Because of concerns around COVID-19, DVD Videos, Music CDs and Books will not be shipping from finisjhung.com for the foreseeable future. DVDs may be ordered from our Amazon.com Shop. Thank you for your understanding and be well! — Finis Jhung

Live Online Classes

Every week, Tuesday through Sunday, Finis Jhung will teach one class each day (two on Saturdays), on Instagram Live and Facebook Live. Classes are offered at no cost, but — for those who have the means — pay as you are able.

Visit instagram.com/fjballet or facebook.com/finis.jhung
Classes stay online for 24 hours!

All classes are scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time in the USA.

There is Nothing To Register For

You are welcome to pay an optional honorarium below, but to participate in class, simply access Instagram on your phone or tablet. Click “What is Instagram Live?” below for more information.

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Description

Instagram Live & Facebook Live Schedule

All Classes at 11 am and Saturdays at 11am and 1pm EST and last 30-45 minutes

** All Classes on Instagram Live and Facebook Live You will not find these classes on this site. Instead, you must access Instagram or Facebook. There is no fee and no need to register for anything!

There is no fee for the classes, but we do request that you pay what you can (above).

Tuesday, April 7 — ABSOLUTE BEGINNER BALLET BARRE: The Ailey Extension Absolute Beginner Barre Exercises
Wednesday, April 8 — AGE-DEFYING THERAPEUTIC STRETCHES: The Ailey Extension Age-Defying Therapeutic Stretch Class Exercises
Thursday, April 9 — STRENGTHEN YOUR TURNOUT
Friday, April 10 — BALLET FOR LIFE: Finis talks about pivotal moments in his life
Saturday, April 11 — 11 am: AGE-DEFYING THERAPEUTIC STRETCHES: The Ailey Extension Age-Defying Therapeutic Stretch Class Exercises
Saturday, April 11 — 1:00 pm: LET’S DANCE! WALTZ & BALANCÉ
Sunday, April 12 — BEGINNER BALLET BARRE: The Ailey Extension Beginner Ballet Class Exercises

Class Descriptions

Absolute Beginner Barre

Ground Zero for All Ballet Newbies.

Here is the perfect introduction to the wonderful world of ballet dancing for those who have never studied ballet or haven’t danced since childhood. Get in touch with your body and your senses while learning how to do the basic movements that are the essence of ballet dancing. Get ready to make an intense inner journey with detailed instructions, beautiful music, and movements that will transform your body and your soul.

Dress for ballet class with ballet shoes or socks. No bare feet. Stand in front of the mirror if you have one. Use a portable barre, or 2 chairs (preferably with high backs) set apart – one for each hand, or 1 chair.

STUDY AT HOME WITH: Ballet Barre for the Adult Absolute Beginner or Absolute Beginner Ballet Group Class 1.

Age-Defying Therapeutic Stretches

Connect Your Body With Your Mind.

Improve your balance, relax tense muscles, restore mobility and flexibility, and calm your mind with slowly paced doable exercises done both sitting and standing. This artfully designed series of deceptively simple stretches literally works the musculature of the entire body from head to toe — while requiring a focused mind attentive to the details of each movement. The class is rooted in the dancer’s warmup Finis developed during more than six decades as dancer and teacher that will inspire minor miracles in your body and soul.

Dress for ballet or yoga or exercise class. No shoes required. For best results, face a mirror so you can see what you are doing. You will need a firm chair or stool with a sturdy seat that can bend over and place your hands on to support your weight.

STUDY AT HOME WITH: the streaming compilation video Age-Defying Therapeutic Stretches for Older Adults or these videos which are the sources for the compilation: Ten-Minute Stretch Break and Ballet Plus.

Strengthen Your Turnout

Discover & Use Your True Potential.

Students will focus on understanding the mechanics of movement, improving movement skills, building strength and balance, and developing artistry and musicality.

You will work on the temps lié, passé par terre, poses in croisé devant & effacé devant, pas de bourrée dessous, quarter-turns en dedans & en dehors. Dress for ballet class with ballet shoes. For best results, face a mirror so you can see what you are doing. No barre required. You will be traveling sideways, forward, and on the diagonal so the minimum clear floor space is 6 feet by 9 feet.

