How Age-Defying Therapeutic Stretches for Seniors Turns Back Time

Age-Defying Therapeutic Stretches for Seniors

Not as young as you used to be?

Nobody is! So I have designed a class — inspired by my video collection of the same name — to help seniors restore mobility and strength.

Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at The Ailey Extension.

Together, we will improve your balance, restore joint mobility, relax tense muscle, increase flexibility, and calm your mind. These slowly paced, easy-to-follow exercises are done both standing and sitting. Regain your youthful vitality and feel better!

“EVERY Body can benefit from Finis Jhung’s Age Defying Therapeutic Stretches. In this 45 minute class, Finis offers a path to a lifetime of flexibility — fluidity of movement and an agile mind too. This artfully designed series of deceptively simple stretches literally works the musculature of the entire body from head to toe — while requiring a focused mind attentive to the details of each movement. The class is rooted in the dancer’s warmup Finis developed during more than six decades as dancer and teacher. I consider it a gift that will never grow old.

Arleen Lebe

“Most of us make time to exercise but you don’t realize how right it feels to dedicate time to stretching until you do it. Every time I’m in class I think, this is so good for me. I think people don’t know what to expect from the stretch class. I would note that because it’s Finis it’s stretching but through fluid movement, utilizing the same principles from his ballet class to gain awareness of mobilizing your whole body from your toes, through your spine to your finger tips.

Jin Kang

“I welcomed Finis’s new class, Age-Defying Therapeutic Stretches at Alvin Ailey Extension, as a great way to keep flexibility and easiness of movement in my body and laugh in the face of time. I was also looking for new and safe ways to stretch to add to what I already know from Finis. The class did not disappoint! Finis created a very pleasant and restful atmosphere playing inspiringly meditative music to support the carefully choreographed movements for loosening up the body. He insisted on stretching parts of the body we routinely mistreat day in and day out: the neck, the shoulders and fingers. For example, I loved how we stretched the fingers pushing out the air, lengthening and separating each finger, as we opened our hands. Using the computer, a lot every day, our fingers are quite curled up most of the time, therefore, making the opposite movement allowed for increasing flexibility. We kept on swaying our bodies, creating circles with waist and arms and hitting all the tricky spots in the back, those that hurt. When we sat on the chairs, we all became swans creating beautiful movements with our arms. I was immediately reminded of the famous Swan Lake ballet. Actually, the class has an elegance and ease in each movement, typical of all Finis Jhung classes. And to top everything else, Finis demonstrated and did the full class with us. What a delightful experience at the end of a workday! I recommend you try it, too.

Ileana Ray

These easy and unique exercises immediately helped me achieve greater side stretch and openness at the barre. They really lengthened the area at the front of my hips and I noticed the difference in my alignment and in my arabesque in the very first class afterward. Thank you Finis!”

Amy M. Shapiro

“Finis is a master of dance movement, and with his new stretch class he’s developed stretches that are simple movements, rather than poses. The movement lets the muscles release gently and gradually, instead of forcing them to hold a pose, which can be stressful. I felt terrific after the class and plan to go back again.”

Donna Knipp

Try the Ten-Minute Ballet Break Free!

Enjoy the first four exercises for FREE!

Awaken your body and refresh your mind with these short bouts of ballet dancing that don’t require any warm-up. You’ll get warmed-up naturally as you dance your way through these short, choreographed exercises. Finis Jhung breaks down each exercise and then it is demonstrated by Antonio Carmena, former New York City Ballet soloist. To dance is to live!

ARTISTRY IN MOTION #25 – Natasha in center floor

 

Fascinating. Natalia Makarova practices in center floor. The video quality is very poor, but we can still see her extraordinary control and balance. Notice how she always “gets on her leg”—she places it accurately and it is absolutely perpendicular to the floor—and therefore the free leg and her torso and arms simply float into position. She knew she had to place her toe and drive down. And notice when she does the pirouette en attitude en dedans how she throws the leading arm and simply “coasts” the turn. It’s mesmerizing.

ARTISTRY IN MOTION #24 – Gelsey in Theme

 

A thrilling performance from the 1978 Wonder of the World. How about the solo-defining pas de chats en tournant? Notice how she works in opposition to the direction and movement. She is the classical example of “ears back” and reaching back so you can move forward. When the music speeds up, she is still ahead of it, fearlessly, even while turning and changing directions. And, does it matter that she had limited extension? Not a bit—she pushes the air with her pointes and phrases her movements so beautifully her movements have amplitude and power. So inspiring! Bravo!

ARTISTRY IN MOTION #22 – Darci Kistler & Ib Andersen in Stanley William’s version of “The William Tell” Pas

A joyful experience! Lovely quick footwork with a young Darci showing her fabulous talent. I remember seeing this documentary in fall and at the end Darci is having trouble with the piqué attitude turns, and Stanley very quietly says “toe” (he never said much) and she emphasizes how she places her toe and her body and floats the turn magically. I say this repeatedly in class during pirouettes: toe, toe, toe. Everything begins and ends with the toe.