Today’s Ask the Exec Question is about Acro Injuries. Check it out below, and don’t forget to submit your future questions to info@danceexec.com!

Question:

Dear Dance Exec,

I work at a studio which offers classes in dance and acrobatics. My concern is
that we seem to have a lot of acro injuries- mostly minor, but to the point of preventing class participation.

Our program stresses safety, thorough warm up , proper flooring and
equipment.

I am concernedthat the students do not take time to warm up when out of
class.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I am really enjoying and learning from your website.

Thanks,

Suzi

Answer:

Hi Suzi,

Thank you for submitting your question. Acro safety is of the utmost importance in creating and growing a successful acrobatic program, and I am glad that you are approaching the situation with concern. Injuries, albeit minor, should not be a common occurrence.

Are your studio’s instructors trained and/or certified in acrobatics?  Dance Masters of America and USA Gymnastics both offer acrobatic certification programs. If there is an opportunity to join a collaborative organization that encourages education, safety, and proper technique, I think that it can only benefit your studio and its students.

In acrobatics, I think strength is vital in teaching trick progressions. For example, a student should not work on a back handspring unless he/she can successfully and independently execute a back walkover and a back limber. Sometimes, students (and their parents) are excited and enthusiastic about pre-maturely attempting difficult tricks (aerials, handsprings, tucks, etc.), but if a student is not physically or mentally prepared to perform a difficult trick, the attempt could result in an injury. As far as spotting acrobatic tricks, if you implement the progressive/strength method of teaching, you will not be “over spotting” tricks, reducing the likelihood of injury (of both the tumbler and the spotter).

As instructors, it is important that you are able to communicate your instructional and spotting philosophies to your parents and students. When the welfare of the student is your reasoning behind your philosophy, parents will be appreciative of your approach.

As far as warm-ups, it is important that students understand the importance of flexibility and physical conditioning in regards to their acrobatic training. Lead them through proper exercises and send them home with a worksheet and progress guide to track their at-home training (email their parents and let them know your expectations, too).

I hope that you will find these suggestions helpful. Keep us updated on the program’s progress!

Best,

Chasta

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