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Turns & Tricks! Winning Combo

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If you love Cirque de Soleil, you already love AcroDance. Certified instructor Sarah Hassall of Island Dance takes Rachel Sadler centre stage

PHOTOS COURTESY OF Richard Gordonwww.richardgordonphotography.com

ACRODANCE COMBINES ACROBATIC SKILLS AND DANCE ELEMENTS, relying on seamless transitions to create dramatic and highly energetic routines. Defined by its athletic character and unique choreography, it is a popular dance style in amateur competitive dance as well as in professional dance theatre, notably Cirque du Soleil.

THE ACROBATIC SKILLS (OR TRICKS) in AcroDance are centred around strength, flexibility, limbering and tumbling. Limbering can include skills such as bridge variations, scorpions and needles, while tumbling can include handstands, cartwheels, walkovers and aerials.

Acrodance 3

THE DANCE MOVEMENTS IN ACRODANCE are founded in ballet, jazz, lyrical and modern dance styles. A routine must have a significant percentage of dance movement, with respect to its acrobatic content, in order for it to be categorised as AcroDance. Pirouettes, leaps and piques are all popular and highly expressive moves.

A GOOD ACRODANCER HAS A LOT OF STRENGTH AND FLEXIBILITY. Determination is another good trait to have for AcroDance. Showing up to class with a willingness to progress and the motivation to push yourself are important if you are to succeed.

Acrodance 2

ACRODANCERS PERFORM BOTH SOLO AND IN PAIRS OR GROUPS. Training promotes team building skills, while encouraging dancers to express themselves and feel confident. AcroDance brings about a sense of achievement and its structure instils discipline.

DANCERS AS YOUNG AS FOUR can learn AcroDance. At this age, children generally have a good enough attention span and can better understand the safety element. AcroDance requires dancers of similar abilities to be taught in the same class, so dancers are placed according to their ability and not by age.

Acrodance 2 dancer

WORKOUTS ALWAYS STARTS WITH CARDIO, followed by strength exercises, such as the plank and handstands, before moving on to flexibility training. AcroDancers can benefit from participation in various other sports – boxing and rugby help with strength and fitness, gymnastics improves flexibility.

SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT and for this reason, classes are limited to 10 dancers. To teach AcroDance, you need quick reactions and good spotting skills to support dancers’ safety when practising acrobatic elements.

ACRODANCE PUTS YOU IN THE MOMENT. It’s an escape, allowing you to feel safe and work towards a goal. Dance in general is good for mental health and anything to do with fitness. Working and performing with music is a great way to have fun and let go of outside stress.

Island Dance now offers AcroDance classes at the Discovery Bay Recreation Club. Classes, for kids aged 4 and up, are taught by certified AcroDance instructor Sarah Hassall on Thursdays and Fridays.
To find out more, email [email protected] or visit www.islanddance.com.hk.

Acrodance headstand
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