Basic Ballet Movement Skills: Lesson 1 (2013)

From $15

Pas de bourrée en avant, de côte;
Glissade; Glissade précipitée; Chassé
Taught by Finis Jhung

All Levels. All Regions DVD. 90 minutes. 20 center exercises.

  • Available as a DVD.
  • Available to Stream Instantly Online.
  • Stream in Workout Mode.


Finis Jhung shows you how to do the most frequently used center floor movements—the dancing steps— that travel forward and sideways and link to various poses, turns, and jumps. In this video, Finis breaks down count-by-count the following steps: pas de bourrée en avant (forward); pas de bourrée de côte (sideways); glissade; glissade précipitée (quick auxiliary step); and the chassé en avant and de côte. Each step is first shown slowly, and then quickly, and is demonstrated both right and left by Antonio Carmena, soloist of The New York City Ballet. The CD music is by Scott Killian.

Streaming Workout Mode Available

This video now offers the Workout Mode / Non-Stop class feature in both the Streaming and DVD formats.

Pas de bourrée en avant

  1. Pas de bourrée (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 3, 4/4
  2. Pas de bourrée en diagonale (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 15, 3/4
  3. Pas de bourrée en diagonale (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 14, 3/4
  4. Pas de bourrée en diagonale (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 19, 3/4

Pas de bourrée de côte

  1. Pas de bourrée dessous (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 12, 3/4
  2. Pas de bourrée dessous (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 3, Track 15, 2/4
  3. Pas de bourrée dessus (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 3, Track 10, 3/4
  4. Pas de bourrée dessous, dessus (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 3, Track 18, 4/4


  1. Glissade derrière (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 12, Track 6, 4/4
  2. Glissade derrière (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 12, Track 10, 4/4
  3. Glissade derrière (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 12, Track 11, 4/4, Tango
  4. Glissade changée (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 12, Track 14, 3/4

Glissade Précipitée

  1. Over-cross the demi-plié (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 11, Track 9, 3/4
  2. Over-cross the demi-plié (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 11, Track 6, 4/4
  3. Over-cross the glissade derrière (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 11, Track 14, 3/4
  4. Glissade précipitée (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 11, Track 18, 3/4


  1. Chassé en avant (as relevé, slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 9, Track 9, 3/4
  2. Chassé en avant en diagonale – Music: New Ballet Music 9, Track 19, 2/4
  3. Chassé en avant (in the air; quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 9, Track 18, 3/4
  4. Chassé de côte (in the air; quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 9, Track 12, 6/8

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 that offer the “Workout Mode / Nonstop Class” feature Streaming videos that offer the “Workout Mode / Nonstop Class” feature may be found here.

Most streaming videos do not offer multiple playback modes. Each DVD chapter/exercise is presented as an individual video. Once you complete an exercise, the next will play automatically. There is currently no “workout mode” available for most streaming videos.

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

“Thank you Finis, I am volunteering to teach an adult Ballet class. Your detailed instructions are so helpful. I can’t wait to break down the pas de bourrée for them next week, just as you did in this video. Thank you so much! I know I can always turn to your videos for help. Warm regards,”

– Isabella Scapini-Burrell, LCSW, LCSW-C,
One All Therapy, LLC, Annapolis, MD

5 Stars I am an adult beginner, with no previous experience of ballet. I have practiced with Finis’s ‘Absolute Beginner’ DVDs for about a year, and the improvement in strength and balance that I have been seeing as a result of that ‘red series’ have given me the motivation to try the ‘Basic Ballet Movement Skills’ collection. This first DVD of the series introduces the viewer to three basic steps: Pas de Bourre, Glissade and Chasse. Each step is taught with different variations of movements that precede and complete the step, and at a different speed. For each step, there is a verbal instruction, followed by a slow, to-a-count demonstration to music, and finally a complete demonstration in real time. As I have come to expect from Finis’s videos, the DVD is packed with information, pleasing aesthetically and features Finis’s signature thorough-going instruction. One thing that really stood out for me was that, even as Finis is teaching these specific ‘steps,’ all of his instruction was geared, and pedagogically shrewdly paced, to enable ‘movement’: there is never a simple static position-memorization, but each exercise, building on the one before, leads to a more and more fluid movement across the floor. Even when Finis instructs you in the steps, what he really teaches is DANCING! Aside from the impeccable description, I found it very helpful that Finis pointed out, and Antonio demonstrated, the most common mistakes that people make when performing these movements. I found myself nodding silently, as I thought of the falling-over pas de bourres and wobbly glissades that I myself saw (and committed!) in the past. It was helpful to see these mistakes enacted and analyzed, to understand the correct movement better. I also appreciated the fact that Finis explicitly reflected on the difference between Antonio’s professional ability/physique and those of the amateur viewer: his tips on adjusting the position and movement to account for a less-than-perfect turnout were extremely helpful.

