Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AcroArmy: Tonight's the night! A photo retrospective before America's Got Talent finale

In honor of tonight's final performance of AcroArmy on America's Got Talent, I've put together pictures taken throughout the exciting journey of these beautifully hard-working, dedicated elite athletes over the past few months, starting with the most recent triumph.

It has been fun and gratifying to see the acro community as well as the wider gymnastics community come together to support these athletes. Most understand the tremendous commitment it takes to pull off these performances, as well as the level of trust and responsibility (as Arthur Davis III, the choreographer himself, says) to accomplish these skills, all while communicating a sense of joy and love to the audience.

For all they have already accomplished, for all the people they've inspired, for all the beauty they've given the world, we can celebrate right now.

And for the top prize, we'll vote (and vote again!) and celebrate tomorrow!

Howard looks like he truly respects the athletes of AcroArmy. All four judges were on their feet.

WestCoast's competitive team wishes AcroArmy "Good luck!" 

You can watch the WestCoast "Good luck!" video in full here.

Arthur Davis III explains his vision and love for the sport and the athletes. His steadfast commitment has inspired so many inside and outside the gym.

I think these may be the chalky hands of Brian Kincher.

One step closer! On to the next round.

We took over the hotel lobby in Kentucky during the US National Championships for Acrobatic Gymnastics. AcroArmy was on!
We all gathered around the tv in the hotel lobby to cheer on AcroArmy and the athletes we knew from our home gym.

Three young acrobatic gymnasts with Ryan Ward at the US National Championships for Acrobatic Gymnastics. This photo was taken in July, just as the AcroArmy train was gathering steam. At that point, they knew him more for his accomplishments in Region 1 as much as for anything else.
And though this post celebrates the sport's elites, I love and support every kid who tries this, from the ones who can't (yet!) do a cartwheel to the ones who invent skills the rest of the world has to catch up to (looking at Ani Smith and her G-So). In fact, I have a special place in my heart for the brave ones who are just starting out, just learning their own heart, their own fears and resistances, their strengths and joys via acro. It's beautiful to watch their development.

You can share your support for AcroArmy in a variety of ways, lucky you:

Whatever happens tonight, I think it's safe to say that NBC/America's Got Talent sees value in this sport (maybe not measured by the same metrics we parents use, but still). I think we'll see them in a Vegas show and beyond. I hope so.

Looking forward to tonight and beyond!

(All photos shared here were taken by me. If you'd like to share a "Go AcroArmy!" picture of yours here, leave a comment and I'll get in touch, then add with your credit. Or feel free to add a link to it in the comments! And if you'd like to use a picture here, just ask!)

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