From head to toe, Finis Jhung gives you a fresh new view of the essential ideas of classical ballet that will transform your physique — and your psyche. The emphasis here is on learning ballet from the inside-out. Instead of merely assuming textbook positions and memorizing terminology, all the exercises in this class are designed to develop kinesthesia — the sense that detects bodily position, weight, or movement of the muscles, tendons, and joints. Learn to "see and feel" what you are doing. Learn the "why and how" that create the "what." Teachers have found that this class works wonders with younger students.
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- Number One
- Turning out, demi plié in 1st position
- Isometric grand pliés, relevé
- Battement tendu en croix, 1st position
- Port de bras
- Battement tendu à la seconde, grand plié, relevé & balance, 1st position
- Battement tendu devant & derrière, demi plié, 1st position
- Working the foot, attitude à la seconde, relevé in plié, 1st position
- Battement dégagé & attitude à la seconde, relevé & balance
- Battement dégagé devant & derrière, stretches, 1st position
- Battement tendu en croix, demi plié, relevé & balance, 5th position
- Rond de jambe à terre
- Dégagé en croix, demi plié, 5th position, balance cou-de-pied derrière
- Fondu en croix, balance retiré derrère
- Grand battement devant, port de bras
- Grand battement derrière, tendu plie, relevé
- Grand battement à la seconde, demi plie
"I am the principal violist of a professional symphony orchestra. I have struggled with muscle imbalances and repetitive stress injuries due to playing for years, but things came to a head a year ago when I partially dislocated my right shoulder while performing in a concert. I was sent to physical therapy where in addition to working on strengthening my back and shoulders, I was hounded about posture. 'Shoulders back!' became my mantra, but I never really understood how I was supposed to stand. My shoulder has never really healed from the injury. I bought your Level 1: Barrework for Beginners DVD in an attempt to find a form of exercise that wouldn't hurt my shoulder and or bore me. In the first exercise you talk about posture and give a very detailed explanation of how to stand. It was amazing. I got it! In the first few minutes of the DVD you were able to explain to me what the physical therapist failed to communicate in several in-person sessions. The amount of pain I feel has lessened tremendously already, just by consistently practicing the posture. Your 'Number 1' has replaced 'Shoulders back!' as my mantra. I was struggling with the idea of having to take extended time off from playing in order to heal. Now I have hopes that I will be able to continue performing for many years to come. Thank you so much!"— Katy Gawne, Principal Violist, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
"I have 2 of your DVDs and I want to tell you that I have never been disappointed. I watch them again and again. I dance with them, dissecting all the little subtleties which make this art form so beautiful. You are a patient and generous preceptor. Thank you too for all that you give to dancers and lovers of ballet even those who are very simple like myself. Thank you for releasing my lifelong dream from within." - Monica Keen, Crownsville, MD
"This DVD is great! You have a tremendous gift to be able to distill something so complex and to articulate it in a way that makes it accessible for beginners." —Leslie Lin, Woodside, NY
"A few years ago, I was told that I wouldn't be able to walk by the time I turned forty. I refused to listen, joined a ballet class and purchased your DVDs. I just adore your training methods. You leave nothing out, explaining everything, which for me is essential. I am still walking and am stronger then when I began. Thanks." - Rebecca Hart, Secretary to the Director or CE, Syracuse, NY
"If you have never stepped into a ballet class before, or if you are recovering from an injury, or if you are a professional wanting to realign your body and mind away from the pressures of performance, this video is a must. Finis Jhung incorporates the aesthetic of ballet with common sense and illustrates the healthful way to approach the ballet vocabulary. In addition, the structure of the class demonstrates the importance of lining up the body to support the ballet steps and stresses the importance of maintaining the posture, head, neck, shoulders - parts of the anatomy that are often overlooked in an effort to grind out multiple steps. For me, this calm and uncomplicated approach to presenting a ballet class is the one that guarantees improvement." - Phyllis Goldman, Dance Critic, Backstage Publications, New York, NY
"After an exhausting fourteen-hour work day I practiced with your Level 1 Barrework for Beginners, and couldn’t believe how I no longer felt tired but warm, relaxed, and able to concentrate again. Your way of teaching and explaining is what I have always longed for and missed in ballet classes. Thank you very, very much for making your experience and knowledge available to all of us around the world." - Beate Stüve-Brammen, Attorney, Munich, Germany
"Finis Jhung's knowledge and understanding of ballet is remarkable and clearly expressed in this video class. Using his video has given me an entirely new 'feeling' about my own placement and technique, and has made significant changes in the way I now teach. Thank you, Finis!" - Norma Hoffman, The Ballet Center Inc, Old Bethpage, NY
"Magic! The video is everything and more than I had hoped for." Penny Sisto, Floyds Knobs, IN
"Bravo! This video offers such a new perspective at the barre, and I like that. Plus, it works!" - Jennifer Blau, Director, Geneva Dance Centre, Geneva, NE
"Thank you for absolutely the most valuable lessons I have ever had." - Donna F. James, Dance Enthusiast, Wilmington, NC
"This video brought dance back into my life. Finis’s easy to understand techniques have inspired me and brought back that giddy feeling I get when I’m dancing." - Billi Siedlow, Artist, San Francisco, CA
"I've been using your Barrework for Beginners to start learning ballet. I really appreciate the systematic way you break down the movements to teach proper technique. And I appreciate finding such a good product directed towards adults, since most of the ballet studios I've seen offer very limited classes for adults new to ballet. I look forward to learning from your videos steadily to learn good ballet technique. Thanks very much." - Ratha Heyda, Medical Student, Duke University, Raleigh NC
"I'd like to give you my perspective on your DVDs, which I regard as the most powerful learning tools available to today's ballet student.
Although I deeply appreciate the teacher's corrections in my weekly adult ballet class, I feel that I'm able to learn more when I work solo with your DVDs. The problem is that when I'm in class and watch the demonstrations of the barrework and center work, my inability to remember the movements still throws me into a low-key panic. Because of my poor memory, I need movement models to follow, so I still have to find a place at the barre between two more competent dancers. Since I'm following rather than initiating the movements, I end up feeling like a failure as the class moves on to the next exercise and the demonstration once again throws me into a low-key panic.
On your DVDs, each exercise is thoroughly previewed before being demonstrated, which helps address my learning limitations. What I find even better, though, is the rewind/replay option the DVDs provide. If I'm not happy with the quality of my movement, I can take as much time as I need to practice it, and to refine it. On the other hand, since there's no rewind/replay option in a live class, I rarely attain the satisfaction of a decent level of mastery. In short, your DVDs allow the luxury of self-pacing, which, for me at least, is the key to success." — Ian Jackson, developer of the Acousticoaching™ CDs for the ballet-inspired BreathPlay System -- the power behind Olympic medals, world records, and world championships. (www.BreathPlay.com)
"Been working with your DVDs for the past two weeks and it has changed me. I have been more focused and aware during my ballet classes and in everyday life. I love how you explain and teach the movements in sequences and it has slowed me down to really think before I dance the move. Even my pointe work is getting better. Keep making the ballet world bigger and better!" —Stasha Becker, US Army Europe
"I'm proceeding very carefully and slowly in 'rehab-ing' my sprained ankle with your barre videos. The detailed way that you work the feet and our weight is having a really good effect on my foot. I am so grateful! After I do just those 5 exercises, my foot starts to feel more pliable and alive again. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING ALL THESE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO US! With Gratitude," —Polly Bloomberg, Berkeley, California
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