Acro vs. Gymnastics:
What’s the Difference?
The simple answer is, there are LOTS of differences!
If you’ve ever watched a gymnastics floor routine, you’ll notice the hard-hitting, advanced tumbling
lines, executed with power and precision. Gymnasts focus on “sticking the landing”, because every
fall, wobble, or off-step is a deduction to their overall score and can be the difference between
winning and losing.
Acro Dance is an art form specifically designed for dancers. Acro has softer, more lyrical-looking
lines, with emphasis on lengthening “through” the tricks and holding beautiful balances with
interesting variations. The focus is on seamlessly blending acrobatics with dance and avoiding
obvious preparations before each trick.
In short, Gymnastics is a sport; Acro Dance is an art form.
Gymnasts train on a sprung floor, with actual springs built into the mats: a forgiving surface to
repeatedly practice advanced tumbling passes on over and over again. Acro Dancers perform on a
hard stage and must train the body to withstand the impact of the floor. Dancers don’t get the
“rebound” action out of a hard floor as gymnasts do out of a spring floor. Therefore, dancers train
to get the necessary lift from their bodies, and emphasis on a strong “hub” (hips, glutes, core) is a
Gymnastics tricks are usually performed in a “hollow-body” position (think: laying down on the
back in a “banana” position with the arms and legs hovering off the ground; chin tucked; pulling in
through the core). Acro tricks are usually performed in an “open-body” position (think: laying
down on the stomach in a “superman” position with the arms and legs lengthening and hovering off
the ground; chin open and looking past the fingertips).
Because Gymnastics and Acro Dance are two different techniques, they require different training
regimes. Dancers that take Acro to become stronger, safer, and more diverse dancers, will, in turn, create more impressive, exciting, and artistic dancing.
At Fusion, our certified instructors us the Acrobatic Arts curriculum.