Acrobatic Dance, and Safety



chinese dancers

a performance of exceptional skill and grace

Not all acrobats are dancers and certainly most dancers are not acrobats. When the two are combined with consummate skill, the results are breathtaking. One of the things I appreciate about the Chinese is that they are all about the thrill of the performance, as opposed to the thrill of the risk. Chinese acrobats do not perform without a net. The danger is not the point. The two extra brawny men who join the act towards the end are spotters. They have no role in the show other than to ensure the safety of the dancer in case she falls. We are unlikely to see such a thing in an American act where audiences thrill in watching performers risk their lives. I’ve always loved the circus, but never saw the point in expecting the performers to take unnecessary risks as if that somehow makes for a better show. In case of an accident, I’d like to see these wonderful dancers survive to astonish more audiences with their grace and power. Enjoy!

By LaurieAnn Lepoff

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3 replies
  1. Amethyst
    Amethyst says:

    Beautiful video – thank you for sharing this! It is amazing the things that people can do with their bodies. I wonder if she can do that, can I just do a box step?

    • laurieann
      laurieann says:

      My absolute most challenged (but highly motivated) student took a month to learn the box step. I think it’s pretty safe to say that if he could learn it, so could you! My pilates teacher told me about this video. She said her first thought when she saw the dancer standing on her partner’s shoulders on point was that she might as well just give up now. And that was before she even got to the part where they needed spotters!

  2. Rob
    Rob says:

    Thanks for posting this, Laurieann – An extraordinary performance – just beautiful. Strength and athleticism, style and enormous grace – and no small pain tolerance. When she went on point on his triceps – I think they were his triceps – all I could think was “Owww. That’s gotta hurt.”

    I will say that any reasonably athletic couple can learn some reasonably easy aerials or lifts, including supported flips and simple fully supported shoulder lifts. But never without spotters,
    never without a coach who knows how to teach them, and
    always with an agreement between partners never to do them outside of a jam circle.

    But Dear Lord, aerials are fun in the right place and time!


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