What is the difference between acrobatics and gymnastics?

What is acrobatics (acrobatic dance)?

Acrobatic dance (Acro for short) is considered a branch of gymnastics and is a form of artistic expression designed specifically for dancers. Acro is based on the dance itself, and Acro, like other dances, has a softer, more lyrical expression of line. It requires a beautiful balance "through" the elongation and interesting variety of technique to maintain the entire dance.

Gymnasts have been trained countless times to be highly competitive, disciplined and meticulous athletes, and every fall, wobble or missed step they take on the floor affects their overall score and is the key to winning or losing.

In short, gymnastics is a sport, while acrobatic dance is a form of dance art expression.

The difference in training

Gymnasts generally train on sprung floors or mats with springs, which allow gymnasts to jump high in their tricks and complete the tricks more smoothly.

The benefit of a sprung floor is that it provides a good landing cushion, which acrobatic dancers cannot afford.

Acrobatic dancers need to perform acrobatics on hard stages, so they have to train their bodies to withstand the impact of hard floors because they don't "bounce" off the hard floors like gymnasts do on sprung floors or mats with springs. They then have to get the necessary physical lift to make their tricks look easy and natural in a safe way.

The difference in technique

Due to the different training environment, acrobatic dancers will not focus on difficult impact tricks like fulls and double full and the classic double backflip like gymnastics.

Instead, they will focus on learning how to incorporate lower impact moves and twisting techniques into their daily lives to add visual impact.

In terms of differences in technique, acrobatic dance is softer but requires great physical strength to defend itself. Gymnastics, on the other hand, is more high-impact and explosive.

Differences in number of people

Gymnastics is usually performed by a single person, but acrobatic dance is usually performed by multiple acrobats at the same time and is a team effort.

Part of what makes acrobatic dance performances so fascinating is the need to highlight each other's movements through excellent choreography and movement, often forming yoga-like poses where one or more people act as a "base" or "bottom support" and the others On this "base" or "bottom support" they perform handstands or splits or some other demonstration of movement.

The equipment needed is different

In addition to the spring floor, gymnastics also has rings, beams, pommel horse and horizontal bars. Gymnasts usually need to train or compete on this equipment.

But acrobatic dance is almost done on a hard stage. During the performance sometimes need to use some props to add to the spectacle

Acrobatic dance is less competitive

As we all know, gymnastics is a competitive sport, so there is a very specific and detailed scoring system and rules in gymnastics, once there is any slight slip or instability in the competition will reduce the score of the performance. This is why it is important in the gymnastics culture to stay in place after landing.

The main goal of gymnastics is to get the highest score, which is why it is so competitive and this goal makes all gymnasts strive for perfection.

Acrobatic dance offers more room for creativity than gymnastics, and in acrobatic dance they are encouraged to put their wildest ideas on display. Even if they accidentally slip or miss during the performance, finding a way to make the slip or miss look natural or seem intentional so that it can be easily overtaken by other movements tests the dancer's mental and physical ability.


If you are looking for perfection or like to be competitive, explosive or just like to show off your skills on equipment such as rings and beams, then gymnastics may be for you.

But if you like high flexibility or teamwork, then acrobatic dance may be the choice for you.

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