Basic Ballet Movement Skills Lesson 3

Basic Ballet Movement Skills: Lesson 3

From $27.99

The Balancé: Sideways,
Backward, Forward, and Turning
Taught by Finis Jhung.

ALL LEVELS. ALL REGIONS DVD. 72 minutes. 17 exercises.


Earn up to 53 FJ Rewards.


In ballet class, whenever the music is in 3/4, the balancé is frequently used to dance into various poses, turns, and jumps. This quintessential ballet step is usually done quickly without instruction, which can make it a “mystery” step. But not for long, because in this long-awaited video Finis Jhung and NYCB soloist Antonio Carmena show you how to do it, count by count, in various directions, at three speeds: slow, medium, fast. The music that makes you want to dance is by Scott Killian. And dance you will!

The Balancé Sideways

  1. Balancé sideways, temps lié forward (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 7, Track 2, 3/4
  2. Balancé sideways, temps lié forward (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 7, Track 3, 3/4
  3. Balancé sideways, temps lié forward (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 7, Track 13, 3/4

The Balancé Backward

  1. Temps lié forward, arabesque à terre, balancé backward (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 7, Track 12, 3/4
  2. Piqué arabesque, balancé backward, temps lié forward (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 7, Track 14, 3/4
  3. Piqué arabesque, balancé backward, temps lié forward (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 7, Track 19, 3/4

The Balancé Forward in Effacé

  1. Balancé forward in effacé, balancé backward, temps lié forward (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 2, 3/4
  2. Balancé forward in effacé, balancé backward, temps lié forward (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 4, 3/4
  3. Balancé forward in effacé, balancé backward, temps lié forward (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 19, 3/4
  4. Relevé arabesque, fondu developpé relevé, balancé forward in effacé, balancé backward (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 13, Track 19, 3/4 (same as previous exercise)

The Balancé Forward in Croisé

  1. Balancé forward in croisé, balancé backward, temps lié forward & backward (slowly) – New Ballet Music 9, Track 11, 3/4
  2. Balancé forward in croisé, balancé backward, temps lié forward & backward (moderately) – New Ballet Music 9, Track 15, 3/4
  3. Balancé forward in croisé, balancé backward, temps lié forward & backward (quickly) – New Ballet Music 9, Track 18, 3/4

The Balancé Turning (en tournant)

  1. Temps lié forward, pivot pose, balancé turning (slowly) – Music: New Ballet Music 11, Track 2, 3/4
  2. Arabesque pose, battement en cloche, balancé turning (moderately) – Music: New Ballet Music 11, Track 14, 3/4
  3. Piqué arabesque, battement en cloche, balancé turning, balancé backward (quickly) – Music: New Ballet Music 11, Track 18, 3/4
  4. Arabesque sauté, balancé turning, arabesque sauté, retiré sauté – Music: New Ballet Music 11, Track 23, 3/4

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. Once you complete an exercise, the next will play automatically. There is currently no “workout mode” available for streaming.

“Basic Movement Skills—Lesson 3, covers the balancé—to the side, front and back. A balancé is one of those steps that is easy to do badly. ‘Too often done bouncing in one place instead of treating it like the dance it is,’ says Finis Jhung. This ‘simple’ step, executed by both beginning and professional dancers alike can look so completely different that one can be merely a shadow of the other. A solution is here! Advanced dancers who do not yet look as perfectly polished as the demonstrator Antonio Carmena — who is a soloist with The New York City Ballet — as well as beginners (!) can transform themselves into getting a whole lot closer. Finis Jhung, as always in his thoughtful instruction, teaches so much more than the step at hand—including ‘strengthening feet, body and legs, placement, lifting center of gravity.’ By the end of the DVD you may be, in Finis Jhung’s words, ‘reaching, bending, swaying, opening your chest with your heart. You are not just learning the balancé but you are learning to become a better dancer.’ How can this not be fun??!! Balancés are liberally sprinkled throughout ballet choreography. I wish this information had been sprinkled throughout my training! And, during the interview at the end of the DVD it was entertaining to find out more about Antonio Carmena’s projects.”

— Marie Paquette Nesson

“I’ve just practiced with this video and feel compelled to share my enthusiasm with others because I have finally managed to execute the balancé correctly! Never before has anyone explained to me as clearly and minutely as Finis has, how to perform this “earthy step” as he calls it. And, how lucky for me that he has chosen a wonderful dancer as his demonstrator, Antonio Carmena, soloist with The New York City Ballet, who simply enchants you with his amazing precision. His execution is flawless, graceful and powerful. Moreover, I have not found any other DVD on the market that dissects the balancé as shown in this lesson—showing first how to make the step en face, then traveling in all directions, combining it with other steps and poses, and culminating with two charming danceable combinations across the floor which employ other concepts previously learned in the first two Basic Ballet Movement Skills videos. Once again, Finis insists on the essential concepts of his teaching—using opposition through the upper body and arms, maintaining correct posture (always being in Number 1), and pushing down to go up. He emphasizes that for an adult beginner, there should nothing more rewarding than knowing how to display the correct form without forcing turn-out, or trying to lift the position leg higher than one should, which distorts the line resulting in awkward and clumsy movements. It is truly empowering for an adult student to hear they can still dance beautifully even without having an ideal professional body. As in all of Finis Jhung DVDs, the exercises progress both in tempo and complexity in a logical sequence of movement with mathematical precision. In addition, the three modes of playing this video—full class, individual exercises or workout mode (without instruction) constitute a truly unique experience for the student. Before purchasing this DVD, all I knew about the balancé was that it was somehow similar to the waltz, yet different. How to do this tricky step was a complete mystery to me. But not anymore, thanks to Finis’s detailed instructions. This DVD is worth every penny and I urge you all to purchase it!”