STUDY AT HOME WITH: Basic Ballet Movement Skills Lesson 1 or The Finis Jhung Ballet Technique Level 1 Centerwork for Beginners.

Ballet for Life

Finis Shares Choice Pictures & Stories From His Memoir.

For the first time, dance legend Finis Jhung shares his incredible journey from a humble childhood amid the chaos of World War II Hawai’i to an extraordinary career as a dancer on Broadway, in film, and with the Joffrey and Harkness ballet companies and then as the founder of the critically acclaimed Chamber Ballet U.S.A. Ballet for Life: A Pictorial Memoir is filled with nearly 300 gorgeous photos—most of them never before published, along with Finis’s own distinctively witty commentary on his personal and professional life and his intimate recounting of the freedom that he gained from his conversion to Buddhism 54years ago. The memoir also lovingly pays tribute to many of the fascinating dance personalities whom Finis met along the way.

Amazon Kindle Version: Ballet for Life

Let’s Dance! – Waltz & Balancé

The Essence of Classical Ballet Dancing.

Explore the challenge and feel the exhilaration of performing these basic movements that are all in 3/4. Count-by-count, step-by-step, Finis Jhung will show you, at the beginner level, how learn to do different waltz steps and the constantly used balancé steps with control and elegance. Due to space constrictions, you will mostly be moving from one side to the other. These two dance steps are the essence of classical ballet dancing and will teach you how to coordinate the movements of your four limbs so that you appear graceful and musical.

Dress for ballet class with ballet shoes or socks. No bare feet. Stand in front of the mirror if you have one.

STUDY AT HOME WITH: The Finis Jhung Ballet Technique: Stretch, Turnout & Extension.

Beginner Ballet Barre

Get On Your Leg So You Can Dance.

This class is designed for students with a fundamental understanding of classical ballet. You will strengthen your balance as you strengthen your feet and identify the #1 leg — your pillar — through which the body weight falls fully into an active foot, balancing, ready to push down into motion. At the same time, you will activate the supporting arm/shoulder by pressing firmly on the barre.
Dress for ballet class or yoga or exercise. You’ll need a barre or 2 chairs or 1 chair for support. Try to have a mirror as self-observation is very important.

STUDY AT HOME WITH: Basic Ballet Movement Skills Lessons 2 and Basic Ballet Movement Skills Lessons 3.

Please note the LIVE/ONLINE class is the class I give my adult babies at the Ailey Extension and therefore some exercises have been revised/changed/substituted.

Additional information

Pay What You Can (Optional)

$5, $10, $20, Other Amount

For these classes, Finis will be “broadcasting” a live class from his living room in Manhattan over Instagram Live and Facebook Live. There is no cost to participate and nothing to register for.

So how do you access your class?

If you have a Facebook or Instagram account, the easiest way is to login and find @fjballet. (instagram.com/fjballet or facebook.com/finis.jhung).

On Instagram

If you are an Instagram member, simply open the app a little before class is to begin. Assuming you follow Finis (@fjballet), you will see this icon appear at the top of your device’s screen (where the “stories” are displayed) when Finis is live. Simply tap on it to join class!

What if I miss the Instagram Live Class?

Videos remain on Instagram for 24 hours. The easiest way to access them is through the Instagram app on a mobile device. When you navigate to @fjballet, look for Finis’s profile picture, which will have a purple and pink border around it:

Finis’s Instagram profile page.

Simply tap on the profile photo to see the class! You won’t be participating live, but it will feel like it.

On Facebook…

Please take a moment to send Finis a friend request at facebook.com/finis.jhung. When it’s time for class, you’ll see an alert that a live video is starting, or you may navigate to Finis’s Videos Tab. You will also see recent live classes there!

I still don’t get it…

Click here for an Instagram Help page that may offer more guidance.

If you’re on a desktop/laptop computer, it is trickier than if you use the Instagram app, but you may find some guidance here. We are unable to offer direct support for any of these methods.

Here is a helpful article from Facebook.

