Finis Jhung Workshops

ABOUT FINIS JHUNG

Since 1972, Finis Jhung has been a mainstay of the New York dance scene. He has taught dancers of The New York City Ballet, The American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey, Ailey, Taylor, Graham, and Cunningham Companies as well as star gypsies from Broadway, aspiring professionals, and amateur adult beginners.

While running his own studio until 1987, Finis was also founder, artistic director and choreographer for Chamber Ballet USA. Since then, in New York City, he has taught at The Broadway Dance Center, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Peridance, Ballet Arts, The New Dance Group Arts Center, and Steps. Throughout the year, Finis presents Workshops for Teachers and Adult Students at The Ailey Studios in NYC. Finis taught the lead boys of Billy Elliot: The Musical (Broadway, Chicago Company, National Tour) and was the Trainer at Billy Camp, designed to prepare young hopefuls for future auditions.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1937 of Korean-Scottish-English parentage, Finis graduated with High Honors from the University of Utah in 1959, where he majored in Ballet under Willam F. Christensen. After a six-month tour of duty with the National Guard, where he was the fastest typist in the U.S. Army, Finis joined the Broadway cast of Flower Drum Song. He went on the road with The National Company, and then joined The San Francisco Ballet. During that time, he also went to Hollywood and danced in the film version of Flower Drum Song. After becoming a soloist with SFB, Finis joined The Joffrey Ballet, touring Portugal, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and countless U.S. cities. In 1964, he joined The Harkness Ballet of New York, where he became a principal dancer and toured France, Italy, Monaco, Rumania, Germany, Greece, Egypt, Tunisia, and more of the U.S.A. Critics worldwide acclaimed his brilliance and elegance.

During his professional career, Finis studied with Valentina Pereyaslavec, Vera Volkova, Stanley Williams, Erik Bruhn, Rosella Hightower, and David Howard. Finis has been the subject of numerous articles in national publications, and was featured as a "ballet virtuoso" on Lifetime TV. His life-long love of theatre and dance has led him to reevaluate ballet teaching. His innovative teaching methods have proven to make ballet easier to understand and more enjoyable to learn, while preserving the essential qualities that make ballet a great performing art.

"I’ve loved ballet since I was six years old … I tell my students, I only have twenty more years to teach, you know.” Read more in the December 2012 issue of Movement Matters, published by the SERCCA
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  "I always emphasize the need to make ballet appetizing and doable, because it remains one of the best training systems for all styles of dance." Read more in Dance Teacher Magazine's feature on Finis Jhung.
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"Get legs like Natalie Portman." Read more in Time Out New York's feature on Finis Jhung's class.
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  "Giving dancers the tools to move with strength and ease." Read more in Dance Magazine's feature on Finis Jhung.
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"Finis Jhung's pragmatic approach to teaching ballet gives all students the tools to become dynamic performers." Read more in Dance Teacher's spotlight on Finis Jhung. Photography: Eduardo Patino
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  "Every dancer in the studio has a different reason for studying with Jhung. 'He ends up teaching you as much about life as about dancing,'" Read more in Connoisseur's article on Finis Jhung.
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"What makes Jhung so special is that everything he does is original and, at the same time, based on strong traditions." Read more in Ballet News' feature on Finis Jhung.
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  "I think from the inside out. Western philosophy places man against nature. Eastern philosophy sees man and nature as one. Life is energy. Energy flows. Everything has life." Read more in Dance Pages' feature on Finis Jhung.
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"Whatever I teach is just a clarification and explanation of what dancing is—understanding the anatomical structure, the placement, identifying the center you start with. Then you must establish ideas." Read more in Dance Scope's interview with Finis Jhung.
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  "Fast and precise, Finis Jhung has a highly personal rubato that he weaves into the fabric of his movement." Read more in Dance Magazine's feature on the Harkness Ballet.
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"I was born and raised in Hawaii and am of Korean-Scottish-English descent. I started dancing at the age of six, as I liked the wonderful old black-and-white Hollywood musical movies that we used to see..." Read more in Ballet-Dance Magazine's interview with Finis Jhung.
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  "After a morning of acting, dialect and vocal tutoring, the three new boys cast to star in Billy Elliot: The Musical tumble into the studio, all smiles, testing out their turns. At the helm of coaching these new Billys is master teacher Finis Jhung." Read more in Dance Teacher Magazine's interview with Finis Jhung.
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"The Chicago Billys underwent intense training three days a week for six weeks with the New York-based coach and ballet master Finis Jhung, a former soloist with the San Francisco, Joffry, and Harkness ballet companies." Read more in Chicago Magazine's article on Billy Elliot.
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  "Three Billys, One Master. Finis Jhung coaches the newest crop of boys to play Billy Elliot." Read more in Dance Studio Life's interview with Finis Jhung.
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"Congratulations to January’s winner for DTVideo of the Month, Finis Jhung. The excerpt from Jhung’s 1999 instructional video, 'Partnering Techniques:The Nutcracker,' features Griff Braun and Johanna Snyder..." Read more in Dance Teacher's Magazine's article on Finis Jhung
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  "The dance instructor Finis Jhung puts prospective Billys through their paces in New York." Read more in the New York Times' article on Finis Jhung
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"DanceMogulMagazine is proud to present a true Dance Mogul, Finis Jhung. He has been blessed with the gift of the dance and he has been giving back that gift almost his entire life, helping to empower others that come across his path. Not only is he a true Dance Mogul he also serves as an example of a real Dance Teacher. "
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  "Finis Jhung was one of many teachers with whom I studied back in the day. The place: New York. The time: the early 70s, which would have made him a relatively young man somewhere in his mid-thirties. He was phenomenal even then, having committed the single most astonishing physical feat I’ve ever seen a dance teacher perform."
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An interview in two parts with Emmy Award winning producer Christian Cudnik. First, Finis discusses his life and career. Then, in part two, he talks about his teaching philosophy.
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  Finis offers his insights and opinions on Bastille Opera Ballet Nutcracker and other Parisian ballet news.
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