The Finis Jhung Blog

Why I Made the New Foot Strength Videos

Vernard Gilmore of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Ballet is about balance. Every movement in dance – from the simplest motion to the most complicated center floor combination – requires a solid foundation and concentrated energy. Achieving this centeredness can bring about greater discipline and understanding in all aspects of life.

During my career as a professional dancer, I was proud to be a part of talented companies that could make the grace and beauty of ballet seem effortless. As an instructor, I often tell my adult beginners that even these masterful and soaring performances started from the ground up – with a focus on footwork.

When working with my students, one of my biggest on-going challenges is finding better ways to teach these students how to demi-plié and relevé so that they will balance, turn, and jump with strength and control.

Students should work with the understanding that almost every movement we make in ballet consists of a plié and a relevé – a rising to a balance on the half-toe. Simply put, we go down to go up. Therefore, learning to plié-relevé correctly is of the utmost importance.

Even students with previous training make the same mistake as absolute beginners in that they think “pose” instead of “action.” They begin by bending the knees and then sink down into a PASSIVE pose with legs and feet relaxed. This does not strengthen the feet or legs, nor does it prepare them to spring up quickly into a balance, turn, or jump.

That is precisely why I teach the ACTIVE almost-isometric demi-plié – initiated by the toes gripping the floor and pulling the legs into a minimal plié. The muscles of the foot and ankle are actively engaged, which prepares the foot to spring up on the half-toe.

Coming out of the preparatory plié is achieved by reversing the action: the foot is relaxed, the toes are spread, and you push down until you rise on half-toe with legs straight and the weight of your body reaching the tips of the toes.

Learning to think with your feet and have your feet activate your legs is not taught in the traditional ballet class. Once students have tried making the demi-plié from their toes to their toes, they say they can feel the difference and find they have much better balance and control.

The benefits of doing supplementary exercises outside the ballet class that will strengthen your foot and ankle goes cannot be underestimated. A little practice each day at home will strengthen your  feet and ankles, improve your balance, and lessen the chances of falling and twisting or spraining your ankle or knee. For this reason, I am introducing new “single-exercise” streaming videos that can be viewed anywhere, anytime, provided there is internet and a viewing device.

Learning to think with your feet and have your feet activate your legs is not taught in the traditional ballet class. Once students have tried making the demi-plié from their toes to their toes, they say they can feel the difference and find they have much better balance and control.

These relatively short single-subject videos have three sections: first I show and describe the exercise; next, with the demonstrator, I break down the exercise to its essentials, especially detailing the muscular control and sequence of movement through the body parts; and then it is demonstrated to music by the dancer with me standing by coaching.

The first series of three videos is titled FOOT STRENGTH and is demonstrated by Vernard Gilmore of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. I am so happy that Vernard was available to do this video. It was such a wonderful experience to come full circle with a former student who is today a greatly admired artist and human being.

Celebrating Love on Valentine’s Day

Over centuries, Valentine’s Day has become a celebration of love. I am blessed that my first love – ballet – has spanned decades and oceans and burns as bright as the moment I was first smitten. In assembling photos and thoughts for my forthcoming memoir, I was reminded of some of the many ways that my love of dance has been renewed.

In 1982, for example, I fell in love with the idea of having my own company, Chamber Ballet USA, despite the dire warnings from friends of taking on financial and artistic stress. But love makes us do crazy things. I went ahead like a maniac, spending $50,000 of my own money borrowing another $50,000 from the bank (roughly $240,000 in today’s dollars), and risking the stability of both my home and studio. Little did I know that the decision would also have me playing cupid.

Chamber Ballet was a small company, made up of only 8 dancers. This intimacy not only brought the dancers closer to the audience, it also brought the dancers closer to each other. Out of these 8 dancers, two couples emerged.

In 1983 Chris Redpath (my first NYCB dancer in 1974) met Bill Soleau as dancers in CBUSA. They were married in 1994. Chris continues to be a ballet master at The New York City Ballet (specializing in ballets choreographed by Jerome Robbins). Bill has created over 80 ballets on companies around the world, just premiered his Midsummer Night’s Dream with The Richmond Ballet, and presently is in Santa Barbara putting his Gershwin ballet onstage.

