Pirouette Class 2

From $17.99

The Fundamental Elements of the En Dehors Turn.
Taught by Finis Jhung.

Levels 2 & Up. All Regions DVD. 50 minutes. 12 exercises.

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Description

Here are twelve new lessons which break down the fundamental elements of the pirouette en dehors from fourth position. Instructions about correct muscle usage and the mechanics of movement have been minutely detailed in bite-sized, digestible 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 minute segments. As you study each lesson you will discover what you’re not doing and how to correct and perfect your preparatory moves. Learn to work your body parts correctly and in the proper sequence so you can get on your leg and turn. This video forges ahead with several new strength-building exercises and explicit “how to” instructions not previously shown on other turning videos. Remember, if we can go to the moon and back, you can turn around twice on the floor.

Additional information

Weight .125 lbs
Dimensions N/A

I am an adult absolute beginner who have studied with the Finis Jhung ballet technique DVDs for over a year now: I have been slowly working through red series (introductory lessons in technique and strength for absolute beginners), yellow series (lessons in basic ballet skills), and purple series (individual applications). Working with these DVDs enabled me to understand and progress faster in my regular weekly group class. I am very excited to have finally reached the blue series, devoted to Pirouettes: it seems that for us, adult people with no prior ballet experience, getting to do a pirouette is something of a rite of passage and a source of much excitement.

“Before my review, a clarification: Finis has three DVDs dedicated to Pirouette Classes 1, 2 and 3. The correct order in which they should be viewed for learning, however, is: 2, then 1, then 3. Pirouette class 2 breaks down the pirouette into its fundamental elements—which then could be practiced en dehors (Pirouette Class 1) and en dedans (Pirouette Class 3).

“

Now, the DVD itself: it delivers what it promises—and then some! First, Finis indeed breaks down the pirouette into the most fundamental elements: he methodically goes from the position of the head, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet—and on each of these levels, he discusses the specific role that each of these ‘places’ play in the composition of the movement. Not the least, Finis speaks about the role of breath in turning: just try to pirouette on inhale, and then on exhale – to see the tremendous difference it makes in the quality of the move!

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Second, Finis stops to explain what specifically needs to be done when something goes wrong: e.g., he points out the specific muscle groups that need to be engaged to reduce the wobbling of feet during spotting, or placement of the knee and shoulder that addresses the problem of falling to the side, the need to go “down-down-down” to reduce falling backwards. This advice is simply invaluable! (My personal aha-moment happened when, following Finis’ recommendation, I ‘detached’ the movement of my head and arm from that of my shoulder: not only did I go around all the way, without falling over, but the resulting pirouette was much quieter and more stable.)

“Third, Finis employs very creative teaching technique: shuffling around to learn snapping of the head, or using promenade position as a preparatory rehearsing movement for pirouetting, is just brilliant. So simple, yet, so effective!

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In sum, Finis dissects and puts back together the pirouette, but in the process, the whole thing comes alive anew. I personally feel this is the teaching I needed to understand this complex movement. There is simply not enough time in the ordinary ballet class (especially on the group level) to have such an in-depth treatment. My hat also goes to Sachiko Kanai: just watch her doing those pull-ups and push-ups without losing the classical ballerina’s poise!

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I have made several mental notes for practicing this pirouette DVD in the future:

  • The foot work is very demanding, so a good warm up (at least some plies and tendus) is strongly recommended
  • Sachiko Kanai is a much stronger dancer than I am. So, so I will have to stay with the first six lessons (that deal with correct placement, body alignment, and not the least sheer muscular strength in the feet and deep hip muscles), for a while before I can progress any further
  • Since I don’t have Finis to watch and correct me, and I cannot see myself in the mirror at all times, I am going to ask my husband to videotape my pirouettes: then I can watch myself and make adjustments, in light of what I am learning from this DVD.

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I end my review with the response to the question that I was asked by a fellow beginner ballet dancer just a few days ago. She asked me if I lost my marbles spending $40 on a pirouette DVD, when I could just google ‘how to pirouette’ to get hundreds of videos on the subject. Well, she is right in a way: Finis’s DVDs are expensive even in the world of ballet recordings, and there are indeed countless free you-tube offerings.

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Yet, I am convinced that I have done the right thing. The blessing and the curse of the Internet is the lack of gate-keepers. In the world of social media, everyone is an expert—whether or not they have a long-term basis (and not just a couple of years) of doing something. Among people who teach beginner adult students, Finis has some of the highest credentials, not only in doing ballet himself (over 9 years of professional career), but also in teaching it (44 years)! The hallmark of his teaching is the systematic building up of strength, balance, and skill—not just a few disjointed ‘tips.’

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Ballet is a very exacting art: not doing things correctly means not only that you won’t progress well, but also that you make yourself more vulnerable before injury. I started ballet training at the age of 40: I know I will never become a professional dancer, but I want to dance as well—and as long—as I can. So, I choose to study with Finis, the man who knew how to prepare 10-year old boys for Billy Elliot performance that culminates in 16 (!) non-stop pirouettes.”