—Ileana L. Ray, Brooklyn, NY

“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

“Basic Ballet Movement Skills Lesson 3 is one of my favorite lessons simply because I like the balancé. I also like the choice of music for the exercises and that there are slow, moderate and quick versions of the movements. Rather than this lesson being about balancing for a static pose, it is about balancing for forward, backward, sideways and diagonal movement, something that translates well into other forms of creative movement. This is the lesson I reach for when I know I need to get back to basics and really just delight in the feel of artistic and rhythmic movement, the feel of simply dancing to the music and making patterns through the air and on the ground. As you say, it is a grounding movement and sometimes that is all that is required.”

— Judith Chestnut, Erina, NSW, Australia

“In a word: exquisite! Who knew a balancé could be so beautiful? It glides, it bounces, and it twirls. Thank you Finis, your CD/DVD is so smart and makes the seemingly simple balancé accessible. It has given me new understanding of the movement: how open, even reaching it is, and how it covers space. I am encouraged to dance anew a beautiful, exquisite balancé!”

— Nancy Needham L’Héritier, former professional dancer, New York, NY

“This new balancé video is very appealing. It is well presented and recorded. I enjoyed seeing Finis and Antonio relaxed and engaged while de-mystifying this somewhat tricky step. When I’d seen a preview of it earlier, I thought this was what I’d been waiting for: it didn’t disappoint. Sometimes I have problems recognizing the boundaries of this step in center floor work, e.g., when/where one movement ends and another begins. Happily for me, the solution arrived with this video. Patiently and methodically, Finis clarifies how to use this step in different ways: to introduce another step, to transition from one step to another, and how to perform it all on its own (sometimes hiding in plain sight)!”

— Suzanne Manning, Adult Student, New York, NY

“What better way to stay in tune with dancing during the holiday season than by practicing the quintessential ballet step. The Basic Ballet Movement Skills series is really exciting. The attention to detail in the instructions is wonderful and the choreography of each exercise is interesting and appropriate for level of that exercise. This is a most enjoyable series and I am sure I will not be disappointed by this new lesson.”

— Judith Chestnut, NSW, Australia

“I wanted to let you know that 4 of my students were chosen to dance with the Moscow Ballet Company when they performed The Nutcracker in Gillette, WY. The master ballet director, Olga, chose my students out of hundreds of children who auditioned because of their technique. Their technique is outstanding because I teach them what I have learned from you in your videos. The ‘how and the why’ makes all the difference in the world. Thank you again for sharing your ‘pearls of wisdom’ so we are better ballet instructors for our students. You are so gracious in your corrections. The words you choose and your tone of voice are very soothing and uplifting to the student— ‘you are the student, I know you can do this, and I’m going to show you how.’ I love way you break the movement into physics. I can correct someone, let them practice, and before they go home they have conquered their biggest fear such as turns. They get it!”

— Lori Bickford, RNC, BSN, MS
Director of Services, Weston County Public Health, Newcastle, WY

“I have never tried to learn anything from a ballet video in the five decades I have been taking ballet lessons. Off and on for the last 10 years, I have had the pleasure of taking classes with Finis Jhung through the Ailey Extension. For those of you who have done that, you know that Finis has a unique personality in class—brilliantly able to explain exactly how to do any ballet step, funny, sharp in every sense of the word, and painfully honest. I doubted whether all that could be captured on video. But it has been! His new carefully structured video on the balancé moves from an easy version of the step to a far more complex version by video’s end. Antonio Carmena is an excellent demonstrator. As Finis explains Antonio’s every movement and reinforces every nuance, the viewer is quick to see that this video will improve not only the viewer’s balancé, but also aspects of the execution of many ballet steps—from the precise placement of the head and chest to the reaching back of the arm to initiate a movement to the use of opposition to balance a movement. For weeks, Finis had been telling me in class to extend my arms more; listening to him on the video and studying Antonio, I saw exactly what Finis meant. He was right—as usual. I actually did the balancés with the video, while watching Antonio and paying attention to Finis at every point during their execution, and I learned a lot. Just like in class.”

— Regina H. Paul, President, Policy Studies in Education. NY

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