No registration is necessary for open classes.
The Joan Weill Center for Dance
There are no classes on the following dates: July 4, September 1, November 27, December 24, 25, 31.
Absolute Beginner Ballet:
Sunday 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.; Monday & Wednesday, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
If you have no ballet experience, or it's been years, this is the class for you. Learn correct posture, centering, and positioning with both hands on the barre. Learn how to use your muscles so you gain strength and control of your movements. After one hour at the barre, you will move to the center floor and learn basic ballet movement skills.
Advanced Beginner Ballet:
Sunday 1:45 - 3:15 p.m.; Tuesday & Thursday, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
This class assumes you know the fundamentals taught inthe Absolute Beginner class. Barre exercises are done with only one hand on the barre. You will do exercises that emphasize correct placement and strengthen the supporting side. The centerwork includes large poses, pirouettes and other turns, linking steps, and simple jumps.
If you are from out-of-town and planning a visit, please confirm that Finis will teach via e-mail: email@example.com
MEET FINIS’S SUBS:
NOTE ABOUT SUB TEACHERS. All sub teachers have studied regularly with Finis a minimum of five years and have demonstrated in or assisted with his instructional videos. You will have the same FINIS CLASS as usual: barre set-up, exercises, instructions & corrections, and music.
Melissa Elstein, a former professional ballet dancer and non-practicing attorney, is the founder of Good Energy Yoga and Reiki, LLC. She teaches children’s ballet at The School at Steps on Broadway, Gentle and Chair Yoga at Integral Yoga Institute, Core Strength Yoga at Upper West Side Yoga & Wellness Center, Tai Chi Easy™ & Qigong at The Dorot Center for Seniors, and conducts stress reduction seminars for firms and non-profits. Originally trained at the School of American Ballet ("SAB"), Melissa joined the Pennsylvania Ballet Company. After suffering a debilitating injury, Melissa graduated phi beta kappa, summa cum laude from Barnard College with a BA in Political Science, and receiving her J.D. (Stone Scholar) from Columbia Law School. As a lawyer, Melissa clerked for Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. and Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Upon completion of her clerkships, Melissa worked as a trial attorney for the New York City Police Department Legal Bureau's Civil Enforcement Unit. After taking a brief hiatus from the practice of law, Melissa found herself drawn to holistic health care topics and spiritual practices, and completed numerous teacher trainings. She is certified in yoga, pilates, Tai Chi Easy™ and Reiki. Melissa's interest in teaching ballet was piqued after taking Finis Jhung’s intensive weekend ballet teacher training in 2011. In 2012, she became an American Ballet Theater (ABT®) Primary-Level 3 certified ballet teacher and is featured in Finis Jhung's DVD “The Ten-Minute Stretch Break.” For more information, visit www.goodenergymovementandwellness.com.
Sachiko Kanai was born in Yokohama, Japan and studied and trained at Matsuyama Ballet Company, Kiyoko Ogawa in Japan and the Academie de Dance Classique Princess Grace in Monaco. She studied in London at the Urdang Academy and performed with The European Ballet Company. In Japan, she danced in the Japanese Ballet Associate production of The Sleeping Beauty and began teaching children and adult ballet classes. She performed in Cats, Contact, The Lion King, A Chorus Line, and was a standby for Mamma Mia and West Side Story. In 2007, she moved to New York and began her studies with Finis Jhung at The Broadway Dance Center. She became a lead on an NHK TV show and continues to work in various shows, films, and commercials. She dances at the Metropolitan Opera in Aida, Turandot, Armida, Madama Butterfly and Parsifal and teaches at the Beyond Dance Studio in Brooklyn. She is the demonstrator in the following Finis Jhung videos: The Center Floor Ballet Warm up, Use Your Head and Turn, Pirouette Class 2, Basic Ballet Movement Skills Lesson 2, and Ballet Barre for the Adult Absolute Beginner.
Mayumi Omagari began her classical ballet training at Tatsuo Kasuya Ballet in Tokyo, Japan. She later joined the company and performed in such classics as Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. She also toured Japan as a member of the Japan Ballet Association in Coppelia. After moving to New York in 1994, she began studying with Finis Jhung at The Broadway Dance Center and was cast in the German productions of the musicals Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Starlight Express. In the United States, she has performed on Broadway, at the Metropolitan Opera, has appeared on National tours and in numerous regional theater companies. Mayumi is a guest professor at Showa University of Music's Musical Theater department. She is a member of AEA and AGMA.
“I believe Finis is happy in his fairly recent ‘incarnation’ teaching adults to love ballet — if you look at the photos of Finis’s intensive workshops you will see the concentration on the faces and accomplishment in the bodies; we are very serious. Finis must feel great satisfaction in seeing those students who are not training to be professionals discover a sense of importance about being engaged in the Art of Ballet in all its complexity yet essentialness as well. What we do in a Finis Jhung class and how it resonates both in class and afterwards impacts in meaningful and fresh new ways. It feels as though this experience with dance matters in the larger scope of things, contributing to the way we build our world around ourselves and exist within it.”
”For many years, I was completely resistant to ballet, even though I knew it was basic training and a necessary credential for dancers. Before I met you, I was performing other dance forms in the New York area, and felt ballet was too academic, and in any event, not really taught, so why bother taking class? Well, as often happens in life, there is a time and place for everything, and my time and place for finally studying ballet is with you now at the Ailey Extension. Needless to say, I regret not having done it before, because with you, ballet is an expansive, living, breathing, exuberant form that can be taught to and learned by adults. It is a bittersweet education for me, making up for lost time, but every class, I am fueled by the potential to do more, and dance more. Lead onward, Maestro! Thank you so much.”
“I truly enjoy taking your classes. I was, over 15 years ago, a professional B’way jazz dancer but never had any proper ballet training and was intimidated by many of the classes back then (although I did take your beginner ballet barre, on occasion). It is exciting to not only be using my body once again but to finally have the opportunity to understand the style, conventions and movements that make a ballet dancer at a level my body and mind can comprehend and develop. Thank you.” — Nancy Melius, NYC, NY
“I feel fortunate to have encountered you at this point in time, as you continue your ‘backwards journey to the fundamentals of movement.’ Your Ailey students are aware that you could limit your teaching to professionals if you wished, and yet you choose to share your knowledge with adult beginners who will never be dancers. Your beginning classes bring happiness to a lot of people.
“I appreciate the zen-like quality of the barre exercises in class. While I don't possess an aptitude for dance, I enjoy grappling with something that is beautiful and so different from other aspects of my life, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to take your classes. Thanks.”
“I'm just writing to express my deep gratitude for your ballet class. I've tried to take a beginning class here and there as an adult, but never found one that was basic enough for someone who studied a bit as a very young child but remembers very little as an adult. I've now had about 6 classes of Level 1 with you, and I already sense subtle improvements in my balance and strength. I'm 41-years-old and it is such a privilege to be returning to the study of this extraordinary art after so many years, without any of the pressures that real dancers face, but just for the sheer joy of it. Thank you so much for your unique and amazingly generous approach to teaching, making ballet truly accessible to ordinary people.”