Ballet Barre Foot Strength Exercises

From $32.99

How to Work Your Feet to Gain Strength and Avoid Injury.
Taught by Finis Jhung.
Demonstrated by Vernard Gilmore of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
All Regions. 48 minutes. 3 exercises. Interview with Vernard Gilmore.


Earn up to 63 FJ Rewards.


Almost every movement we make in ballet consists of a plié and a relevé. The problem most dancers have is not knowing the difference between a “pose” and an “action.” Simply bending the knees and sinking down into a passive pose with legs and feet relaxed does not properly engage the muscles of the feet or legs. As a result, it does not prepare you to spring up quickly into a balance, turn, or jump.

Learning to think with your feet and have your feet activate your legs is not taught in the traditional ballet class. Once you have tried initiating the demi-plié with your toes instead of your knees, you will feel and see the difference. To improve your jumps, you must know the difference between lifting your foot up passively, and then pointing it; or pressing the foot flat down on the floor and quickly springing it off the floor to full point in the air. Again, it’s not the “pose”—it’s the “action.”

Additional information

Weight .125 lbs
Dimensions N/A
Video Options

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“After working through the three Foot Strength exercises, I was surprised to find I was turning better at my next class. Thanks!”

—Leslie Miller, Adult Student

As an adult learner with no previous ballet experience, I was looking to gain more control and strength in my feet to improve my dancing and avoid injuries. I ordered the foot strength videos and immediately liked the format of a short video divided into separate sections. Through Finis’ explanations and the technical breakdowns, I was able to visualize and better understand what I was aiming to do. I have only just started to do the exercises, but already I am more aware of working through my feet and using the floor, both of which will help me to progress and improve.

—Hazel Alexander

“The video is very helpful, thank you! I appreciate the way you break down the format and articulate the techniques thoroughly along with visual presentation.”

—Wendy Williams McDonnell, Bayside, NY

As a no-experience adult beginner, my biggest challenge in learning ballet has been how to execute correctly what Finis is telling us in his class every day. Even though I could comprehend Finis’s logical explanation of the importance of dancing with your feet, it has been difficult for me to let my body understand and move accordingly. The best thing about Finis and Vernard’s video is that you can watch a perfect demonstration from front and center on your screen, unlike watching the demonstrators/better students in the class from behind or different angle in the classroom. Vernard shows you, with Finis elaborating in detail, how and exactly where, to place your body, hip, shoulder, head, and most importantly, your feet, correctly at the bar. Now you know what you should expect to see in the mirror. Finis and Vernard’s demonstration in this video is like Leonardo da Vinci’s L’Uomo Vitruviano, the perfect blend of science and art on your screen. I’ll continue to listen to my feet.”

— Mariko Fukuyama, Adult Student, The Ailey Extension