“I continue to develop as a dancer in my sixties, and to grow in body, mind, and soul. I have garnered strength, focus, fortitude and grace.”
he teaches ballet dancers
why they do what they do.”
— The New York Times
New 2-hour classes created especially for the Adult Ballet Beginner that will enhance your understanding of basic ballet movement skills; improve your turn-out and extension; and enable you to turn with balance and control.
LOCATION: Pearl Studios. 500 8th Avenue (35th & 36th Streets)
Please click “Pearl Studios” tab below for more information and room assignments.
DAY & TIME: Fridays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Class Size is Limited to 30 students
Finis will continue teaching all on-going classes at the Ailey Extension except the Sunday Intensives.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are no refunds or exchanges. HOWEVER, if fewer than 15 students are registered by 6:30pm on the Tuesday prior to that Friday’s class, that class will be canceled and your money refunded.
Basic Movement Skills:
Each class begins with a short barre followed by exercises in center floor which teach correct body & arm positions; linking steps such as the pas de bourrée, passé par terre, glissade, and chassé which lead into various poses; and dancing steps such as the waltz & the balance.
“Let’s Dance!” workshops are based on techniques covered in these videos:
Stretch & Turnout
Feel Better. Look Better: After warming up with a short jog, you will lie and sit on the floor, slowly stretching out tight muscles and loosening your joints. After that, you will stand at the barre doing exercises that utilize and reinforce your increased turnout & extension.
STRETCH CLASS NOTE: You will be lying on the floor during the Stretch Class. If you wish, please bring your own towel or floor mat.
“Stretch & Turnout” workshops are based on techniques covered in these videos:
Get on Your Leg and Turn! The warm-up barre includes exercises that teach proper placement and the mechanics and execution of pirouettes from the fifth and fourth positions. In center floor, we will break down the preparatory movements even further and actually practice turning pirouettes and chaînés
“Pirouettes, Turns” workshops are based on techniques covered in these videos:
Pose & Promenade
The Magic of Ballet Dancing. After and during an intense barre, learn how to turn slowly in place in different directions on one foot while maintaining a definite pose such as an arabesque or attitude. Turning the promenade teaches you how to coordinate the movements of your body parts, develops balance and strength, and refines your classical ballet positioning.
“Pose & Promenade” workshops are based on techniques covered in these videos:
If you sign up and then find you can’t make it, use the forum to let other students know. Someone may want to buy your spot. Join Finis Fridays Google Group
Note: This group is run by other students and not by Finis Jhung.
Photo by Stephen von der Launitz
|Finis Fridays! Dates
Let’s Dance — January 11, 2019, Let’s Dance — March 8, 2019, Pirouettes, Turns — April 19, 2019, Pirouettes, Turns — April 5, 2019, Pirouettes, Turns — February 8, 2019, Pose & Promenade — April 26, 2019, Pose & Promenade — February 1, 2019, Pose & Promenade — February 22, 2019, Pose & Promenade — March 1, 2019, Pose & Promenade — March 29, 2019, Stretch & Turnout — April 12, 2019, Stretch & Turnout — February 15, 2019, Stretch & Turnout — January 18, 2019, Stretch & Turnout — January 25, 2019, Stretch & Turnout — March 15, 2019, Stretch & Turnout — March 22, 2019, Let's Dance! — September 28, 2018, Stretch & Turnout — October 5, 2018, Pirouette — October 19, 2018, Let's Dance! — October 26, 2018, Stretch & Turnout — November 16, 2018, Pirouette — November 30, 2018
Finis Fridays and the 2019 Summer Workshops will be held at Pearl Studios, located at 500 8th Avenue, which is between 35th and 36th Streets. For commuters, it is halfway between Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Pearl does not have lockers or showers, but there are changing rooms, lavatories and snacks/beverages available.
“There is no instruction like Finis’s, as he breaks down every single action and emphasizes its purpose not only to dance, but to live with balance, confidence, and grace.”
—Yasmine Rena, Adult Student
“His tutelage continues to develop ‘thinking’ dancers, not students with dance poses. I’ve never studied with a better teacher!”
