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- Spot: sitting, from the shoulder
- Spot: sitting, arms in 1st position
- Spot: standing, feet parallel
- Spot: standing, feet parallel, half-toe
- Spot: standing, side-front, 1st position, half-toe
- Spot: standing, side to side, 1st position, half-toe
- Spot: shuffle turn
- Pirouette: work your feet
- Pirouette: work your arms
- Pirouette half-turn
- Pirouette to 5th front, sous-sus, pas de bourrée under
- Pirouette to 5th back, sous-sus, pas de bourrée turning
- Pirouette to 4th, piqué to 5th
- Pirouette to 4th with arms 5th, pose, tombé pas de bourrée
- Pas de bourrée over, turning
- Pas de bourrée turning, pirouette, sous-sus
- Pirouette, sous-sus, fondu, pas de bourrée turning
- Pas de bourrées traveling & turning
- Pas de bourrées traveling & turning, pirouette
- Pirouette, swivel tendu, arabesque, pas de bourrées turning
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"I love this video and plan to use it at each level in our school. I have been teaching for fifty years, and your reasoning and logic have renewed my enthusiasm." — Clytie Adams, Clytie Adams School of Ballet, Kaysville, UT
"I have loved ballet ever since I remember and could not but watch in awe how delicate ballerinas turned endless number of times or flew in the air like birds. Only when I started to study ballet myself, did I realize how much knowledge, coordination and control goes into everything a dancer does so successfully. Finis''s ingeniousness of breaking down any ballet position to allow more control of your body by knowing what you are doing, especially for adult beginning ballet students, has made it possible for me to attempt to learning how to pirouette. This DVD is the best tool I have found in order to practice and improve your balance, turns and changes of direction while, at the same time, strengthening your feet in order to relevé successfully."—Ileana Teodorescu, New York, NY
"I cannot say enough about this product. Whether you are professional or recreational the techniques Finis introduces will improve your turns. I am a dance instructor and this DVD has made me think about teaching turns in a new and focused way. I just recently purchased the video and within only a month''s time I have seen wonderful improvement in my students. I first heard about Finis through Beverly Spell of LEAP ''N LEARN (also a must have). I will be purchasing all of Finis''s products. They are my new ''must haves'' as a dance instructor."—Cassandra Shupe, Director, Norwalk Dance Center, OH
"Whoever has tried to land a perfectly balanced pirouette knows well that what seems to just happen is in actuality the result of knowledge, coordination and control of one’s body as well as numberless hours of practice. As an amateur dancer, I am still struggling with landing perfectly balanced pirouettes and get very discouraged at times. Moreover, the most important thing is to learn how to execute the movements correctly from the very first attempt, so that your body may remember each detail effortlessly. For me this meant studying with Finis Jhung at Alvin Ailey and using his wonderful DVDs for practice at home. His ingeniousness of breaking down any ballet position to allow for more control of the body by knowing what you are doing is an essential element for progress, especially for adult beginning ballet students like me.
Finis’s DVD, "Use Your Head & Turn!" is the best tool I have found these days in order to practice and improve my balance, alignment and coordination and consequently be able to turn better.
The three parts of this DVD take you progressively from simple to more and more complex exercises performed elegantly by Sachiko Kanai. The first part deals only with spotting. Learning how to isolate my head and find that focus and energy in my eyes, made a big difference in my turns. I noticed that even if I practice only this part of the DVD often enough, then in class I am always better in the center work. Gradually, Finis takes you to spot sitting, from side-to front-to side, and finishes with the first position relevé spotting from side to side. I always feel more capable to balance and be in control of what I do when I finish this first part of the video.
The second part of the DVD deals with pirouettes from fifth broken down to the simplest movements and continuing with travelling pas de bourrées. One big advantage of practicing these pirouettes from fifth is to learn how to find your balance before you actually start your plié by putting all your weight on your standing leg. I think this knowledge is essential to your success of the pirouette, since the standing leg is so close to the other one and you cover so little space and need so little energy. Also, the spotting becomes even quicker. I was not aware and definitely not in so much control of these aspects of a pirouette before seeing this segment of the DVD. There is also an interesting part where Finis explains the pirouette without music and then moves on to have Sachiko do only a half-turn. It is definitely empowering for the beginning student to be able to do something right from their first attempt. By the time you are asked to do a full pirouette and a sous sus, you already feel more balanced and ready to do it well.
The DVD continues with a series of combinations more and more complex but all containing a pirouette from fifth. I love the progression of these combinations where some new element is added to make the last three exercises very danceable and enjoyable.
I also found listening to the corrections following each exercise, and then repeated by Sachiko very helpful. Since I struggle with changing directions quickly and fluidly, I found these repetitions and corrections extremely useful.
Yet, even better is the fact that this video may be played in three modes. You may play the full class with all the instructions, only some individual exercises or all the exercises in the workout mode. This is a big advantage because you may choose what really fits your level at a particular time. Sometimes, I like to listen to the instructions only for certain exercises with which I know I have trouble and go to the workout mode for the rest. At other times, I find it useful to listen to all the instructions just to update and refresh my memory.
I recommend this DVD to all those who are interested in improving their dancing. There is a wealth of concepts essential to the art of dance without which no one can really move forward. Finally, what a delight to listen to Finis Jhung’s natural manner of discussing the most sophisticated aspects of dance and thus make it accessible to anyone, as well as watching Sachiko Kanai’s enchanting presence. This DVD is a must in the library of any ballet lover!" —Ileana Luminita Soare, Brooklyn, NY
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