—Natalya A.S. on Amazon

“This is a revolutionary DVD which will teach you how to pirouette. I have tried several other pirouette lessons on YouTube and DVD but none have helped me as much as the Finis Jhung did in this DVD.

“Essential concepts are coined in impactful phrases that stick with the students: for example, ‘Always stand in number 1’, ‘Go up because you push down’, ‘Go to the end of the plie’. This deep understanding of movement in all its components is unique to Finis Jhung.

“Addressed to the beginner student—of any age—this DVD contains 12 short lessons that will result in at least one pirouette, maybe even a double—based on ability and experience.

“What distinguishes Finis’s approach to teaching the pirouette is that he takes you from apparently not-directly related movements and concepts to the actual turn. Finis asks you to internalize and practice with these essential concepts so that muscle memory, strength and balance are mastered first, before attempting to turn. Once there, the student will be equipped with all the knowledge and skills needed to pirouette successfully.

“The lessons are short and have a clear focus and progress logically and beautifully in complexity. The student can practice each lesson in any order or connect the movements in separate lessons together as they practice. In Lessons 1 through 6 Finis describes the fundamental elements of the pirouette en dehors and Sachiko Kanai—who demonstrates in several other Finis Jhung DVDs—shows us how to do it correctly. Finis coaches her on how to perfect the movements in order to obtain that perfect balance. Sachiko applies the concepts and towards the end of the DVD, she does double pirouettes. Finis leaves us with a smile of satisfaction and the words: ‘If we can go to the moon and back, we can all learn how to do a double pirouette.’

I highly recommend this DVD to adult beginner students, aspiring dancers who need to get a clean pirouette and correct bad habits, or teachers in search of successful methods of teaching. Brilliant resource!

—Ileana Ray, Brooklyn, NY

“I have been training with your videos now for a year and a half—six days (sometimes seven) each week. Because of your training and techniques, I have been able to improve my own technique. At age 46, I have become a better dancer and teacher. I apply your techniques in all my classes, whether they be ballet, jazz, tap, or hip-hop. After all, a turn is a turn, no matter the dance idiom. My classes run a little slower than they used to, but I prefer quality rather than quantity and my students seem to really enjoy the process and are learning the proper way to do things. Most importantly, they are understanding the reason why they do what they do. I want my students to dance ‘clean’ and don’t just ‘shake it and fake it.’ You are my hero and I want to be the teacher you are! I have gone through almost all your DVDs and have now begun learning from your pointe package. I can’t wait!”

— Sharise Parvise, Studio Sharise, San Jose, CA

“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

“Watching the ‘Pirouette Class 2’ streaming video made me feel like you are kindly dissecting how a pirouette turn is constructed in 1,000 different pieces and showing us a step-by-step process of generating this movement. Your explanation is not only very thorough but also highly logical and makes sense. I feel I FINALLY understood all the mysteries behind how to make a clean pirouette turn after almost two years of practice. Your stressing the fact that spotting is actually not seeing but snapping your head quickly gave me an ‘aha’ moment. Nobody was able to explain this to me but now I exactly know when I should turn (‘snap’) my head when doing a pirouette–and let the head always last to move and the first to arrive. Very excited, I attempted a pirouette immediately after watching your video and the result was an effortless clean single turn. I just could not believe how simple and easy that was. My pirouette-complex dissipated at that moment. I am no longer afraid of pirouettes.”

— MYL, Kaneohe HI

“I have only been dancing for 3 years (I am nearly 65) and the detail with which you explain things, your calm delivery, humor, and the focus on different body parts (and where they should be) is really helpful. I also appreciate being able to do things very slowly. I think this is making me stronger, but I also get a chance to concentrate on different muscles so I know what I am supposed to be doing! Thank you!”

— Joan Sawyer, Brookline, MA

“I absolutely love this DVD. It is so helpful, and already my pirouettes have greatly improved. It came just in time, since I have a performance with our group coming up in three weeks and I was struggling with pirouettes.Thanks for your great instruction!”

— Tamara Wade, Pahoa, HI

“Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing in promoting healthy execution without sacrificing artistry in dance. I have a small private practice devoted almost exclusively to the adolescent dancer. Not having been a dancer myself (my daughter’s overuse injury while rising en pointe 8 years ago stimulated my interest in working with the dancer) I am always looking at ways to enrich my knowledge of how dance is taught and executed so that I might integrate that knowledge into rehabilitation programs that will most safely return my patients to dance and/or to help those who are seeking my guidance to prepare for pointe work, etc. do so with the best advice. Last month I came upon your website for the first time. Seeing how rich and inclusive it is, I don’t know how it evaded me for so long! I was struck by the fact that many of the ways I had come to understand movement in dance using my background of physics and kinesiology was exactly what you use in your DVDs. The greatest surprise came when I was ordering several of your DVDs. I often have used the image of an old school top with my dancers (often having to describe how they worked as they are not commonly used by children today). I felt very validated when I received your DVD and low and behold there you were holding a top in your hand! Thank you again for the beautiful manner in which you offer your skill and artistry!”