In 1985, Martha Purl and Jeff Satinoff met as as dancers in CBUSA, were married and today their son Dennis is working in the film industry in California. Jeff has made over 40 ballet on companies around the US including two that he directed, and developed the Dreyfoos dance program. Martha danced in his companies and is Dean of the Bak Middle School of the Arts Dance Program. They have students working everywhere today.

As one of our critics wrote, “Chamber Ballet has small cast, big future.”

These lasting romances probably weren’t what the critic had in mind, but they are part of Chamber Ballet’s proud legacy.

I say “Love conquers all.”

 

 

Dealing with Winter Doldrums

 

Winter weather has a way of making you wish you could stay in bed all day. Toes retreat under covers on bitterly cold mornings, while snooze buttons enjoy vigorous workouts. On days like this, it can feel like just making it from a cozy slumber to the kitchen to start the day is quite an accomplishment. The good news is that if you’ve made it that far, you could be well on your way to a productive and fulfilling day!

There are a few things that I do in the kitchen to prepare myself mentally and physically so I can power through the day without experiencing periods of low energy – especially during the winter doldrums. I realize that you are probably not thinking of grace, balance or strength. More likely, you are thinking COFFEE! This is the perfect time to get your body moving.

Instructor Finis Jhung at The Ailey Extension, part of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. New York, NY 5/6/2013 photo by Joe Epstein/JoeEpsteinPhotography.com

The morning coffee kitchen sink stretch: While you are waiting for your coffee or tea to brew, stand in front of the kitchen sink – about an arm’s length away from it, with both feet parallel. Get a good grip on the edge of the sink and pull away from it, sticking out your bottom so that you lean forward with your body parallel to the floor. Stretch your shoulders, back, and hamstrings. Keep pulling on the sink and grip the floor with your feet. Contract the abdominals, tuck under, and tilt your pelvis forward. Continue pulling away from the sink as you bring your pelvis forward and up, which will bring your knees over your toes as you slowly push down and stand straight.

Now bend your elbows and lean forward on the sink. Keep your legs, back, and neck absolutely straight. Feel the stretch in your calves and ankles. Keep leaning forward and slowly arch your back so you stretch the front of your body from your hips to your neck. Recover your upright position and enjoy standing tall. Repeat several times.

NOTE: I love Starbucks Ground Coffee Dark Sumatra with Soymilk and Agave syrup.

All that stretching made you hungry? Don’t go for that donut. Vitality comes from a blend of activity and nutrition. Why not enjoy –

Oatmeal standing at the window. I get energized watching how pedestrians walk on their way to school or work. I stand while I eat, making slow relaxed demi-pliés in parallel first to stretch my calves and ankles. Still eating (slowly) I stand on one foot at a time in a relaxed fondu, which works strength and balance at the same time.

NOTE: I like Trader Joe’s Gluten Free and Wheat Free Rolled Oats with frozen blueberries, butter, soy milk, and honey.

With my kitchen routine complete, I’m ready to go to my desk, check my e-mail, send birthday greetings to Facebook friends, catch up on business matters, work on my new video series, or assemble photos for my forthcoming memoir – whatever the day demands. And it all starts with a simple stretch outside of the comfort of my warm cozy bed.

Self-Massage. Throughout the day, I do various stretches (sitting and lying down on the floor, at the kitchen sink again) and use my self-massage tools (the air-filled ball, Palm Urchin, Thera-Cane, and the door bar) as needed. This keeps me limber and focused as I go about my day.

The Unfinished Dance awaits . . .

KEEP MOVING FORWARD

Today we remember one of America’s greatest heroes, Martin Luther King Jr. This wise and courageous leader left us with many inspiring thoughts. One of them is my daily mantra:

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

When I first started teaching 44 years ago, I mainly taught professionals who were skilled dancers that required barre exercises that developed slowly in complexity and speed, and center combinations that were choreographed like short dances. The classes always ended at performance level with dancers flying and turning across the floor with dazzling speed and expertise.

Today, I no longer teach advanced professionals. Instead, at The Ailey Extension (and around the world with my streaming videos and DVDs) my focus is on teaching amateur adult beginners.

Because most of these adults are non-dancing professionals (doctors, lawyers, administrators, office workers) moving forward for them happens slowly. But steadily.