—Julie Wong, Adult Student
“Are you a dancer, professional or beginner, young or old? Is your passion ballet or any other style of dance? If so, you absolutely need to experience Finis Jhung’s workshops and/or classes. No matter what you want to learn, or how experienced you are, you need to learn how to use every part of your body: head, shoulders and arms, torso, hips, buttocks, legs and last but not least feet; you will need to balance on one foot—on half point or flat—and you will need to know where you weight is at all times. This is what you can learn, in a concentrated way, from someone who has been studying and teaching what works and what doesn’t for the past 46 years, and has developed the ability to explain it clearly, precisely, using a variety of props and visual images that are extremely effective. I am convinced that this is the absolute basis of any style of dance, whether you are a professional, you just love to dance or you just want to look like a dancer….talent is not enough!”
—Adele F. Mackintosh, Ph. D. New York, NY
“Finis Jhung is a master teacher who has brought strength, confidence, and grace into my life. His classes are a life changing experience and to him I am most grateful.”
— Yasmine Rana
“Finis Fridays “Let’s Dance!’ is named accurately. Loved the workshop, and it’s a lovely space. Finis set up the class to uncover the intricacies of each movement with such care that I was truly dancing the combinations.”
“Class was great – especially like the floor.”
“I really enjoyed it! Thank you!”
“I found the class an exhilarating challenge and look forward to gaining the strength to execute the combinations better. (I also need to keep my head from flopping around as I shift weight from leg to leg.) I enjoyed dancing on the wooden floor at Pearl, though I would have enjoyed some extra elbow room and more sturdy barres. The excellence of the instruction, however, makes any reservations about the space seem petty.”
— Byron Loyd
“Fridays are for special moments as the work week closes. First FINIS FRIDAY, ‘Let’s Dance!’ was exactly that: an enjoyable two hours to refine basic steps in original combinations, ‘nine pages of exercises’ as announced by Finis. I particularly liked the tricky, brain twister towards the end where from a glisse – 4th arabesque, you turned as in half-pirouette to the opposite corner changing foot pattern. Lots of fun!”
— Ileana L. Ray
“I enjoyed the smaller space and felt I got more feedback because it was a more intimate space (nowhere to hide!). I liked that it was walking distance from Penn Station. This made my travel from NJ more convenient since Penn is a major NJ Transit hub. The bars seemed well worn but usable, also some of us were practicing turns and found the floor there had less resistance making the pirouettes easier. Over all I’m glad I registered and look forward to the future dates!”
—Cherryl Thomas, MD
“I really enjoyed the class and the studio! I think it’s perfect! Totally looking forward to the next one! Thank You.”
— Deborah Alitizio
“I enjoyed the workshop on Friday night. It seems a bit more relaxed than rushing to your regular class during the weekdays. It really reminded me of the importance of the preparation and the detailed sequence of execution of doing a turn properly. … I liked that you incorporated chaînés turns. It was something different that we don’t normally practice in your class at Ailey on a regular basis (or at least when I attend your class). I liked that it was a bit a surprise. Maybe slow and small piqué turns (both en dedans, en dehors) so it corporates movement in turning?”
“Your class was great as usual! I hope with time and lots of practice, I can replace the emotional turmoil inside my head with the solid preparation you taught us on how to pirouette. The next time I try the chaînés turns, I will try to understand the one turn better before attempting the second one. I realize my spotting is very weak and will practice more during the Wednesday classes. Before I met you, my mind and body were disconnected, and I had the worst posture imaginable. I’m still working on it, but I would be a completely different person had I not met you. I’m grateful every day to be one of your adult babies! Thanks again for creating such beautiful classes for us!”
“The class was great, and I enjoyed it a lot! The components of a pirouette were explained and practiced in manageable exercises. I have a better idea about placing weight on the ball of my foot and pushing down instead of lifting the heel.”
“Never enough practice with pirouettes, especially for adult ballet students! It was a great idea to start the class with practicing certain aspects of the pirouette execution at the barre. Working enface ‘to find the end of the plié’ and then go to relevé passé, while you could see yourself in the mirror, helped with learning the placement and finding the balance both visually and physically. I also appreciated reviewing the chaînés – from breaking them down working enface again to doing them in diagonal. The combinations putting everything together felt like a bonus. Fun Finis Friday!”
“Great class again!!! Loved the chaînés turns. I think I’m pretty good at them because we use them a lot in ballroom. Much better than my one leg turn anyway… I especially like the way the turn is dissected to show technique. Thank You.”
