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train2(1)For our second day training at the circus school, though we had our share of soreness from day 1, we felt confident we would be able to really sink our teeth into the training. Why? Because partner acrobatics is our relative specialty – and we were focusing on hand-to-hand – our favorite!

Things started out well when we practiced on the ground – nice and steady, joints stacked in a nice straight line, a little bit of shakiness, but our coach, Sothea, seemed satisfied…

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Things changed a good bit however when we moved to standing. In turns out our old way of balancing with hands in front and elbows down is less stable – I needed to get my elbows up and not let my wrists go flat… So difficult! It must have taken the Phare performers years to develop the wrist strength!…

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Apparently when the wrists go flat like this, it makes it far more difficult for the “flyer” to balance as all the weight comes into the heel of the palm and can’t transfer to the knuckles. Sothea demonstrates proper form…train2(6)

After quickly tiring us out from holding bodyweight, he showed me a fun exercise for working on holding steady while balancing a person… Instead, you balance an object, like the heavy wooden handstand platform…train2(7)

Definitely not as easy as it looks! I fared well enough holding the platform at low height, but pressing it to high only lasted long enough to snap a shaky photo.

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Of course Sothea couldn’t resist the opportunity to show off – maybe someday!

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If you want to see some professional hand-to-hand in action, Phare will leave you smiling. We have nightly shows in Siem Reap at 8:00pm. Click here to get your tickets!