Arabesque Penché Challenge

Some of the adult ballerinas out in the blog world are engaging in the 30 day stretch challenge again. I thought about participating again myself, but I decided that I need more of a “challenge” at the moment. I am satisfied with my flexibility (for the most part), so I thought of something else that I have yet to accomplish – the beautiful (yet terrifying) arabesque penché! For those who don’t know what I am talking about, it is a beautiful pose where the dancer is standing in a leaning position, supported on one leg, with the other leg extended up as high as possible. It’s basically a standing splits. A perfect penché is exactly 180 degrees – like this one:

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When I was testing out my penché, it resembled more like this:

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[This is NOT me, by the way.]

Not bad for an adult beginner, but I want it to be more 180 degree and less 90 degree. So, in order to accomplish this, I must work on increasing back strength and, of course, practice, practice and practice the pose. There was some great suggestions on the internet. Here was a good article I found from iSport Ballet [http://ballet.isport.com/ballet-guides/how-to-get-a-180-degree-penche]. Basically, you just have to practice doing the pose and eventually you will start building the muscles necessary to hold your leg in place.

Tomorrow will be day one of the challenge. I will have my husband take a video of my current leg extension and in 30 days I will post another. Hopefully, I will see some progress. Let us pray that the pose is not reserved for people under the age of 21. If so, I am totally hosed!

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4 thoughts on “Arabesque Penché Challenge

  1. Oh yes, LB. I remember clearly my drooling over Arabesque Penche when I took ballet at 25. I did manage your extension from 48 – 60 in skating though, which is considered a pretty darn good spiral. Good luck in this venture! It is such a beautiful position.

    • Hopefully my gravatar has changed to show you the spiral. In skating, this is considered very good, especially for an adult. However, there are skaters like Sasha Cohen, and other elite female skaters, who DO have arabesque penche in their skating. Lots of hamstring stretch and back strength!

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