“Because of my scoliosis turning is very difficult for me, particularly on the left leg. I’m further handicapped by weak ankles and ADD. I hope I’m not being overly quixotic in hoping that I can learn to make an outside turn on my right leg. … I had fun doing the chaînés turns and in the past, I had some capacity for attitude and arabesque turns (though as I say that was in the past). I suspect I need to make short term goals: balancing on one leg in a low passe, spotting while keeping my head level, building strength in my ankles. I don’t know how you could have improved on your presentation. I particularly liked the image of coiling tight and then releasing into the turn. I also commend you for not blowing your stack. Turning is just damned hard for some of us.”
“I was pretty dizzy by the end of class but proud to have made it through to the end. Most likely I will not be able to learn to do the pirouettes because of an inability to spot or stand on half-pointe. Nonetheless I will keep trying because the effort makes a big difference in everyday life. Thanks.”
—Sharon E. Sutton
“I thought it was great, and it proved once again to me that it’s a long haul not a quick fix (of course I was hoping I’d walk out of there with a pirouette! but I can see that it’s an accumulation of working on one aspect, another aspect, the first aspect, a third aspect, putting them all together, etc.).”
“Thank you very much for another great class. You really break down how to do pirouette properly and went slowly so that I could follow. Especially the way you describe how to shift your weight to the toe when you make pirouette was really helpful, and now I have better understanding of the difference between shifting weight to the toe and lifting up my heels. I feel like I also need more muscle in my stomach and upper body, as I feel my upper body is not quite stable and that causes me to lose my balance when I make pirouette. And I really like when you explained that pirouette is all logical and rational and there is no emotion in it unlike jumping. Contrast. I do like the ballet you teach has contrast in many ways (like how to use your body), that is how you emphasize beauty and it is seen in many art. Thank you again for sharing your technique and philosophy. Your class is very inspiring!”
“1. It takes much less effort to turn on a sprung floor. Way less. 2. If I learn how to exhale while pressing my shoulders/upper body down, I won’t look like I’m about to die while turning!”
“The Turnout Workshop on Friday was outstanding. Finis, you continue to innovate! Your approach to this element of ballet showed me, clearly, how to access and utilize my rotating muscles. The stretches were wonderful. And you knitted it all together by walking us through the application of performing our ballet vocabulary using a greater degree of turnout. Thank you!!”
— Catherine Earp
“Finis’s Turnout and Extension class gave me an entirely different understanding of what it means to work my turnout in regular ballet movements. I can’t wait to go back to class and explore this during barre and across the floor!”
”Relaxing music and deep stretches were much welcomed after a long day in the office and ‘chair tight’ hips and hamstrings. I thought the whole class was going to be stretching (which was okay by me since I enjoy and need it), but I was pleasantly surprised by the dancing and linking steps that followed that section. Since this part was all center work, the balance techniques I’ve learned were tested – no cheating (smile). This was my second workshop of the series and I realize more fully how Finis Fridays is the perfect complement to the Ballet classes I take with Finis at Ailey. Finis Fridays allow me to use and refine the techniques taught in the basic fundamental classes. Also, in this smaller setting there is more time for personal feedback. These workshops are helping me increase my body awareness and growth as a dancer. Thank you for sharing your time and expertise!”
—Cherryl Thomas, MD
“Because I have such tight hamstrings I’m apprehensive about any stretch class, especially since I pulled a hamstring about fifteen years ago in a similar environment. After a few minutes, I knew that Finis was working carefully and systematically and that I only needed to follow instructions. I liked stretching without seeking validation from the mirror. When we got up to move across the floor we were told to look out at the audience (in the mirror) ‘where the money is’. Rather than brood over our physical limitations we had to get right up and perform. That sting of adrenalin helped me to focus and to bring my whole being to the dance. We were divided into two groups and those of us not dancing did the steps behind the performing group. We were all so eager to do well, and some of us were pleased to take in some of Finis’s rather candid corrections about our bad habits. Having suffered through machinations in less than ideal theater situations, it’s an utter joy to interact with these kind and gracious colleagues. But of course, none of this camaraderie would be possible without Finis’s clear syllabus, rigorous expectations, and humor. He is nothing less than a yachtsman in the ballet studio.”
“The turnout class not only helped with stretching our muscles, but was especially relaxing after a long day at work with music that soothed our minds and placed us in a meditative trance. Finis Friday is the perfect start to every weekend!”