I just took your live ballet for beginners and I’ve found my home. I’m almost 60 years of age and have loved dance my entire life. I’ve always felt a dancer living within me but and I’ve yearned for the true teacher to help her know how to spring free. I’ve struggled with pirouettes and got tears in my eyes today when you said everyone can do a pirouette before they leave this earth. Your description and cues resonated deeply with me – it takes more than a beautiful dancer to be a beautiful teacher, and you are both. It was an honor and blessing to take your class today. From the bottom of my heart I thank you and send you blessings.

— Julie Cheifetz
 @liftedpilates

Thank you! It was my first class with you and really enjoyed it. I have been taking class for a few years, but no one had ever broken down all the movements so thoroughly. It was very helpful!

—Leslie Harper

I am overwhelmed and beyond grateful that, during this unprecedented time, you are able to continue to teach and share. Thank you so much! You changed my life in the 90s and now again!

— Maria-Elena Alfieri

Thank you for bringing artistry and a life affirming spirit into our quarantined lives. You got me to stop staring glassy eyed at Amazon and Netflix.

— Byron Loyd

Good morning from Corryong in the Snowy Mountains Australia, that was wonderful. I’m seeing your videos when I wake up, with no technical difficulties! 
I especially enjoyed this morning’s class. I’m feeling the benefits, feeling centred and even with unrelated challenges my first thought can often be ‘ears back.’ Thank you Finis and Jason!

— Christine McKee

These comments come from students who have taken Finis Jhung’s classes live in New York City.

Praise for Stretch Your Turnout

“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!”

— Judy Levine



”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.”

— Byron Loyd

“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!”

— Julie Wong

Praise for Absolute Beginner Ballet Barre

“Finis is an artist, master teacher and skilled technician of dynamic balance. In his classes he not only tells you what to do, he tells you how to do it, clearly, explicitly, and repeatedly. If you follow his instructions you will learn to align your body in a balanced position from which you can move with economy and grace. It’s not easy. Our postural distortions feel normal to us because they are familiar, and left to our own devices we tend to return to them out of habit. If you take Finis’s class regularly and follow his instructions you can learn to develop a healthy, functional alignment that will enhance your dancing and your movement in everyday life as well.”

— Diane Duggan
Ph.D., BC-DMT, Licensed Psychologist
Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist

As Finis says to us, in this class you will strengthen your balance as you strengthen your feet and identify the #1 leg — your pillar — through which the body weight falls fully into an active foot, balancing, ready to push down into motion while activating the supporting arm/shoulder, reaching beyond your supporting toe. You will practice a correct demi-plié and relevé to enable turns and jumps. The barre work is then applied in challenging center floor combinations where time is allotted for practice and feedback (but never “spoon fed;” we’re thinking adults!). This approach makes great sense resulting in a meaningful dance experience for adults.

— Suzanne Manning, Adult Student; New York, NY

“I am 40-year-old beginner, with no previous training in ballet. I discovered Finis’s work about a year ago, on Amazon, when I was searching for introductory level ballet DVDs for adults. My experience with his initial “Absolute Beginner” DVD in the red series left me deeply impressed—and hungering for more. To say that Finis has profound understanding of ballet as an art would be an understatement; but he also possesses keen pedagogical sensitivities that enable him to make this knowledge accessible for adults who never set a foot in the ballet studio before! This second DVD Beginner Ballet Barre is true sequel to the first: Finis intensifies the training in all the aspects that were introduced in the Absolute Beginner DVD: his signature almost-isometric plié, proper getting on your leg, balancing, strengthening of the feet, and spotting. New things—such as positioning in space, tombé lunge, preparation for pirouette, and arabesque—are also introduced. As before, Finis’s teaching attitude is very encouraging: the way he introduces new concepts and movements makes you believe that ballet is not only for the young and the flexible. His instruction is astonishingly clear and to the point. And, his snippets of wisdom—“you are only as good as your plié-relevé”; “keep your brain in your foot”; “arabesque is opening your heart”—stay with you long after the video is over. Admittedly, this is not an easy DVD: I find myself going back again and again, because it takes time to truly strengthen your feet and to make it a second nature to work from your supporting leg. But every effort brings forth real results. First, there are ballet-related results: I can also do things that I have not been able to do before (e.g., the beloved pirouettes – now, I have not become a perfect “turner” by any stretch of imagination, but there is a world of difference between toppling over at high speed and being able to actually get around all the way without the manic flailing of the arms. I also feel I am getting more out of my regular ballet classes, because I am beginning to recognize the underlying principles (isometric plié, work in opposition, stand in #1, expansion-contraction, lead from the foot, importance of the supporting leg, etc.). Secondly, there are life-related results: I observe improvements in my posture, core strength, and daily balance. Finally, the aesthetics: this DVD is high-quality film, set to a melodic musical score, and a beautiful demonstrator, Melissa Elstein, is a joy to watch (even if a challenge to imitate!). I strongly recommend this DVD to my fellow adult ballet students and to all who is interested in a fitness program that is both effective and safe.”

