Lots of dance styles can be beautiful to watch, but acro dance is pretty unique in its ability to make you say “wow”. It is also known as acrobatic dance or acrobatic arts and these names can give you a pretty significant clue to what it’s all about. But let’s take a closer look.

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What is acro dance?

Acro dance is a mixture of classical dance techniques and precise acrobatic movements. While it seems at first glance to be a very modern form of dance, it actually has quite a long history. Its roots are in traditional Chinese dance and it initially gained popularity in the west during the Vaudeville era in the 1900s. It has become more popular again in recent years because it is heavily featured in shows such as Cirque du Soleil.

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You will also see acro dance in competitive dance and dance theatre, and it steals the show when people perform it on TV variety or competition shows. See this video of acro dance being performed on Romania’s Got Talent for reference. It’s pretty hard not to be blown away when you see it performed!

Acro dance is characterized by a smooth transition between the dance and acrobatic elements and it is important that the choreography includes both quite clearly. The foundations of acro dance are:

  • flexibility
  • strength
  • balancing
  • limbering
  • tumbling

Is acro dance the same as gymnastics?

Acro dancers perform incredible acrobatic tricks balanced with the musicality and performance of classical dance techniques. While it can look quite similar to disciplines like rhythmic gymnastics, it is very different. With gymnastics, the dance elements are used as a way to set up the main focus that is the gymnastics techniques, whereas in acro dance the dance elements are present throughout the performance. It is also different from classical dance, which doesn’t use the same kind of acrobatic tricks such as tumbling.

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