With My Adult Babies at Ailey Extension

My personal challenge each day is to continue moving forward by thinking backwards – distilling ballet technique to its most simple and learnable elements so that regardless of a person’s age, anatomy, background, or aptitude, it is possible to learn how to stand and move with balance, strength, and grace.

As I watch my “adult babies” learn each exercise with childlike wonder and practice each exercise with rapt concentration, they reaffirm my deep belief that the art of ballet teaches one not only how to dance, but, more importantly, how to continue moving forward in the journey that is life.

LONG LIVE ALVIN AILEY!

 

Today we celebrate the birthday of Alvin Ailey, founder of the world renowned company and burgeoning school that bear his name, and choreographer of masterpieces such as Revelations, Blues Suite, and Masakela Language.

I first met Alvin in the summer of 1962 at Watch Hill, Rhode Island. I had just joined the Joffrey Ballet, and Alvin had been commissioned to create a new work for our company in preparation for our unofficial New York debut at the Fashion Institute of Technology to be followed by a 15-week tour of the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Alvin titled his new work Feast of Ashes. The dance drama was based on Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba with music by Carlos Surinach. I was cast as one of the villagers, and especially enjoyed being evil and nasty in the men’s dance with hand-clapping and slashing footwork. We sprayed our hair out of shape, added stubble to our faces, and walked onstage backwards while smoking cigarettes before whipping through our stormy dance and tormenting the fragile heroine.

Finis, Karina Rieger, Dennis Wayne & Marlene Rizzo in Feast of Ashes

While choreographing Feast, we were able to see Alvin and his company perform at a nearby college.  When I saw Alvin dance, I was mesmerized and in awe—I had never before seen a male dancer move the way Alvin did—he was like moving sculpture, bending and twisting his body in all directions and working his feet and legs at different speeds with superb control and balance. He exemplified what he later described as his preference for a dancer: “a ballet bottom”—deftly articulated legs and feet—combined with “a modern top”—a dramatically expressive upper torso. No wonder I loved watching him and his dancers move!

Carmen de Lavallade and Alvin Ailey at the Jacob’s Pillow
Credit John Lindquist/Harvard Theater Collection

I was in three of the short-lived ballets Alvin choreographed for The Harkness Ballet. In Ariadne, I was a centurion waving a banner while I jumped and turned; in Macumba, I pranced in pointe shoes while brandishing a parasol; and in Yemanja I was a river god having trouble performing devilishly difficult turns in second on a raked stage.

Marjorie Tallchief, Richard Wagner, Helgi Tomasson & Finis in Ariadne Photo by Mark B. Anstendig

So many of us owe so much to Alvin Ailey. When I first worked with him in 1962, I never dreamed that that 55 years later we would make a full circle and that I would be having the time of my life teaching ballet classes to adult beginners in his Ailey Extension.

Finis in Ariadne

The legacy of Alvin Ailey is magnificent! The multi-racial Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is considered the “Cultural Ambassador to the World” and has performed before more than 20 million people, and enriched the lives of countless others through numerous television broadcasts. The second company, Ailey II, tours extensively and garners rave reviews; the hugely successful Ailey School offers world-class dance training to students ages 2-25 and offers a BFA degree in partnership with Fordham University; the Ailey Extension offers multi-discipline classes to students of all ages and interests. And, to accommodate all this activity, four studios are being added to the existing facility and will open later this year. Long live Alvin Ailey!

Burning Your Bridges As You Move To The Future

It’s that time of the year again – out with the old, in with the new. Now, I’m not suggesting everyone will want to do what I did, when I discovered that burning your bridges to the past can open doors you never knew existed.

In 1968, I was a principal dancer with The Harkness Ballet in Monte Carlo. My childhood dreams had been fulfilled—I only wore white tights and danced classical roles. I was also I a devout Buddhist (having converted 20 Company members), and, one day, had a realization: “I can’t be lying here at the swimming pool in Monte Carlo doing nothing”—while the world is in tumult following the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy; Vietnam; hippies; LSD; women’s lib; racism; and college protests.

In January 1969, The Harkness Ballet performed in New York. Shortly after the season, I told Larry Rhodes, who was the director, that I had decided to stop dancing so that I could devote my life to achieving world peace through Buddhism. I had no idea what I was going to do for a living.

