this style of dance begin?

Acro dance, or “acrobatic dance,” first emerged in North America in the early 1900s. It was one of the many types of acts performed in vaudeville, a theatrical genre from the 19th century. Although similar dance styles had existed for decades before,  it became popular and widespread in the 1900s. 

Sherman Coates is one of the pioneers of the dance style, and he performed between 1900 to 1912 with the Watermelon Trust until he died. Another iconic dancer from the era was Tommy Woods, whose popularity is attributed to this slow-motion dance in Shuffle Along. Other popular dancers of the early acro dance age were Lulu Coates from the Crackerjacks, and the Gains Brothers.

While the vaudeville era declined, acro dance continued to evolve until it became what it is today.

What to Expect From an Acro Dance Class

During acro dance classes your child will be taught and trained in skills such as flexibility, strength, and control to perform tricks, balances, and tumbling. 

Each class  starts with a warmup  that targets the different muscles and ligaments in the body that will be used during the dance. Stretches and fluid movements may be used to help students gain a sense of their capabilities, and through each class they will learn to push their limits to develop into more advanced dancers. 

dance classes in south aucklandAcro dance classes focus on long-term injury prevention of dancers. Because of the flexibility and strength it requires, your child’s growth and development will be even better than with many other forms of exercise.

Kid-Friendly Acro Dance Techniques and Acrobatic Movements your child will learn in the first month:

At acro dance classes our experienced team will help your child to  gradually develop their techniques and skills until they can perform the following dance moves:

  • Stretches to develop flexibility: Butterfly, Straddle and cobra stretches.
  • Developing strength through Plank positions, Supermans and wall sits to develop arm, back and leg muscles
  • Balancing on tip toes, and on one foot
  • Limbering movements such as a Pike shape, Tuck shape, Straddle shape – essential positions to develop more technique skills
  • Bridge: a backbend where the hands and feet support the body. Developing back, shoulder and wrist flexibility and strength. This basic skill leads on to more difficult moves like walkovers and  backflips
  • Tumbling Skills including Log Rolls and Forward Rolls 
  • Cartwheel: A cartwheel involves the sideways rotation of the body in the form of a flip. The hands are brought to the floor one at a time, and the body inverts sideways while the legs turn over.
  • Handstand: A handstand is the act of balancing the entire body weight on the hands alone. The body stands straight with arms and legs fully extended, upside down.

backbends in acro dance classOur classes at RSD in Papatoetoe

Our teachers are certified and trained to teach the world renowned syllabus called Acrobatic Arts. The well researched program is based on safe and effective progressions for children with proven results in five divisions of AcroDance: Flexibility, Strength, Balancing, Limbering and Tumbling.  

Developed with input from professionals and experts in ballet, modern dance, jazz, contortion, artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, sport acrobatics, yoga, acro yoga, pilates, physiotherapy, hand balancing and more, it is the most  comprehensive acro dance program. Our 7 years & under AcroDance classes even include Tap Dancing!

Simple and thoughtful progressions take kids from  beginner, preschool level dancers doing log rolls and somersaults to the advanced dancer tumbling effortlessly across the stage!  

If you are looking for the right school to teach your child acro dance, The Renaissance School of Dance can help you. We provide your child with awesome instructors that are certified and trained to teach the sometimes-complex techniques that can turn your child into a well-rounded dancer and human being. 

We have been providing dance classes for kids in Papatoetoe, South Auckland location for many years. Our studio inspires confidence and will motivate your child to dance with passion and excitement.  

Ready to enroll your child in our acro classes? Let them experience the benefits of acro dance by booking your free trial class today!

balancing in acro dance class

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