Lewis & Isabella: acrobatic gymnastics lowdown - British Gymnastics

Lewis & Isabella: acrobatic gymnastics lowdown

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Acrobatic gymnastics is one of four gymnastics disciplines to be performed at the British Gymnastics Championship Series at Echo Arena, Liverpool from the 30th July - 2nd August. It's all about working as a team to pull off the most spectacular balances and throws. By learning as a pair or group gymnasts can have a lot of fun developing their skills, strength and co-ordination. To help us get to know this style of gymnastics better we caught up with 2014 Junior British Champions Lewis Walker and Isabella Montagna from Richmond who explain all…

Why should the audience watch the acrobatic competitions during the championship series?
Isabella - “Great Britain is one of the leading countries in acrobatics so the standard is really high.  Acrobatics is a combination of gymnastics and dance with an impressive mix of somersaults and balances that will amaze you!”

What should people be looking out for/ what makes a great routine?
Isabella - “A great routine shouldn’t have any wobbles.  It should be engaging and capture the attention of the audience. The music, dance and gymnastic elements need to complement each other to obtain a high score.”

Lewis - “A great routine is one which keeps you fixated on the routine, which is due to the connection they make with the audience; this can be by their confidence, dance, and/or attitude. This is while performing high flighted dynamic elements and still three second balances.”

Why is acrobatic gymnastics so special to you? Why do you love it?
Isabella - “I enjoy working with Lewis. We have been in a partnership for 6 years now.  It’s fun learning harder skills, travelling to other countries to compete and meeting other acrobatic gymnasts.  I love the feeling when we win and knowing that all the hard work that goes into training has paid off.”

Lewis – “I personally love acrobatic gymnastics because of the performance and choreography which evokes emotion and this is achieved while performing technically very difficult acrobatic elements.”

Can you explain the difference between a balance, dynamic and combined routine?
Isabella - “At seniors, a balance routine is made up of 8 static elements that must be held for 3 seconds whereas a dynamic routine consists of 8 tempo moves which means I have to somersault through the air.  A combined routine has 10 moves that are a combination of both balance and tempo moves.”

Lewis - “A combined routine is usually the performance competed in the final.”

Can you name a couple of moves/skills people should look out for and explain what they are?
Lewis – “Cannonball, is a move commonly done by men’s pairs and mixed pairs. It’s where the top is in a tuck or pike shape holding onto the bases hands with their hands. They are swung and can either go into a dynamic element or into a balance element.

Ridoculla to handstand, which can be done in all partnerships. This is where the top kicks into a handstand on the floor and is thrown for one somersault. They end up back in a handstand on the bases hands.

Double straight somersault. This can be done in all partnerships and can be achieved from many different starting positions. It is two somersaults backwards in a straight shape, however usually performed in an arch shape to help rotation.”

What does it take to be a top acrobatic gymnast?
Isabella “Dedication and commitment are key.  Even when you’ve had a bad training session or things don’t go your way, you need to pick yourself up and keep moving forwards and stay positive.  You need to enjoy training and competing and it really helps to have good support from friends and family.”

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