Are there Chinese acrobats?

Interestingly, the answer to this question is the reverse of what you might think! It’s not that there are acrobatics in classical Chinese dance, it’s that you can see techniques from classical Chinese dance in acrobatics.

Not only that, Olympic gymnasts, especially in floor routines, have also borrowed moves from classical Chinese dance. How? As classical Chinese dance developed over thousands of years, flipping and tumbling techniques—like those you see in gymnastics and acrobatics—became a major component of classical Chinese dance.

In the 1970s, Chinese gymnasts showcased these high-level flips at international competitions, introducing them to the world. With time, different forms of performing arts adopted these techniques: gymnastics, acrobatics, cheerleading, and even modern ballet are just a few of those who borrowed from classical Chinese dance.

So when you see these amazing flips on stage, remember—they’re not acrobatics but classical Chinese dance.