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“Finis’ absolute beginner ballet class is an escape, a time when I can totally focus on me. For 90 minutes I do not think about children or bills or the last faculty meeting. Instead, my focus is on the strength of my plié, whether I am utilizing my entire foot as I brush into a dégagé and whether I am balancing in ‘number one.’ The classical music aids in this escape allowing me to ‘be a dancer’ for 90 minutes. Finis reminds us that we are who we are at this stage in our lives and we need to accept that. That notwithstanding, anyone can learn proper technique and his teaching style insures that we understand and practice just that. An avid lover of dance all my life, the days of taking dance class 3-4 times a week in my 20’s took a back seat to the responsibilities of life. Now in my 50’s, through Finis’s class I can participate actively in dance once again rather than simply being an observer. The art of dance is powerful and at a minimum, mood altering, and, at the other extreme, it can be life changing!

—Debra Kennedy,
Ailey Extension Student

HOLIDAY CLOSING SCHEDULE: There are no classes on Monday, October 10; Thursday, November 24; Sunday, December 25; Sunday, January 1, 2017

Note: Finis no longer offers private, one-on-one classes. If you would like to talk with Finis about which DVDs he recommends for your needs, please send him an email. Thank you!

Absolute Beginner Ballet

Sunday: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Monday & Wednesday: 7 – 8:30 p.m.*

“Finis is an artist, master teacher and skilled technician of dynamic balance. In his classes he not only tells you what to do, he tells you how to do it, clearly, explicitly, and repeatedly. If you follow his instructions you will learn to align your body in a balanced position from which you can move with economy and grace. It’s not easy. Our postural distortions feel normal to us because they are familiar, and left to our own devices we tend to return to them out of habit. If you take Finis’s class regularly and follow his instructions you can learn to develop a healthy, functional alignment that will enhance your dancing and your movement in everyday life as well.”

— Diane Duggan
Ph.D., BC-DMT
Licensed Psychologist
Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist

As a non-dancer, I had no idea but I was suddenly a little nervous about what this class would actually be like… In Absolute Beginner Ballet there were no big moves across the floor but for a full 90 minutes, I felt graceful. I seriously couldn’t have asked for more. — FatBottomSlim

It’s never too late—for anyone of any age, physical type, or background—to learn ballet. From head to toe, here is a fresh new look and a working knowledge of the fundamentals of classical ballet. Instead of merely copying textbook positions of the feet and arms and memorizing terminology, learn the basic positions and movements that are the essence of ballet dancing. The exercises are performed slowly at a portable barre in front of the mirror so that you can see how you stretch, strengthen, and lengthen your entire body. Join us and discover how ballet can let you feel more awake, aware and alive. And, this class will enable you to balance securely on one foot so that soon you will be able to move up to the Beginner Ballet Class where you will learn to turn and jump. To dance is to live!

Beginner Ballet

Tuesday: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.*
Sunday: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.*

This is not an introductory ballet class. Ballet shoes and proper ballet class attire must be worn. Women should not wear their hair loosely. The barre is very intense and concentrates on working your feet correctly; strengthening the plié-relevé; and demands balance on one foot on half-toe. The centerwork teaches basic ballet movement skills with adagios, simple pirouettes, linking steps, fondu-relevé, and simple jumps.

This recently re-named class seems to reflect Finis’s emphasis on “getting back to basics” for his adult students. As Finis says to us, in this class you will strengthen your balance as you strengthen your feet and identify the #1 leg — your pillar — through which the body weight falls fully into an active foot, balancing, ready to push down into motion while activating the supporting arm/shoulder, reaching beyond your supporting toe. You will practice a correct demi-plié and relevé to enable turns and jumps. The barre work is then applied in challenging center floor combinations where time is allotted for practice and feedback (but never “spoon fed;” we’re thinking adults!). This approach makes great sense resulting in a meaningful dance experience for adults.
— Suzanne Manning, Adult Student; New York, NY

*If you received a print catalog at a Finis Jhung Workshop or in the mail, the class times are different. The website will always house our most current information. Thank you, and we apologize for any confusion.

Advanced Beginners

Thursday: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.*

This is not an introductory ballet class. Ballet shoes and proper ballet class attire must be worn. Women should not wear their hair loosely. The barre is very intense and concentrates on working your feet correctly; strengthening the plié-relevé; and demands balance on one foot on half-toe. The centerwork teaches basic ballet movement skills with adagios, simple pirouettes, linking steps, fondu-relevé, and simple jumps.