— Natalia Shulgina

“Anyone familiar with Finis Jhung’s teaching would expect that his DVD, Beginner Ballet Barre, would have some special insights. And, you would be right! (Just as his Ballet Barre for the Absolute Beginner has for the student who just put on their first pair of tights!) As I watched I was reminded of something I once read. ‘The singer’s instrument cannot be bought. It is made by its training.’ The same can be said of dancers. ‘It is not about the positions. It’s about muscles’, says Finis Jhung. ‘It’s not about the barre. It’s about being able to move and dance in the center.’ This barre is less about barre exercises than it is about engaging and strengthening the muscles needed to go beyond the barre. Among Finis Jhung’s memorable reminders are: ‘Don’t place the body for a position but for a preparation for the next movement.’ ‘The foot moves the leg.’ ‘The foot initiates the movement.’ Even though Finis Jhung’s DVD’s for beginners are for beginners it may be that the more advanced dancer will respond with the loudest, ‘Oh, right! I get it.’ When I think about past efforts of ‘not sitting on my leg’—a favorite teacher correction that had little or no awareness from where weight and balance came from—it is no surprise that I was ‘top-heavy’ and fell off balances. Check out these DVDs. (50% energy going up and 50% energy going down) Better late than-never!!”

— Marie Paquet-Nesson

“I want people to know how wonderfully you teach, and I think what you teach will be really helpful in learning and loving ballet. I’ve taken it for a long time as an adult, and I love taking class, how class proceeds, how the discipline manifests in class, the attention to the teacher, the student that demonstrates, working both sides, the beauty of the dance, the music, and so on. I do like how you have us start on the angles, because I have trouble with that, getting completely lost. I think this will help. Also, I never wanted to advance to the next level in class, because I felt something was missing, something in my fundamentals. I could do the pliés, tendus, dégagés, and the other movements, but I wasn’t sure if I was holding my body correctly, and after taking your classes I understand better what I need to work towards, and for that I really appreciate these DVDs. I feel like I’m there by how you conduct the class, and I really appreciate how you teach. It’s so welcoming and informative. You are truly a gifted teacher. Thank you!”

— Debbie, Anaheim, CA

“Great, great video for adult beginners who want a challenging yet doable full barre. Level of clear, instructional detail is way more than what you’d get in some other offerings on Amazon, with their bargain basement prices and corny cover graphics. Head and shoulders above all that. It’s really convenient that there is also an exercise mode* where you can plow through the whole barre without the instructional parts. The exercises build on each other so logically so that by the time you’re about to do the half and full pirouettes, you’re totally prepared for them. Just like its subtitle, emphasis is on your standing leg, and working the plie-releve correctly; Finis also emphasizes how to work your feet at the barre. He gives you little demos of the wrong way to the exercises, which is really helpful because then you know what to avoid. Basically he lays out the process of each exercise and tells you which muscles should be engaged. Another thing that’s cool is that inside almost all the exercises he incorporates short little relaxation stretches. The demonstrator is a beautiful, gracious lady and a great sport! It’s nice that at the end of the video he sits down and talks with her so we see her as a person, not a mute ballet doll. This DVD looks and is high level production and instruction. It’s an investment, really, that you can refer back to over and over again, and believe me, you will need to because there are so many issues that he discusses. Oh, and if you don’t know who he is, just google him.”

— Cynthia Elmas, Astoria, NY

Praise for Age-Defying Stretches

“I love taking and learning in your class and especially love stretch class. That class really makes my body warmed up and my muscles and joints released.”