1969 – Final Bow with Harkness

After sitting in a hot tub and crying my heart out over what I then thought was the greatest mistake I had ever made, I pulled myself together and found a 9 to 5 job working in an office as secretary to a private investor. My evenings and weekends were now free to roam the streets looking for people to invite to our Buddhist conversion meetings.

For three years, every waking moment was happily devoted to Buddhist activities.  And then, the owner closed his office and I was out of a job. I asked my Buddhist leader what I should do, and he said “Why don’t you teach ballet?”

I contacted Wilson Morelli who said he would love to have me teach at his studio in downtown Manhattan. I went to look at his class and was shocked. I could not remember what the steps were called! I was seeing ballet through the eyes of a stranger. I was in a mild panic. How could I hope to teach professionals when I couldn’t make sense of what they were doing?

I was in trouble—after I quit ballet, I zealously burned all the ballet memorabilia: books on technique, beautiful photo books, and films I had taken of Erik Bruhn onstage—the man who was one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century and had mentored me. I purposely destroyed all the reminders of my ballet past so that I could prove I was completely happy being a “nobody” without any special identity.

And now, in order to make a living, I was about to re-enter the ballet world. In desperation, I ran to the book store and bought all the ballet books available. My first class was attended by four students. Clearly, I had made a dreadful mistake—how would I survive making such little money? And teaching every exercise in 3/4 since I was too insecure to try anything else.

As we now know, I did survive—and thrive—and am now in my 44th year of teaching.

Teaching Adult Babies at Ailey Extension

Because I had burned my ballet bridges, I was free to create my own ballet technique, based on teaching  the way I wish I had always been taught – with sensible exercises that warmed you up slowly and thoroughly, built strength and artistry, and even more, with explanations on HOW and WHY we ballet dancers do what we do.

Through the years, I’ve graduated to teaching adult beginners in classes at The Ailey Extension in New York, written a Technique book, and sold over 54,000 instructional videos. Another book and more videos are on the way. 2017, here we come!

THE GREATEST GIFT I EVER RECEIVED

 

A One-Way Ticket Sent Me from Hawaii To Utah and Forward on a Path of Lifetime Learning

Everyone knows that there is no place like home for the holidays. The season brings hopes to nice and naughty children everywhere. For their parents, the chance to bring joy or put a smile on a child’s face is priceless – even if there is a little sticker shock. It is a time when the difference between luxury and necessity is blurred. Many work and sacrifice all year just to make the occasion more special for loved ones. Their generosity inspires kindness that is almost self-sustaining. That kind of impact can be felt over the course of a lifetime.

The most amazing gift I ever received began a journey of self-discovery that continues to this day. A one-way ticket from Hawaii to Utah changed my life forever and I owe it all to the devotion of my mother. I was only eight years-old when my parents divorced. It was 1945, and the war was over. My father left the islands. He also left his debt-ridden tailor shop at Hickam Air Force Base to my mother as our family’s only means of support.

With the war over, however, most of the servicemen left the base, as well – to return to civilian life on the mainland. With the departure of the troops, the business was a struggle. Mom had to rent the tailor shop, pay two seamstresses and raise three boys. Searching for houses we could afford to rent, we moved six times in the span of five years.

Each night my mother would come home with bundles of uniforms that needed alterations. After making dinner, she’d start ripping apart the seams of the uniforms so that the next day her workers would sew them together. Her ceaseless efforts and love for us three boys taught us to always do our best. Even at her busiest, she found time to encourage us to pursue our dreams – no matter where they would lead.

By 1954, I was 17 years old, and I still had my dream of wanting to be a professional ballet dancer. I had no idea whether I had the talent, but I knew I had to leave Hawaii to find out. It was not easy to leave behind everyone and everything I knew.

The Head of the Ballet Department at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City was Willam F. Christensen, famous for founding the San Francisco Ballet. I was accepted with a partial scholarship as well as a $160-scholarship from the Exchange Club. All great in theory, but there was one problem. We had no money at all. In fact, we hadn’t been able to pay the $14 registration for my senior year in high school.