This recently re-named class seems to reflect Finis’s emphasis on “getting back to basics” for his adult students. As Finis says to us, in this class you will strengthen your balance as you strengthen your feet and identify the #1 leg — your pillar — through which the body weight falls fully into an active foot, balancing, ready to push down into motion while activating the supporting arm/shoulder, reaching beyond your supporting toe. You will practice a correct demi-plié and relevé to enable turns and jumps. The barre work is then applied in challenging center floor combinations where time is allotted for practice and feedback (but never “spoon fed;” we’re thinking adults!). This approach makes great sense resulting in a meaningful dance experience for adults.
— Suzanne Manning, Adult Student; New York, NY

*If you received a print catalog at a Finis Jhung Workshop or in the mail, the class times are different. The website will always house our most current information. Thank you, and we apologize for any confusion.

If you are from out-of-town and planning a visit, please confirm that Finis will teach via e-mail: finis@finisjhung.com

Ailey Extension Class Rates:
Ailey Introductory Offer: 2 classes (30 days) $30
Register Now!

Regular Prof* Seniors**
Single Class (valid 30 days) $19.00 $17.50 $17.50
5-Class Card (valid 2 months) $87.50 $85.00 $85.00
10-Class Card (valid 3 months) $170.00 $160.00 $160.00
20-Class Card (valid 4 months) $320.00

These rates and all sales are handled by the Ailey Extension and are subject to change at their discretion. Finis Jhung and Ballet Dynamics, Inc. are not involved in establishing or collecting these fees.

Please note that all class cards have an expiration date and are non-refundable and non-transferrable. All students must be 16 years or older.

*Professional rate requires ID including SAG-AFTRA, AGMA, AGVA, Equity and/or dance company.

**For students 60+ years old.

SUNDAY INTENSIVES WITH FINIS JHUNG AT THE AILEY EXTENSION

Let’s Dance! This two-hour Intensive is designed especially for adult ballet beginners who would like to learn some of the basic dancing steps which travel across the floor as well as the fundamentals of turns & jumps.

  • January 15 :: 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Pas de bourrées, passé par terre, assemblé soutenu, pirouette, chassé, tombé, relevé & sauté, changement, waltz
  • February 19 :: 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Pas de bourrées forward & sideways, glissade, spotting, pirouette, sous-sus, relevé & sauté, changement, echappé sauté, waltz
  • March 19 :: 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Pas de bourrées, glissade, pirouette, piqué arabesque, relevé sauté, echappé sauté, petit pas de chat, waltz

NOTE: This Intensive is not for those without any previous ballet experience. You must be acquainted with the fundamentals of ballet technique. There are no exercises at the barre. All participants should take an earlier class in order to be properly warmed up and ready to work in center floor. FEE: $30 per Intensive. Space is limited.

Sign up now.

MEET FINIS’S SUBS:

NOTE ABOUT SUB TEACHERS. All sub teachers have studied regularly with Finis a minimum of five years and have demonstrated in or assisted with his instructional videos. You will have the same FINIS CLASS as usual: barre set-up, exercises, instructions & corrections, and music.

Finis Jhung will not teach on Sunday June 11. Mayumi Omagari will teach.
Finis Jhung will not teach on Sunday July 23 & Sunday August 6. Melissa Elstein will teach.

Mayumi Omagari began her classical ballet training at Tatsuo Kasuya Ballet in Tokyo, Japan. She later joined the company and performed in such classics as Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. She also toured Japan as a member of the Japan Ballet Association in Coppelia. After moving to New York in 1994, she began studying with Finis Jhung at The Broadway Dance Center and was cast in the German productions of the musicals Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Starlight Express. In the United States, she has performed on Broadway, at the Metropolitan Opera, has appeared on National tours and in numerous regional theater companies. Mayumi is a guest professor at Showa University of Music’s Musical Theater department. She is a member of AEA and AGMA.

Melissa Elstein, a former professional ballet dancer and non-practicing attorney, is the founder of Good Energy Yoga and Reiki, LLC. She teaches children’s ballet at The School at Steps on Broadway, Gentle and Chair Yoga at Integral Yoga Institute, Core Strength Yoga at Upper West Side Yoga & Wellness Center, Tai Chi Easy™ & Qigong at The Dorot Center for Seniors, and conducts stress reduction seminars for firms and non-profits. Originally trained at the School of American Ballet (“SAB”), Melissa joined the Pennsylvania Ballet Company. After suffering a debilitating injury, Melissa graduated phi beta kappa, summa cum laude from Barnard College with a BA in Political Science, and receiving her J.D. (Stone Scholar) from Columbia Law School. As a lawyer, Melissa clerked for Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. and Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Upon completion of her clerkships, Melissa worked as a trial attorney for the New York City Police Department Legal Bureau’s Civil Enforcement Unit. After taking a brief hiatus from the practice of law, Melissa found herself drawn to holistic health care topics and spiritual practices, and completed numerous teacher trainings. She is certified in yoga, pilates, Tai Chi Easy™ and Reiki. Melissa’s interest in teaching ballet was piqued after taking Finis Jhung’s intensive weekend ballet teacher training in 2011. In 2012, she became an American Ballet Theater (ABT®) Primary-Level 3 certified ballet teacher and is featured in Finis Jhung’s DVDs “The Ten-Minute Stretch Break” and “Ballet Barre Stretch & Strength.” For more information, visit www.goodenergymovementandwellness.com.

