Ballet Barre Foot Strength Exercises

From $37.99

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.


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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.”

Each exercise is first shown and demonstrated by Finis Jhung, and then it is demonstrated by Vernard Gilmore of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

FOOT STRENGTH 1 – Demi-Plié Relevé

Contrary to the way pliés are done, we’re going to show you how to initiate your demi-plié with your toes instead of your knees. This engages the muscles of the feet so that you can rise with perfect balance on half-toe.
Length: 11 minutes, 49 seconds • Music: New Ballet Music 9, Track 2, 3/4

FOOT STRENGTH 2 – Fondu Relevé

If you want to do the dance combinations in center floor, you must be able to correctly perform the fondu-developpé-relevé. This exercise will give you the strength you need.
Length: 12 Minutes, 54 Seconds • Music: New Ballet Music 9, Track 16, 4/4

FOOT STRENGTH 3 – The Jumping Foot

Most adult beginners have trouble jumping because they tend to overwork their legs and under-use the feet. This exercise shows you how to use your feet so you can stand in the air.
Length: 15 Minutes, 54 Seconds • Music: New Ballet Music 9, Track 4, 3/4

Interview with Vernard Gilmore

Additional information

Weight .125 lbs
Dimensions N/A
Video Options

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Play the DVD in 3 modes: Full Class, Individual Exercises or Workout Mode where you can run the exercises without instruction. Once you’ve learned the exercise and heard the instructions, you may want to go straight to the demonstration with music so you can have a work-out without interruption.

You can find this feature on these videos.

The following DVDs don’t have the SPECIAL FEATURE but do allow you to skip the Instructions and go straight to the demonstration with music by using the SKIP FORWARD button:

  1. The Finis Jhung Ballet Technique: Stretch, Turn-out, & Extension
  2. The Finis Jhung Ballet Technique: The Power Barre

Streaming Playback

Streaming videos do not offer multiple playback modes. Each DVD chapter/exercise is presented as an individual video. To advance between chapters, the user is required to manually click the exercise video they wish to play. Unfortunately, auto-advance is not available at this time.

I’ve been doing your DVDs with my mother in her 60s. It’s helping her out a lot with learning to keep her balance and have good posture. Even the slightest movements have helped strengthen her muscles. We love you.”

— Trula Hudelson

“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

About your purchasing choices…

FJ Streaming Singles We have released several brief videos (for example, our Foot Strength and Dance at Home series) which are only available to stream online. You will not receive a DVD, but may watch instantly upon completing your purchase.

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