Anyone who has ever taken gymnastics, joined a cheer squad or tried parkour has learned some basic acrobatic moves. But there’s a lot more to acrobatics than tumbling, cartwheels and lifts.
Acrobatic Division is one of just a handful of schools in Quebec that are devoted to acrobatics as a distinct discipline beyond circus arts, cheerleading or gymnastics. Director Alexandre Pozdniakov launched the Pierrefonds school two years ago; he had a successful competitive career in the 1990s and was a coach and acrobatic artist at Cirque du Soleil for seven years.
He said that in Canada, people tend to think of acrobatics as a useful skill to improve flexibility, strength and coordination when training in other sports. But he hopes to nurture talent in acrobatics as a standalone, competitive sport.
“Acrobatics is the base for everything,” Pozdniakov said. “Many sports use acrobatics to develop different skills, but it is also a sport with its own world championships. We’re trying to develop the sport. We’re not just offering classes to build additional skills for skating and gymnastics.”
In competitive acrobatic gymnastics, athletes work as partners or in groups to perform routines set to music. There are three types of routines: balance (focusing on strength, poise and flexibility), dynamic (including throws, somersaults and catches), and a combined routine, which includes elements of both balance and dynamic routines that are judged based on artistry, difficulty and execution. The sport is governed by the International Federation of Gymnastics.
Recreational and competitive programs are offered, starting with the non-competitive acro-kids for age 3-6 and acro-junior for ages 7 and up. An adult program is also offered. After learning fundamental skills, young acrobats have the option to join a competitive team.
Acrobatic Division is located at 9560 W. Gouin Blvd. in Pierrefonds, inside Xtreme Fitness Gym.
For more information, call 514-885-5532 or visit acrobaticdivision.com.