STUDENT COMMENTS:

You, my dear Finis, have been a great mentor to me. I am blessed to have started studying with you in Boulder way back in 1982 and then on and off since then. Your technique and logic are ingrained in my entire thought process of how I teach. And as I study anatomy and learn more about physical therapy I come to appreciate your classes and wisdom even more, because all you have said is correct and it has always been way ahead of its time. I am blessed with a passion for dance and teaching and then to have the knowledge because of wonderful mentors like yourself! My students always know where my knowledge and quips come from… which is you. One of my favorite ‘Finis’ sayings is ‘lead with your toes and not your nose.’” — Christina Noel

“Lately I have been following the signs that are pointing me in the direction of ballet classes and I found the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and your name popped out at me. After taking your class I understand why. Your technique requires one to be present in the body and understand every movement. I saw a difference in my body and movement just after the first class. With the way you teach, I am continuing to understand my body and develop a relationship with myself and learn valuable life lessons as well. I’m discovering everything you teach can be applied to every situation in life, because it is all about having a balance.” — Mikesh Helen James, New York, NY

“I believe Finis is happy in his fairly recent ‘incarnation’ teaching adults to love ballet — if you look at the photos of Finis’s intensive workshops you will see the concentration on the faces and accomplishment in the bodies; we are very serious. Finis must feel great satisfaction in seeing those students who are not training to be professionals discover a sense of importance about being engaged in the Art of Ballet in all its complexity yet essentialness as well. What we do in a Finis Jhung class and how it resonates both in class and afterwards impacts in meaningful and fresh new ways.It feels as though this experience with dance matters in the larger scope of things, contributing to the way we build our world around ourselves and exist within it.
— Suzanne Manning, New York, NY

”For many years, I was completely resistant to ballet, even though I knew it was basic training and a necessary credential for dancers. Before I met you, I was performing other dance forms in the New York area, and felt ballet was too academic, and in any event, not really taught, so why bother taking class? Well, as often happens in life, there is a time and place for everything, and my time and place for finally studying ballet is with you now at the Ailey Extension. Needless to say, I regret not having done it before, because with you, ballet is an expansive, living, breathing, exuberant form that can be taught to and learned by adults. It is a bittersweet education for me, making up for lost time, but every class, I am fueled by the potential to do more, and dance more. Lead onward, Maestro! Thank you so much.”
—Cynthia Elmas, NYC, NY

“I truly enjoy taking your classes. I was, over 15 years ago, a professional B’way jazz dancer but never had any proper ballet training and was intimidated by many of the classes back then (although I did take your beginner ballet barre, on occasion). It is exciting to not only be using my body once again but to finally have the opportunity to understand the style, conventions and movements that make a ballet dancer at a level my body and mind can comprehend and develop. Thank you.” — Nancy Melius, NYC, NY

“I feel fortunate to have encountered you at this point in time, as you continue your ‘backwards journey to the fundamentals of movement.’ Your Ailey students are aware that you could limit your teaching to professionals if you wished, and yet you choose to share your knowledge with adult beginners who will never be dancers. Your beginning classes bring happiness to a lot of people.

“I appreciate the zen-like quality of the barre exercises in class. While I don’t possess an aptitude for dance, I enjoy grappling with something that is beautiful and so different from other aspects of my life, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to take your classes. Thanks.”
— L. Lin, Woodside, NY

“I’m just writing to express my deep gratitude for your ballet class. I’ve tried to take a beginning class here and there as an adult, but never found one that was basic enough for someone who studied a bit as a very young child but remembers very little as an adult. I’ve now had about 6 classes of Level 1 with you, and I already sense subtle improvements in my balance and strength. I’m 41-years-old and it is such a privilege to be returning to the study of this extraordinary art after so many years, without any of the pressures that real dancers face, but just for the sheer joy of it. Thank you so much for your unique and amazingly generous approach to teaching, making ballet truly accessible to ordinary people.
—Jennifer.