Acrobatic Gymnastics is one of the earliest sports known to man since it's start in ancient Egypt, it has seen tremendous growth in popularity in the last few decades. Acro is a dynamic elegant powerful sport that combines dance and high flying extreme acrobatics. Okanagan Gymnastics is one of the very first gyms in Canada to offer Acrobatic Gymnastics in Canada. The program started in 2002 and has been going strong ever sine. We offer recreational classes to give each acrobat a solid foundation of skills. We also have a competitive program. To bridge the recreation and competitive program programs, we offer, by invitation only, Performance Team to those athletes whose passion and potential to go further and show their skills in front of audiences.
WHAT IS ACROBATIC GYMNASTICS?
Acrobatic gymnastics combines dance, gymnastics skills, and synchronization. Engaging choreography and brilliant attire are also a part of the sport. The competitors tell a story with their performances, all while capturing the audience’s attention with thrilling tempo and graceful balance skills.
The magnificent performances could hardly be accomplished without cooperative effort and mentoring among partners. There are five events incorporated within the acrobatic gymnastics discipline. The events are women’s pair, men’s pair, mixed pair, women’s group (3 participants), and men’s group (4 participants). Each pair/group performs routines featuring gymnastics tumbling skills, partner balances, and tempo skills. Balance skills highlight the athletes’ strength and flexibility through pyramids and static positions of the top and middle. Dynamic skills involve somersaulting and twisting with landings on the floor or catches by a bottom partner. Routines are performed on the same 40’ x 40’ spring floor that the artistic gymnasts use to perform floor routines.
Athletes of varying heights, weights, and body types are needed for acrobatic gymnastics. Smaller, more flexible athletes are needed as tops, while taller and stronger athletes are ideal for base positions.
COMPETITIVE ACRO ROUTINES
We at Okanagan Gymnastics follow two Codes of Points. USAG Junior Olympic and FIG World Age Group. Level 5-7 (USAG) is a combined routine featuring both Balance and Dynamic partner skills as well as various individual skills. Levels 8-10 (USAG) have two routines- one Balance one Dynamic. FIG Age Group Levels 11-16 has two routines. 12-16, 13-19 and Senior Elite teams perform three routines, balance, tempo and combined. All exercises are choreographed and performed to music.
Balance routines consist of static balance elements, intricate pyramids, transitions between balance holds, and individual elements of flexibility, balance, and agility. In a balance routine, a pair/group is required to perform a minimum of six balance elements (minimum three pyramids for men’s and women’s groups) and four individual elements. Pair/group tops are typically in handstand, arched handstand, planche or straddle hold positions being supported by one or two hands of a partner. Some balance elements require the top to balance on a partner’s head, torso or foot.
Dynamic routines include skills with partner throws and pitches to catches by the base partner(s) or landings on the floor. Also included in tempo routines are individual tumbling skills. Pairs/groups must perform six elements with flight and four individual elements, two of which must be a salto. An example of an advanced dynamic skill is a salto with full twist performed from the hands of a partner back to the hands of a partner. Tops may be thrown into the air and perform double and triple saltos, some with twists, and land on the floor.
Combined routines are a combination of balance and dynamic skills in one routine. Three balance elements and three dynamic elements are required in the combined exercise. Again, pairs/groups also are required to perform individual skills.