Miraculously, to me, Mom somehow found the money to pay for my plane ticket to Salt Lake City and living expenses to start off. It was the gift of a lifetime, but not in the way I thought in that moment. That one-way ticket has never stopped giving, and has allowed me to give more of myself than I ever dreamed possible.

As a performer, I have been proud to share the artistry of ballet with generations of appreciative audiences. Since then, as a teacher, I have been blessed to impart the knowledge I have gained through a lifetime of collaboration with some of the greatest performers and teachers of our time. Going to Utah opened the door to my career in ballet that has never ended. Today, as a teacher to my adult babies at The Ailey Extension in New York and via my instructional videos – I connect with dance enthusiasts  around the world every single day.

I am forever grateful to my mother – who was born on Christmas day—and to my two older brothers – for believing in my dream even before I believed in myself. Every Christmas since, I think about mom and the greatest gift I ever received.

Who Are You Calling a Baby!?!

 

Cherryl L. Thomas, MD, MBA

 

Why Being Compared to an Infant is High Praise

I call my adult ballet students at The Ailey Extension my “adult babies” —not because they act like babies and throw tantrums like divas—but, on the contrary, because they come to class with the openness and purity of mind only a child can have. With a sense of wonder and a strong compulsion to learn, they show a limitless potential to improve class after class.

Among my adult babies are doctors, lawyers, bankers, business people and homemakers. Some have never ever been in a ballet studio, others are returning after a hiatus of several decades. They differ in anatomy, background, and aptitude.

However, they all have a common bond in that they are serious about learning ballet, which brings out the parent in me. I don’t insist they all force themselves into classical positions their bodies can’t handle, nor do I insist they do movements that are beyond their means.

jin%2c-%3f%3f-and-cherryl-arms-open

Instead, in slowly-paced exercises that are digestible and doable, I show my babies which muscles to use and when and how to use them. I am always on the look-out to make sure they are using their bodies correctly so that they get stronger as they get older. This is probably the key to why adult beginners seek out my classes and instructional videos: I teach the movement process. I want them to be educated ballet students who know how to work their bodies to their advantage.

For both old and new students, my ballet class provides a lifetime of firsts—standing with good posture like a dancer, feeling the strength of working from the core, shifting weight from one foot to the other in various positions—and, also, from out of the blue, having a completely new thought that solves personal and career problems.

Not all my students live in New York—many are spread across the USA, in Australia, South Africa, Dubai, and with our armed forces in Europe and the Pacific. They are my long-distance babies who are learning with my instructional DVDs, streaming videos, and working one-on-one via Skype.

My adult babies know they are on to something new—who would have thought studying ballet could make you feel younger in body and mind?

 

 

“THE NUTCRACKER” BALLET – A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Life Lessons Learned Performing the Timeless Holiday Classic

“THE NUTCRACKER” BALLET – A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN:

Life Lessons Learned Performing the Timeless Holiday Classic

It’s clear – the holidays are here! Amid the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, most important are those annual traditions that bring us all together – as families and as a culture. For me, nothing signifies the start of the season like the return of “The Nutcracker.”

Appreciation for this holiday classic spans generations and borders. In fact, for the next few weeks, versions will fill stages across the country – and the world. Joyfully, the performances will feature dancers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels. How many promising dance careers were launched in the warmth of a theater in December, as young sons and daughters were inspired by the artistry and athleticism on display?

Children are not alone in being captivated by the choreography in “The Nutcracker.” The music is familiar and irresistible —certainly a few parents would admit to trying to pull off a few steps when they thought nobody was looking. If you accidentally kicked over some furniture or tweaked a hamstring – don’t be discouraged. Every journey begins with a single step. However, it’s usually best not to start with the hardest one.

As a teacher of adult beginners, I encourage my new students to focus on the long-term benefits of dance, and not on “looking pretty.” Ballet will make you stronger, more graceful and improve your balance – in everything that you do. My own experiences in performing “The Nutcracker,” however, are proof that this success isn’t always overnight:

“It was Christmas in ’55 and all through the house, Finis was fuming, not even a mouse.” – I vividly recall sitting alone in the dark in the theater at The University of Utah, watching a dress rehearsal for the “Nutcracker” and feeling as lonely as could be. It was Christmas, and we just didn’t have the money to fly me to my Mom in Hawaii. Meanwhile, I wasn’t even ready to be a mouse in our production. And I felt just that small.

