© Michael Parmelee/NBC

By Scott Bregman

For two-time World acrobatic gymnastics champion and AcroArmy founder Arthur Davis, the group’s appearance on the hit show America’s Got Talent, which airs its Top 12 show tonight at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, has given the sport he loves an important spotlight.

“I remind them that this is all about showing the beauty of what we do and how many years we’ve worked hard for it,” Davis told USA Gymnastics in a phone interview. “I really want them to put their hearts into it and give the audience, America, beautiful gymnastics.

“That usually really gets them going,” he added.

AcroArmy, which consists of many U.S. National Team members including 2014 World bronze medalists Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward, is a close knit group. Davis said the best part of the experience has been their time together, working as a unit.

“Other than, you know, performing in Radio City Music Hall on stage for millions of people,” he added with a laugh.

The fast-paced nature of the show – with new, bigger routines needed each week – has meant Davis and the group are balancing rehearsals, training and learning new skills.


“I think the biggest challenge has been the limited time we have to create all this,” Davis said. “And also, learning new skills within that time frame in a very limited training space. We are training in the lobby of Radio City Music Hall.”

The group, which received standing ovations from all four celebrity judges (Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel) after its performance last week, has carefully paced themselves throughout the competition.

“We have quite the repertoire of really difficult skills, and we haven’t shown them all on purpose so that we can save some of them for each episode.”

Last week, Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin came to the show to support AcroArmy, adding to an overwhelming response on social media. The video of their semifinal routine has nearly 100,000 views on the America’s Got Talent YouTube page.

“As the show has been going on, the fan response has been building and building,” said Davis. “After last week… it was really overwhelming in the best way.”