INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Palm Springs, Calif., will play host to two top acrobatic gymnastics events later this year. Held consecutively, the 2007 Freedom Cup and the 2007 Acrobatic Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championships will take place July 20-22 and July 23-26, respectively, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Freedom Cup is an international competition featuring some of the world’s best acrobatic gymnasts and the Acrobatic Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championships showcases the nation’s top junior acrobatic gymnasts.

“We are happy to take this dynamic sport to Palm Springs,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “This is a great opportunity for fans in the United States to see top acrobatic gymnasts compete in what we expect to be two exciting events.”

Defending U.S. men’s pair champions and 2006 British Open gold medalists Julian Amaro of Pleasanton, Calif., and Tyler Spray of Livermore, Calif., are among more than 700 gymnasts who will compete in the Freedom Cup. Also expected to compete are 2006 U.S. women’s group champions Mariah Henninger of Walnut Creek, Calif., Allysha Kidd of Livermore, Calif., and Tisa Penny of San Leandro, Calif. The Freedom Cup and the Acrobatic Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championships feature both junior and senior competition in women’s pair, men’s pair, mixed pair, women’s group and men’s group.

“What a great group for Palm Springs,” said Ron Oden, mayor of Palm Springs. “We are a destination that appeals to all ages with a wealth of family activities. The participants will not only have an opportunity to grow from their experience at the competition but will have the time of their life in Palm Springs.”

Tickets for both events are available at the Palm Springs Convention Center box office on the days of competition. One-day admission for the Freedom Cup is $15 per adult and $7 per child. A three-day pass is available for $40 per adult and $15 per child. Admission is free for children under the age of seven. Adult ticket prices for the Acrobatic Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championships are $20 for one-day admission and $65 for an all-session package. For children, a one-day ticket is $10 and an all-session pass is $30.

Acrobatic gymnastics, previously referred to as sport acrobatics, combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Gymnastics skills add excitement to the exercises, while intense acrobatic balances show grace, strength and flexibility. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. The combined routine unites elements of balance and dynamic.

An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of a base, middle and top partner, while a men’s group has a base, two middle partners and one top partner. Bases generally are older athletes who display strength and balance and top partners generally are younger athletes who display flexibility and agility. Middle partners often are required to show a combination of all attributes.

Acrobatic gymnastics gained valuable exposure and fans across the country when former world champions Arthur Davis and Shenea Booth made it to the finals of “America’s Got Talent” on NBC in 2006. The duo received praise and a following for their inventive and dynamic routines.