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Acro Class in Dancing School?

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Jeanine3kids

New Member
Jun 26, 2008
18
My DD 4 1/2 will be doing gymnastics in the fall for 2 days per week for a total of 3 hours. She goes to dance school on MOndays and before her class there is a acro class and she wants to take it. But I am afraid to have her take acro in a dance school any opinions?
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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USA
Dance studios vary in equipment and staff just like gyms. Before signing her up, I would check on the background of the person teaching the class, how many kids, what type of skills will be taught etc. Many gyms have nice spring loaded floors and then their are mats on top of those. Gyms are there to teach gymnastics(which includes tumbling). Many dance places have hard floors with very thin mats and the "instructor" has little background in gymnastics.

I would not do the acro class if the thinking is to get more tumbling skills. What may happen is she gets confused due to multiple instructors. Try watching a class(without dd) and ask yourself if it looks safe and would have any benefit to it.
 

Imat3

New Member
Jan 10, 2008
48
My girls took acro classes at a dance studio and it was fine until they decided to do gymnastics. At that point we realized that there had not been enough focus on proper technique. They had to re-learn alot of skills. I just think it could be confusing.

Imat3
 

ellabella

Member
May 26, 2008
176
DD tried the acro class at her dance place before she moved up to developmental and it was a waste of time. I thought she would like it, but they did so little that she was bored. She wasn't interested in the silly things they did. She wanted to do handstands and cartwheels and they weren't even close to that. We tried it only because if you signed up early the second class was only $10 for the whole summer. She was too young for any of the other classes.
 

Robindq

Member
Dec 16, 2007
418
28
Ontario, Canada
I will be teaching an acro class starting september for the first time. I also coach preschool gymnastics. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to be a good/better acro teacher?
 
K

Kristin

Guest
As a dance instructor and Mom to a gymnast, I do not suggest the acro class...unless the teacher has a strong gymnastics background. First of all you do not want the acro class interfering with your dd's gym training. Secondly, if your daughter is a good gymnast she will most likely be bored. Most studio preschool acro programs (with the exception of those where the instructor was a gymnast) focus on simple basics...front roll, log roll, crab walks, etc. I know that my dd learned those skills in her 18month old "Bouncing Baby" class! That being said studio acro classes can be great for dancers who want to try something new, but for a serious gymnast I wouldn't suggest it. Hope this helps!
 

kgymn

Member
Gymnast
Aug 3, 2008
324
Virginia
I did acro classes a couple of times. When I was really young, I took an acro class at the local rec center because our local gym didn't have a pre-school class, and I was too you to enroll. We mostly did rolls, and some cartwheels. I ended up in gymnastics instead for a few years before taking up dancing again, where my freshman year of high school I took an acro class that was taught by one of the local universities cheer coaches, so us being older and her having the background for it we did work on skills up to front and back handsprings. After that class I switched back to gymnastics.

The thing that was the same both time, was I was taken back to the very basics again when I got back into the gym. So despite the fact that I had started to learn cartwheels at the acro class, I went back to learning proper technique for rolls and later moved on to cartwheels. When I went back to gym the second time, they even had me start back close to the beginning. We worked again on my cartwheel technique and my roundoff technique, and eventually I got to learning front and back handsprings.

My bad habits I have on my handsprings, I am almost positive I picked up in the acro class.

So, I guess I'm going to agree with the others and say to avoid the acro class, unless it is taught by someone with a gymnastics background. Since she is already in gymnastics, the acro class may easily bore her and she may get confused as to why she can work on certain skills in the gym but not at the dance school (or possibly vice versa.)

~Katy
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
My dd did an acro class when she was on pre-team at gymnastics (I think she was 7). The dance school we went to had really great teachers though. A lot of focus was still on dance and she really enjoyed the tumbling. She was able to do her aerials really easily so she got a chance to do 2 in a row at the recital which was cool. Once she started competing level 4 the following year she just didn't have time to still do the class though. As long as they still focus on form - and her teachers did - it really is a lot of fun.
 

Robindq

Member
Dec 16, 2007
418
28
Ontario, Canada
Now that I'v taken over an acro class I notice some of the kids are lacking proper technique after being taught by previous non-gymnastics teachers (I am of course working on fixing that).
So like kgymn said I would only suggest it for a gymnast if the teacher has a gymnastics background.
On the other hand, for kids who aren't looking to persue a competitive gymnastics career, acro is a great class for them to simply go out, have fun, and learn those front rolls and cartwheels.
 
J

jacki237

Guest
Hello, I am an Acrobatics teacher at a dance studio....but I was also a gymnastics coach for about 5 years before that, as well as doing Acro, Gym and Dance when I was growing up. I hold my Acro classes, just as I would teach floor to gym kids, we do have plenty of mats b.c we also have a small gym room...I incorporate Acro (balancing, partner tricks, etc) as well as floor tumbling and static moves. It really depends on the instructor, there arent many schools around me who teach REAL acrobatics....a good experienced teacher in Dance/Acro is hard to come by....to further my education I also have taken some Acro classes as an adult and circus classes as well.
 
S

starmaker

Guest
My dd is 5 years old and is training level 4. She just started her first dance class about a month ago and the last 30 min is acro. Her instructor does have a gymnastic background and makes it a lot of fun. They work on forward rolls straddle up, handstand forward rolls, front limbers, bridges, front walkovers, cartwheel, headstands, etc. DD can do them all but she still loves it because he makes it very FUN! It's her favorite part of dance- go figure! She is not confused at all by what he teaches.

What concerned me even more is ballet. Her ballet teacher tells her soft hands and she is used to tight fingers, arm positions etc. Now dd will show me her ballet hands and her gymnastics hands so she knows the difference. Gym is more tight and clean movements and ballet is soft and flowy. Luckily dd seems to be aware of the difference and doesn't seem confused.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
I agree with all the people saying yes as long as the instructor has a gymnastics background. Lots of people can teach themselves cartwheels, backward/forward rolls, handstands etc. If the studio owner sees dollar signs they may just assume that person can teach others, buy mats, and start a class.

Been there done that! One of my old dance teachers asked me to help her with an acro class because the enrollment was more than expected. She knew I was coaching at a local gym (freshman in high school at the time). Anyway, the gym was all about coaches having USAG certs, so I had what I could get at that age. I coached about 3 with her and heard her saying stuff that was seriously contradictory to what I was taught at the gym, regional congress, etc. In some cases total misuse of terminology or a lack of it all together. She had her own made up descriptions of faulty and good form. The fourth class I got 'fired' because she thought I was 'too strict'. I was relieved, and amused that in the end I had been fired for what boiled down to a better vocabulary.
 
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