Exams – Why They Work

With the ever-evolving standards for dance, incorporating acro into dance education has become a necessity. More than ever, there is an expectation of increased flexibility, strength, and impactful tricks from today’s dancers. Developing beautiful acro elements within a dance studio setting can be challenging for an instructor. To accomplish sound acro technique, students must build upon learned progressions to increase the difficulty of the tricks they are hoping to master. Effective acrodance instructors rely on standardized testing to ensure their students have mastered one level before they progress to the next one. Here are the top three reasons why teaching a syllabus that features examinations at every level can promote success. Independent Results – Examiners will analyze students according to a set global standard. The dance instructor can be confident that the independent results a dancer receives is measured against a transparent set of expectations. They can then determine if that dancer is ready to safely move up to the next level, allowing for objective development of acro progressions. Constructive Correction – An acro dance examiner brings a fresh set of eyes to critique the dancer. This expert assessment, within a structured environment of mutual respect, will bring to light the dancer’s strengths and where challenges lie. Constructive correction brings a wealth of important lessons including the ability to handle criticism, manage pressure, and how to turn correction into accomplishment. Goal Setting – A clearly defined set of acro skills for a dancer to accomplish is where exams make sense to the student. Goal setting happens when the dancer is placed in an appropriate level with room and encouragement to advance. They are provided with expectations that are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. These are the key ingredients to goal attainment and enable the dancer to push their acro skills to the next level.

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As the founder and CEO of Acrobatic Arts Inc, Mandy manages the staff and delivery of all training programs, and the Acrobatic Arts syllabus in over 4500 dance studios in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa and over 25 other countries. She heads the Acrobatic Arts examination program, and trains and certifies adjudicators to administer exams in studios around the world. Over 250,000 dancers participate in Acrobatic Arts classes on a weekly basis!

Mandy created the Acrobatic Arts training and certification program, and the Acrobatic Arts Curriculum, seeking advice and recommendations from industry experts in physiotherapy, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, biomechanics, pilates, inversion, anatomy of movement, ballet, contortion, circus arts, and more to create the most comprehensive, researched program possible. Mandy also created the Acrobatic Arts App, My Acro App, the Acro Adjudicator App, and the AcroDance Preschool App.

A lifelong learner, Mandy has attended and achieved certification in countless courses, including contortion, hand balancing, inclusive learning, tap, jazz, gymnastics, and safe coaching, to name a few. Mandy currently sits on the advisory board for YPAD, and assists with the mission of keeping kids safe in dance through this organization. Mandy has taught thousands of dance teachers, and provided expert classes at Dance Teacher Summit (NYC), Dance Teacher Web Live (Las Vegas), Dance Teacher Summit (LA), Toronto Dance Teacher Expo, Calgary Dance Teacher Expo, Move It Dance Convention (London), Can You Dance Super Convention (Liverpool), Victorian Dance Festival (Melbourne), and CLI Studios (LA). Highly sought for clinics and workshops across North America, Europe and Australia, Mandy is known for bringing passion, technique and in-depth practical knowledge to engaging classes.

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