Acro dance is a style of dance that combines classical dance technique with precision acrobatic elements. It is defined by its athletic character, its unique choreography, which seamlessly blends dance and acrobatics, and its use of acrobatics in a dance context. It is a popular dance style in amateur competitive dance as well as in professional dance theater, such as Cirque du Soleil. Acro dance is known by various other names including acrobatic dance and gymnastic dance, though it is most commonly referred to simply as acro by dancers and dance professionals.
Acrobatic dance emerged in the United States and Canada in the early 1900s as one of the types of acts performed in vaudeville. Although individual dance and acrobatic acts had been performed in vaudeville for several decades prior to 1900, it was not until the early 1900s that it became popular to perform acts that combined dance and acrobatic movements. Since the decline of the vaudeville era, acrobatic dance has undergone a multi-faceted evolution to arrive at its present-day form. The most significant aspect of this evolution is the integration of ballet technique as the foundation for dance movements, thus bringing into acro dance a precision of form and movement that was absent in vaudeville acrobatic dance.
The term "folk dance" is reserved for dances which are to a significant degree bound by tradition and originated in the times when the distinction existed between the dances of "common folk" and the dances of the "high society". Nowadays the role of folk dances has changed and it isn't uncommon to find folk dancers on the stage of concert halls. University of Tartu Folk Art Ensemble performing dance named "Kodukotus" in theatre Vanemuine.
Emma studied dancing while young and attended the Paris Opera School. She made her debut at age sixteen with the Paris Opera as the sylph in La Sylphide. Her talent brought her fame and she became a widely respected ballerina.
Marie Taglioni noticed her during one of her performances and immediately took a liking to the girl, becoming her mentor. Marie choreographed for Emma in the ballet Le Papillon, a piece by Jacques Offenbach that was especially created just for Emma.