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THE FJ STORY Part 12: Quits Dance, Begins Teaching

Finis talks about his disappearance from the dance world for three years, why he did it, and how he returned to dance as a fledgling teacher and went on to open one of the most successful studios of the 70s and 80s. The 80s were an especially sad time because so many of the men who danced in Cats, A Chorus Line, and La Cage and two pianists, Bill Brown and Phillip Leland, were lost to AIDS.

1969 love not war

 

 

 

1969 Time Mag Cover

 

1969 Yoko & John

 

1969-the-year-that-changed-america

 

Clark Tippett ,  ABT

 

Clark Tippet, ABT

 

Glenn Edgerton, Joffrey Ballet

 

Glenn Edgerton, Joffrey Ballet

 

John Sowinski & Rima Vetter in ALL THAT JAZZ

 

John Sowinksi and Rima Vetter in All That Jazz

Linda Kent, Paul Taylor

 

Linda Kent, Paul Taylor

Mark Goldweber, The Joffrey

 

Pat Miller, The Joffrey

 

Pat Miller, Joffrey Ballet

Shelley Washington, Twyla Tharp

 

Shelley Washington, Twyla Tharp

Stephanie Saland, NYCB

 

Stephanie Saland, NYCB

Susan McGuire, Paul Taylor

 

Susan McGuire, Paul Taylor

Virginia Johnson, DTH, in Giselle

Virginia Johnson, DTH in Giselle

William Forsythe

 

William Forsythe

Wilson Morelli, 1972 classes

 

Wilson Morelli

 

 

Comments

  1. Oh, how I love this interview with you, and especially the fireplace and the acoustics that room gives to your voice. I relate 100% to the burning of the books as you departed from ballet for 3 years. When you leave something as you did, that is so integral to your essence, you truly must disengage. The time I was with you on B’way and 77th were magical moments for me, and I learned so much, not only from you, but from all the dancers I got to take class with. Today is my every-other Thursday off of work from my office job, and it makes me smile to have all these resources you give to us online to study and learn from. I am so grateful that you had a wonderful teacher, to guide you into teaching, and as you are doing now, guiding me. Thank you!

  2. Whenever I feel discouraged or hopeless, I remember this part of your life, how you left ballet when you were actually on the top of the mountain, a successful principal dancer. And then, going back to it, you started from scratch to become a highly respected and appreciated ballet teacher. I remember this blog and come back to watch it a few times until balance is restored, and I can hope in a better tomorrow. And there is this one sentence stuck in my head: ” I am a Buddhist, so I never give up.” You are such an inspiration, Finis!

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