The Boy Ballet Dancer

From $17.99

Building Powerful Turns & Jumps.
Taught by Finis Jhung.

All Levels. All Regions DVD. 103 minutes. 21 center exercises.

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Description

Based on his experience as the Trainer at Billy Camp and ballet teacher for the boys who played Billy Elliot on Broadway and on tour, Finis Jhung knows that today’s boy ballet dancer needs updated training—he must go beyond positions and poses and learn the mechanics of movement so that he can quickly nail those all-important turns and jumps. In this new video, 11-year-old Joseph Harrington—newly-cast as Billy Elliot—warms up standing alone in center floor so he can check his placement and form in the mirror. He then demonstrates the essential exercises which emphasize the spring action of the plié for powerful jumps, turns and combinations. Finis explains the exercise, Joseph demonstrates, Finis analyzes and Joseph repeats. At the end, Joseph performs jumps and turns that will make you stand and cheer as audiences do at Billy Elliot: The Musical. The CD music is by Scott Killian.

Additional information

Weight .125 lbs
Dimensions N/A

“It is a happy thing that more and more schools have classes for boys—and that they are taught by men. Back in the day, the few which did exist were principally for the more advanced students. But for boys? Then came the fall of the Iron Curtain and the influx of amazing male dancers. (Baryshnikov!) The impact upon the boy ballet dancers among us cannot be exaggerated. Finis Jhung’s DVD, The Boy Ballet Dancer would have been a serious help for someone such as myself who had little idea as to what to do with the occasional boy in my all-girl classes—outside of giving them extra turns at the end of a jumping diagonal, that is! As with much of what Finis Jhung teaches, his insights are not only never dated but also they can act as ‘aha’ moments to the least experienced teacher as well as important reinforcements to the experienced. And there can be surprises for both! For instance, Finis Jhung begins his class for boys not on the barre but by jogging! ‘What?’ I said to myself out loud. Let me assure you that it is not a jog in the park but a ‘ballet jog!’ The DVD includes basic principles of movement, turning and jumping. I especially like the use of a bow and arrow—the arrow has a suction cup at its tip. The trajectory of a grand jete. Visible. Unmistakable and fun! A wonderful DVD! Make your boys into Billy Elliots.

—Marie Paquet-Nesson

“If you have never viewed a Finis Jhung DVD you are missing some wonderful perspectives on ballet placement, energy and artistry. This is a great DVD which is not for the beginner. Another reason why I like this DVD is that it has the option to watch the entire class and listen to instruction or just do the class without instruction (he has other DVDs with this same format) which can save you time if you are well versed in the exercises and corrections. It does not require a barre but does require a floor surface which you can turn on and adequate space for turning. I can do it in my living room. It is awesome that there are now more DVDs for the intermediate dancers.”

— Silly Sally, Amazon customer

“I started using this DVD for my ballet. I learned other moves which helps using this DVD. I am happy with it.

— Curly Q Link, Amazon customer

Well done. Greatly emphasized the importance of posture and positioning.”

— Amazon customer

“This video is a warm and conversational approach to building the strength and technique necessary to be an excellent male dancer. Nothing is omitted. Jhung teaches not only what the body should be doing and why, but also what the dancer should be thinking. “Feel the light on your chest, ears up and back, keep the energy turning and working out, balance with your entire body,” he encourages throughout. Eleven year old Joseph Harringon, newly cast as Billy Elliot, has been studying with Jhung for a year now and carries each exercise out with grace, ability and joy. A cherubic, long-legged young man, he listens attentively to Jhung’s every word. As the exercises become more challenging, Jhung analyzes and corrects, then Joseph repeats. They work without a barre so Joseph may better understand what the muscles are doing and where the weight is, directly in front of the camera as if it were the mirror. For the detailed tendu footwork required to build strong feet, the camera moves in close.

“While this DVD is targeted to the boy ballet dancer, it can be a valuable tool for girls and adult ballet students and teachers. Jhung uses helpful props, such as a cord hanging down like a fishing line to demonstrate the importance of the supporting side, a spinning top to illustrate how the body must stretch up, twist and push down to turn, and a rubber bow and arrow that shows the trajectory (the cow jumped over the moon) and landing for leaps. “Jumping is emotional”, affirms Jhung, “It’s explosive, while turning is rational—two very different feelings that can be in the same dance and music.” At the end of the exercises Jhung interviews Joseph and the viewer gains further insight about the focus and commitment required to be a serious dancer. Jhung compliments him on his consistency, openness to learning and continued improvement. The mutual respect and admiration between teacher and student is a lesson unto itself.”

— Giannella M. Garrett, New York City, NY

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