“In contrast with the ‘red series,’ there is a marked progress in the level of skill. This DVD really takes you on the next level. Finis delves into the proper use of the arms, head, and breathing—and, doing what he says achieves remarkable things to secure the balance and fluidity of movement. He also explains and expects improvement of musicality: mere moving to beat is no longer sufficient; the musical score is syncopated, and so the movement must be. Finally, and almost imperceptibly, Finis is expanding the viewer’s ballet vocabulary (we are introduced to “tombe,” “assemble,” difference between “dessous” and “dessus,” etc.), and he even begins to speak about the characteristic features of different ballet schools (e.g., Balanchine’s emphasis on quickness of movement, proper articulation of the feet, and engaged, “on the attack” quality of dance). So, as before, I am astounded by the breadth, depth, and intentionality of Finis’s teaching. I see myself returning to this DVD again and again—not only for practice, but for reference—and I strongly recommend it to others.

— Natalia A. Shulgina

“The DVD, Basic Movement Skills 1 — the first of three movement skills DVDs — includes pas de bourree and glissade. Finis Jhung teaches these connecting steps with his usual precision so that the student — and, all dancers remain students for as long as they dance and/or teach — can more successfully and beautifully move and jump and turn. ‘Ears and shoulders back. Hips and toes forward. Toes go under the head.’ Important reminders for these connecting steps which, too often, are thought of as ‘throw-away’ steps. (Even the amazing Antonio Carmena, who is demonstrating, did a more perfect pas de bourree after a Finis correction!) When one’s weight is absolutely where it should be — close is not good enough — then one will have both fast and delineated footwork. ‘The music is never too fast. You are too slow and your head is too low (!).’ Glissade. My first memory of a truly exquisite glissade was in 1945 watching Alicia Alonso in Giselle. Can you imagine how exquisite it must have been for an eight year old who mostly dreamt about pirouettes to have been so impressed? My glissades, those of my classmates, as well as many others I have seen over the years looked closer to those of a marionette with dangling, out of control legs! I just assumed that such an Alonso glissade was out of reach for us mortals. Now, of course, I think differently! Linger over this DVD!

— Marie Paquette Nesson

“I began ballet training as an adult 4 years ago after seeing a stage production of Billy Elliot, which touched me so deeply because I too wanted to dance when I was a young boy and was prevented from doing so. I have learned SO MUCH from Finis Jhung’s DVDs thus far, which have helped me in my classes, and will continue to purchase and study them. hank you, Finis, you’re amazing!

– Richard Beardsley, Amazon customer

Great instruction! Realized I was doing a lot of ballet moves wrong (I just started ballet as an adult).”

— Jill, Amazon customer

“I’m just so incredibly thankful to have found you and only wish that I had found you 20 years ago when I was dancing! My turns are better now at 44 than ever and I’ve been dancing since I was one and a half years old. I completely owe that to you! I thought I was just a petite allegro kind of girl who couldn’t turn, but you’ve changed all of that. My turns still can’t keep up with my fast feet (which aren’t nearly as fast as they used to be), but at least I’m no longer terrified when I need to turn! You are such a blessing to me and have helped make sense of many dance steps. I’m also thankful for the refresher with ballet terminology, as I took a very long break from ballet due to a career-ending injury. It was difficult to remember all of the terminology after so long a break. Your DVDs and Guidebook have been so helpful in bringing it all back. I am a dance teacher, a personal trainer, and a Master Balletone Instructor. I’m always grateful for how you blend exercise, science and ballet. There is a method to the madness and you have found it! The world is a better place because of your incredible mind, kind heart, and love for ballet. I hope to be able to make it up to NY one day to meet you and take one of your classes!”

