Acro is short for Acrobatic Gymnastics, previously known as Sport Acrobatics. Acro is a competitive gymnastic discipline where partnerships of gymnasts work together to build pyramids, balance handstands, throws and catches, summersaults and twists performed together to music with choreographed dance in synchronization. It combines the strength, flexibility and technical precision of gymnastics with dance as well as the trust in a team sport.
Acro officially joined FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) in 1999. The 1st World Championships was held in Moscow in 1974.
The sport has certainly changed and progressed through the years. Check out this Women’s Group routine from last World Championships in Antwerp 2018.
The next World Championships is happening this year in Geneva, May 2020. Which unfortunately had to be postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus.
Acrobatic gymnasts perform in pairs or groups at a specific level. In each partnership or unit, the gymnasts’ different sizes and abilities will be balanced to complement each other in order to carry out the complex moves. Bases carry out supporting and pitching roles. Tops balance on the bases and are thrown in the dynamic elements.
Skills are choreographed into a routine to music which is preformed to judges at competitions. At the higher levels three routines are required, whereas, at lower levels, a single simpler routine is competed. Each of the routine types has a different emphasis, but all include acro skills, tumbling and dance as elements. The different routine types are as follows:
- Balance (formerly known as Static) – A balance routine requires that static positions must be balanced on the gymnasts and held for a specific duration. These moves require strength, poise, elegance and flexibility. Gymnasts will combine into towers, or pyramids with the tops holding a particular position balance on their bases.
- Dynamic (formerly known as Tempo) – These routines demonstrate power, strength and grace through the performance of acrobatic moves that involve the phases of spring, flight, rotation, and landing. This often involves the base, or bases in the partnership boosting the top through the air and with somersaults or twists. The top is generally caught, or supported in the landing by their base(s).
- Combined – At the more senior levels of competition, a third routine must be performed that combines both balance and dynamic moves, along with the usual tumbling and dance. This routine is used during the finals at competitions.
There are five different groups in Acrobatic Gymnastics:
- Women’s Pair (two females)
- Men’s Pair (two males)
- Mixed Pair (a male base and a female top)
- Women’s Group (three females)
- Men’s Group (four males)
Acrobatic Gymnastics is a judged sport, similar to other disciplines of gymnastics. Acro has a panel of judges who are overseen by a head judge, the ‘Chair of the Judging Panel’ In acrobatic gymnastics there are difficulty judges who only assess the difficulty of the elements in the routines; artistic judges who only assess the performance and artistic merits of the routine; and execution judges who assess the technical perfection of the acrobatic and gymnastic elements in the routine.
This is a very creative sport combining the strength and flexibility of gymnastics.
Pegasus Competitive Acro Program offers Pre-Team Acro, Provincial Team and National Team.
Does this spark your interest? Contact the Acro Program to schedule an assessment for your Son or Daughter.