— Ai Toyoshima

“Most of us make time to exercise but you don’t realize how right it feels to dedicate time to stretching until you do it. Every time I’m in class I think, this is so good for me. I think people don’t know what to expect from the stretch class. I would note that because it’s Finis it’s stretching but through fluid movement, utilizing the same principles from his ballet class to gain awareness of mobilizing your whole body from your toes, through your spine to your finger tips.”

— Jin Kang

“I welcomed Finis’s new class, Age-Defying Therapeutic Stretches at Alvin Ailey Extension, as a great way to keep flexibility and easiness of movement in my body and laugh in the face of time. I was also looking for new and safe ways to stretch to add to what I already know from Finis. The class did not disappoint! Finis created a very pleasant and restful atmosphere playing inspiringly meditative music to support the carefully choreographed movements for loosening up the body. He insisted on stretching parts of the body we routinely mistreat day in and day out: the neck, the shoulders and fingers. For example, I loved how we stretched the fingers pushing out the air, lengthening and separating each finger, as we opened our hands. Using the computer, a lot every day, our fingers are quite curled up most of the time, therefore, making the opposite movement allowed for increasing flexibility. We kept on swaying our bodies, creating circles with waist and arms and hitting all the tricky spots in the back, those that hurt. When we sat on the chairs, we all became swans creating beautiful movements with our arms. I was immediately reminded of the famous Swan Lake ballet. Actually, the class has an elegance and ease in each movement, typical of all Finis Jhung classes. And to top everything else, Finis demonstrated and did the full class with us. What a delightful experience at the end of a workday! I recommend you try it, too.”

— Ileana Ray

“These easy and unique exercises immediately helped me achieve greater side stretch and openness at the barre. They really lengthened the area at the front of my hips and I noticed the difference in my alignment and in my arabesque in the very first class afterward. Thank you Finis!”

— Amy M. Shapiro

“Finis is a master of dance movement, and with his new stretch class he’s developed stretches that are simple movements, rather than poses. The movement lets the muscles release gently and gradually, instead of forcing them to hold a pose, which can be stressful. I felt terrific after the class.”

— Donna Knipp

Praise for Beginner Ballet

“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

“I came ‘late’ to ballet because I was busy traveling the world and working.
When I finally settled down in New York, I started ballet with Finis Jhung. Finis teaches the importance of using the right muscles of the body, so that injuries like knee problems or back pain will not occur. Each time, after his training, I feel every muscle in my body but in a very good way. It feels just right, nothing hurts, my body is relaxed and his techniques add to the quality of my life.

“Then I go home with a smile on my face, filled with joy and light in my soul, still hearing the sound of Finis’ voice and his words and the music – and I know that ballet has become my great love.”

— Marie Edwards,
Ailey Extension Student

“Finis’ absolute beginner ballet class is an escape, a time when I can totally focus on me. For 90 minutes I do not think about children or bills or the last faculty meeting. Instead, my focus is on the strength of my plié, whether I am utilizing my entire foot as I brush into a dégagé and whether I am balancing in ‘number one.’ The classical music aids in this escape allowing me to ‘be a dancer’ for 90 minutes. Finis reminds us that we are who we are at this stage in our lives and we need to accept that. That notwithstanding, anyone can learn proper technique and his teaching style insures that we understand and practice just that. An avid lover of dance all my life, the days of taking dance class 3-4 times a week in my 20’s took a back seat to the responsibilities of life. Now in my 50’s, through Finis’s class I can participate actively in dance once again rather than simply being an observer. The art of dance is powerful and at a minimum, mood altering, and, at the other extreme, it can be life changing!”

—Debra Kennedy,
Ailey Extension Student

“Ballet master teacher Finis Jhung takes his adult students seriously. He imbues his classes with his personal and professional style of disciplined commitment, exacting clarity and pristine elegance.

“For several years now, I have been looking forward each week to stepping inside his studio for Finis’s inspiring class. 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. These qualities are watchwords for my life: to sustain my health, fill my heart, and serve my sense of purpose.

”Each day, I turn to Finis’s principles of ballet movement—from the studio to the sidewalk, from the street to the subway—stepping from inside, out.”

—Susan L.
Ailey Extension Student