— Christy Cole,
Creation Arts & Athletics, Charlotte, NC

“I am a retired swimmer who always secretly believed I should have been a dancer! Age 46, I enrolled in my first ballet class, about one month ago. The women in my class are a quite a bit more advanced than me, so there’s a steep learning curve to catch up. I’m well balanced but unfortunately not terribly coordinated all the time! I have quite a bit of space at home, so I am using these (streaming) videos to learn the movements step by step, through repetition, to build my precision and speed.

— Amy Henderson, Amman, Jordan

“I am so glad I discovered this video which shows you how to do pas de bourrées, glissades and chassés. The exercises are first explained in detail by Finis Jhung and then are demonstrated masterfully and elegantly by Antonio Carmena, soloist with New York City Ballet. I was particularly pleased to notice how the pace of a step changes from slow to moderate and then quickly in dance tempo just as it is done on stage. The glissade—which is tricky for beginners—is explained very clearly with allowances made for the beginner who does not have perfect turn-out and a tight fifth position. However, you can still move beautifully if you apply the concepts taught and just use what you have. In addition, I loved how the DVD has three modes of playing: full class, specific exercises and only workout mode. Scott Killian’s music is lovely and makes me feel like I’m doing little dances. I strongly recommend this DVD to both adult beginners and young dancers who want to learn how to do these steps correctly so that they will not pick up bad habits. I cannot say enough good things about this DVD!

—Ileana L. Soare, Brooklyn, NY

From an Australian Streaming Customer:
How lucky are we to have you as an expert coach! As a ballet teacher for some years, it’s just fantastic that I am able to access teaching materials from you; exercises are interesting, explained in detail and easy to follow. I love that I am able to stream lessons that help me see ballet skills from a professional dancer’s experience and perspective. It’s a long way from attending dance workshops, buying many books and making copious notes, not to mention the many miles of travel when one lives in the Australian countryside! Teaching Adult Ballet is a passion of mine; thank you for your expertise and being my On-Line Coach! Cheers!”

—Ann Mader-Flowers, DMC Studio
Bathurst NSW, Australia

“As an adult beginner I have difficulty translating what I have learned and done at the barre to centerwork. I purchased this DVD to help me between adult ballet classes to smooth out my technique and give me greater confidence. I could not be more pleased with the results. Finis is a great teacher! I will soon be looking for Basic Ballet Movement Skills, Lessons 2 and 3!

— Robert Herbst, Chicago, IL

“I returned to ballet about a year ago after being away from it for a very long time. I wanted to let you know how much your DVDs have helped and encouraged me in this pursuit. All of the dancers in the videos dance beautifully and are so helpful to watch. Your turning technique has enabled me to start nailing my double turns and the pointework DVDs have given me the practice I needed to move up to the next level of pointe class. I will be performing with my daughter in a recital next weekend — the first for me since I was a child. Coming back to ballet has enriched my life in so many ways and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

— Leslie Miller, Adult Student, College Station, TX

“Students such as I can go on and on not putting these linking steps together properly. So we find ourselves in a seemingly eternal semi-void of mediocrity. With the new video I’m now getting a much more profound sense of it, and it feels so much better! I realize that the elements you are bringing out in this video such as pushing down to go up, knowing which shoulder the head ‘belongs to’ and so on are the same essentials you are emphasizing in the other videos. What is so helpful for me in this new one is how you so artfully build these fundamentals through progressive exercises into a full understanding of what a pas de bourrée, for example, is and what it feels like. Getting a better sense of these linking moves is indeed helping my sensibility regarding other movements. So thank you again Finis, you are truly a treasure, and your responsiveness is a remarkable thing. You as a ballet master have found a way of reaching people anywhere, any person who learns of your technique and would respond, using the new video technology of the day. Brilliant!”

— Peter Skiff, Walnut Creek, CA

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.

DVD vs. Streaming

You’ll notice you have purchasing options on nearly all of the Finis Jhung Instructional Videos:

Streaming Playback

Streaming videos that offer the “Workout Mode / Nonstop Class” feature may be found here.

Most streaming videos do not offer multiple playback modes. Each DVD chapter/exercise is presented as an individual video. Once you complete an exercise, the next will play automatically. There is currently no “workout mode” available for most streaming videos.

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

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