— Maribeth Crupi, PT, Wilmington, MA

“Your teaching is magical, the corrections extremely helpful… as the owner of a small dance studio (teaching classical ballet + pointe, childrens dance, jazz and modern dance) I can only thank you from my heart for everything you have already done for my students and me! At the age of 38 and after 25 years of dancing I have discovered my body all over again —my posture, my back—with the help of your DVDs! A “simple” plié has new meaning to me now, as well as the preparations for turns. As a matter of fact, I have never turned better in my life!!! And I enjoy all these new discoveries immensely! I appreciate very much the opportunity to download your teaching units directly to my macbook, too! I live in Austria/Europe and this new method saves me a lot of shipping costs (and waiting time. I would download many more teaching units when available!”

— Gerlinde Langer, Wimpassing, Austria

“This is really wonderful, thank you! The push up/pull up concept was a revelation. Nose over toes, the push up concept, making the S, are now all things that immediately pop into mind when I work on the pirouette. I also practice the spotting exercise every day. I learn so much from you, thank you so much! I’m looking forward to more downloads!”

— Lorry M. Trujillo Perez

“I have appreciated your mini videos very much. I applaud the new downloadable format as it makes the purchase easier and more cost-efficient. It’s really handy. It also eliminates the waiting time for the video to ship across the oceans to where I live! Each short video clip provides crucial information on how to build up the basic technique before executing a pirouette properly. Because the clips are individual MP3 files, the format lends itself to individual viewing. When I watch each clip separately, as opposed to running through an entire program on a DVD, I tend to be able to focus more on the details, really understanding the concepts and then going on to practice the exercises repeatedly.”

— Loo Wah Hansen, Hong Kong

“I remember stumbling upon an article you had written and thinking, ‘My God, what a relief!’ So much teaching is passed down from person to person and no one ever asks why it is this way or that, or why a lot of old teaching is completely useless! We just continue on thinking that we just aren’t good enough. But not with the lessons you give! They help us move the way God actually made us to move within the art and athleticism of ballet. The two are only separated by stubborn ignorance. I want to pass on to my students the common sense things that I am absorbing from you. What a blessing.”

— Gerisa Thompson, Burton School of Dance, Weslaco, Texas

“The new video downloads are helpful in a number of ways. Although I downloaded all of the videos more or less at the same time, I could have easily chosen one at a time e.g. one a week for twelve weeks which is kind of like having a private dancing lesson each week for three months and anyone who is serious about dance would consider that a bonus. Each episode provides valuable information for dancing better and in some way, links in to all of the DVD’s while at the same time placing the content of these DVD’s in a new light. The podcast format makes it easier to stop and start the lessons on the computer and have them for viewing on a phone, making them more accessible when practicing in some situations. To be able to participate in dance lessons in such a way is a great resource for anyone and to be taught by someone who has such a keen eye for technique and aesthetics is both an asset and an essential value. All in all, the downloads are a resource that I personally hope continue to be produced. They have kept me dancing well for the past weeks and I have no reason to doubt that will continue”

— Judith Chestnut, Dance NSW, Australia

”Ok, I worked through the lessons over the weekend – Fabulous! These lessons really connect the dots! A few months ago, I decided my pirouettes were in need of an overhaul, so i bought all the DVD’s that dealt with turning. I learned new and… fascinating things, my confidence and my pirouettes improved very much… but, they still were not completely stable and consistent. These lessons really seem to fill in the blanks. I never put together the idea before of getting the shoulder over the toe for turns as is explained in lesson 5. I almost feel stupid to have not considered that before. It’s also great the twist on the spotting exercise in lesson 6, of practicing the coordination of closing the arms with the head movement. Working through the lessons, all was going well when turning to the left… but I kept falling over when turning to the right… then I came upon lesson 10 (I think it was) -with the exercise for s-movement of the arm – this concept was covered before – but had never really jelled for me. But having that detail isolated and focused into a single lesson to practice and concentrate on, really made the difference and made me conscious of what I was doing wrong. Within a minute I went from whipping the left arm around – to a smooth controlled pirouette… and I had been gearing myself up for frustration about why I kept falling over on that side – so I’m all smiles now and even more confident , yup, it’s gonna work. Thank you, Finis – Bravo!”

— Kashika Kristin Lagrutta Boulanger, Oldenburg, Germany

“These are very precious concentrated lessons in body awareness in addition to clarifying the steps to achieving ballet’s most illusive movement. It’s like taking Finis Jhung’s class in slow motion – they reinforce in wonderful 4-minute bursts all the wisdom that he disseminates over longer formats.”

— Giannella M. Garrett, New York, NY

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