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“I wanted to let you know that 4 of my students were chosen to dance with the Moscow Ballet Company when they performed The Nutcracker in Gillette, WY. The master ballet director, Olga, chose my students out of hundreds of children who auditioned because of their technique. Their technique is outstanding because I teach them what I have learned from you in your videos. The ‘how and the why’ makes all the difference in the world. Thank you again for sharing your ‘pearls of wisdom’ so we are better ballet instructors for our students. You are so gracious in your corrections. The words you choose and your tone of voice are very soothing and uplifting to the student — ‘you are the student, I know you can do this, and I’m going to show you how.’ I love way you break the movement into physics. I can correct someone, let them practice, and before they go home they have conquered their biggest fear such as turns. They get it!”
— Lori Bickford, RNC, BSN, MS
Director of Services, Weston County Public Health, Newcastle, WY
“As a soloist performer and choreographer, I have to admit I always choreographed and performed favoring my ‘good side.’ However, when I decided to start teaching, I knew that I had to work both sides and be able to accomplish turning on my ‘bad side’ as well, if I expected my students to do so. I was introduced to your ballet dvds by accident and now I’m hooked and almost have the whole library. It is the best investment I could have ever made in my dance training and technique polishing. I work it daily and can now accomplish a triple pirouette on my ‘bad side’ which quite honestly I don’t always remember which side that is! My strength and balance have equaled on both sides as well. I worked your pirouette Class 1 and 2, but I believe it is working your center and barre work as well and hearing you say ‘get on your leg, get on your leg’ continuously that helped me get it into my brain and body. I can’t thank you enough for making ballet so enjoyable for me (in truth I always dreaded ballet class in the past and now I’m loving it), and I have been applying your techniques to other jazz forms I train and teach in. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, wisdom, and love of dance. It is an amazing experience.’
— Sharise Parviz, Studio Sharise, San Jose, CA
"I am writing to thank you for giving me back my love of dance. I have taught dance for the last twenty years and become very disillusioned with the rudiments and lack of creativity in the 'syllabus dance world.' Your beautiful work without a doubt proves that with a firm basis in technique you can produce beautiful and creative performers without the need to follow a syllabus and take examinations. After all, dance is an expression of your soul and thus confining this to syllabi somewhat damages a person's inbuilt creativity and desire to try new things. I now teach non-syllabus classes only and will put my pupils into festivals once ready. It is lovely to see them 'dance outside the box' and make huge progress in their technique as well. Thank you for inspiring me to continue teaching."
—Mandi Lines, Principal, Aspiration School of Dance, West Sussex, UK
"Thank you for providing us 'dare to dream' dancers with a program that not only teaches the technical aspects of ballet, but also gives that boost of confidence to keep you going. I'm really looking forward to getting back to dance, even though the last time I took ballet I was 24. Turning 41 has brought many changes in my life, yet losing a passion for ballet will never change. Thanks once again." — Mary-Jo Caira, Kingston, ON, Canada
"Your videos has given me a love for ballet I never had. And what I am learning from your videos I have applied to all my other styles of training and teaching. You are an inspiration and I feel I have found a gift in your videos. I was always a thinking dancer and never understood some of the directions some of my teachers gave. Just didn't make sense. I thought it was just me 'not getting it' as no one else seemed to have any doubts on the instruction (or maybe they just didn't verbalize them), but you make sense. I catch myself saying 'Yes, That's right!' or 'That's what I always thought' when I am working your videos. You truly are amazing. Today I cried while using one of your videos, feeling such a joy and freedom. You make it so easy and wonderful to learn. So thank you, thank you, thank you. Truly, if I wasn't also teaching, I'd be spending all my time learning-never leaving my studio."
—Sharise Parviz, Studio Sharise, San Jose, CA
"The DVDs are remarkable and I now own almost all that have been produced. As a product of Balanchine trained dancers, I know that I hold a high standard for my students. I love Finis and his approach to teaching. Everything in his DVD collection speaks to my own personal dance background. He is, in effect, reinforcing my memories and helping me pass substantial technique to my students." — Virginia Zellner, Studio D, Sherman, CT
"I would like to take the opportunity to THANK YOU for all that you teach us. Your approach has also helped me tremendously with my Character Class. Your principles apply 100% so I have 11 year old girls doing things that took me years and years to understand and, sadder for me to accept, to do. I am also learning to dance Salsa with a professional dancer and —oh surprise!— I had to do chaînés and en dedans turns on high heels and guess what? Again, your teaching came to my rescue. I thought this was a little bit funny but also it amazed me to see how far your knowledge can reach. For that reason I wanted to share this with you as I think you deserve the recognition for it. So once again, thank you for all your dedication."
— Heidi Ketchel, Teacher, Rochester, PA
"Loaded with your gentle guidance and helpful suggestions, your DVDs have yielded one revelation after another, and I have had a bunch of 'aha!' and 'wow, it works!' and 'I actually look professional!' moments! I even bought some of your DVDs that are beyond my capabilities (the pointe DVDs, for example), because I love looking at them, and, even for a beginner like me, I have found numerous nifty helpful tips in those DVDs. I work full-time, and my ballet classes are just once a week (twice a week if I manage to get time off from work). I practice at home in my kitchen, which is where I watch your DVDs for guidance and sheer enjoyment. My ultimate ballet daydream is to be able to do pointe, but I know it needs dedicated practice for a bunch of years; and my 64-year old body is already thinking, 'are you nuts?' ha ha! Thanks again for your wonderful teaching!"
— Loretta Seeley, Hospital Pharmacist, San Francisco, CA
"I have to say how grateful I am that you share your wisdom and your knowledge not only with professional dancers you coach but with people of dramatically lesser physical abilities. Perhaps because I came to organized movement relatively late I am keenly conscious of how much it adds to the joy of life. Your DVDs have helped impart that joy to people far outside the professional dance world. Thank you for that."
— Laura Fasick, Moorhead, MN
"I wanted to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the contributions that you have made to the world of dance. About eight months ago I came across your website and watched some trailers for your videos on YouTube. Your amazing, serene teaching style is an inspiration to me. I have been teaching dance on and off for several years. My primary focus in class is to teach the 'why' as well as 'how' to execute steps. I have learned so much from your incredible DVDs and hope to travel to New York to attend your workshops. Your passion and knowledge translates so naturally to video and it is obvious that you are a natural teacher. I have eight of your DVDs, and every day I watch one of them. It is amazing because I learn so much each time I watch. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world. Thank you for for your inspiration. You are truly a gift!"
— Katey Street, Owner /Teacher, Aspire Dance, Phoenix, AZ
"Finally, I have seen all of the DVDs I bought from you and danced with all of them. You are really a genius, because you taught so exactly and clearly as well as interesting that I can learn unbelievable very much on every exercise with real pleasure. Sure, I will repeatedly see them and learn more intensively."
— Mrs. Dr. Jur. Xiaobing Yang-Benckendorff, (Senior Lawyer China Desk), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
"I can't tell you how much your videos have helped me teach ballet to my students. You take the 'mystery' out of dance by putting the emphasis on the science of physics. Not only have I seen 'dramatic' results in my students, but I at the age of 48 am dancing once again and en pointe! I thought my days of dance were over except to teach. Sometimes I just put the DVDs in just to hear your voice. You have such a peaceful and calming voice. I am very aware of my tone of voice with my students as I understand constant correction and guidance needs to be balanced with the positive belief I know my students can make the necessary corrections if taught properly. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience of classical ballet with teachers and students. You make us all strive to make our best efforts even better..."
—Lori Bickford, Ballet Teacher, Newcastle, WY