Still, I was determined to work harder to grow my ballet technique. Only three years later, I danced the “Snow Prince” plus the Spanish and Russian dances in our production. What great preparation for later in life, when I would be a father, teacher and student – all at once. My adult beginners, too, understand the complexities of balancing many roles with energy and passion. The versatility and perspective that adult beginners bring to dance can speed progress and understanding.

The biggest obstacle to achievement for the adult learner is sometimes vanity. I know this too, from experience. In 1960 I performed the Russian ribbon dance in “The Nutcracker” with Michael Smuin of the San Francisco Ballet. Trying to keep up with Michael, the best jumper and turner in the company— doing double air turns across the stage while holding beribboned batons with both hands high above my head—had me bouncing all over the vast opera house stage. Repetition and practice – my usual solution – failed to correct the issue and left my confidence shaken.

My mental block was cured only when I realized that I was focused on trying to look text-book perfect (forcing my turnout and pulling up so much I looked like I was dancing on egg shells), instead of using my body as it was built and the correct body mechanics I had learned from Bill Christensen at the U of Utah. I was working outside of my own body!

It took several years to overcome the mental block of falling all over the stage, but by 1965 I had regained my technique. While dancing with the Harkness Ballet of New York in Cannes, I successfully performed sixty-four double air turns over the course of a single weekend. Four performances, without a hitch – occasion enough for the director to give me a bottle of champagne to celebrate as he thought I had set a new record for double air turns.

I offer this advice – learned by performing in the Nutcracker – to both students and teachers this holiday season:

  1. Take the time to celebrate your own personal and professional accomplishments
  2. Fearlessly pursue new challenges, especially those that promise to bring strength and balance to your life
  3. See “The Nutcracker” ballet! The music is glorious and the story is timeless. I promise you will be truly inspired

RISING ABOVE – OVERCOMING SETBACKS ON YOUR UPWARD TRAJECTORY

RISING ABOVE – OVERCOMING SETBACKS ON YOUR UPWARD TRAJECTORY

A life devoted to ballet offers many chances to be graceful – just not always in the ways you might imagine

 

My spirits should have been soaring. It was 1965 and The Harkness Ballet of New York was making its official debut in Cannes, France. I was a soloist in a company of 40 dancers, fulfilling my humble dreams as a small child in WWII Hawaii. Even so, I was not a happy camper. Of the 18 works in our repertory, only three were classical – my passion and forte. Worse still, I never got to dance them onstage.

Much of ballet is centered on strength and grace. I found it hard to exhibit either limited to supporting roles as “exotic” characters. In fact, it was hard for me to take ballet seriously at a time when much of my time on stage was spent on the floor wearing knee pads rather than soaring through the air. It was particularly difficult to exhibit grace as the better parts went to other dancers. While I had great respect for their abilities, I felt with proper rehearsing I could do as well as they.

Luckily for me, our guest star was the great Danish dancer Erik Bruhn. He was the recognized “King of Ballet”— a living legend with phenomenal technique and extraordinary grace and beauty. He helped me to understand that what separated the elite performers from the merely remarkable was not ability, but approach. Great stars always work overtime. Erik took me under his wing and became a mentor – let me sit in his dressing room while he made up his god-like face (and hair); let me do the pre-show warm-up with him; and coached me during rehearsals. In all things, he showed me how to do my best.

Erik also taught me the importance of repetition – applying the same process to achieve the same result – day after day. Essentially, how you practice is how you play. After working with Erik, I was no longer concerned with what roles I had, but concentrated on perfecting my technique in preparation for better parts. Which did come with changes in our repertory the following year.

Since then, my own experiences as a teacher have taught me that the world is a better place when every individual is inspired to reach his or her fullest potential. Working with adult novice beginners is especially gratifying, as our sessions aren’t only about improving technique but also enhance the quality of life.

Whether you are a banker, doctor, lawyer, stay-at-home parent or billionaire CEO – the principles apply: discoveries in ballet lead to discoveries in life. Deeply immersing yourself in the movement process can lead to new life-changing thoughts in daily life.

With dedicated repetition of the fundamentals, both student and teacher steadily move forward with knowledge, grace, vitality and strength.