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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Finis Jhung workshops


Serendipity

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I have a possible opportunity to attend a Finis Jhung workshop weekend in the Spring. It's around $250, has about 7 hours of classes over the weekend. I can combine it with a trip to see family and possibly even take other classes during the week itself.

 

Has anyone been to his workshop? Is it worth the money? I think it includes the lunches. There are other activities as well, such as video analyses (not sure if it's of us or of other dancing). If you went to one of his weekend events, what was the class size like? That, for me, would be a deciding factor, btw.

 

Thanks for any insight.

S.

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I went to the teachers + students workshop in August. There were very few non-teachers, and it was longer than the student variant.

 

Good:

For me, it was very useful. It was even useful to be in a teachers' class, because he explained how to teach certain ideas and went very slowly. So, in general I liked it very much. As for "worth the money"--well, I guess that's subjective. I thought the price was fair.

 

The facility is beautiful and conveniently located. On weekends (esp. summer Sundays) it's easy to park nearby on the street. (!)

 

Bad:

--The class size was quite large, so there wasn't a lot of individual attention.

--The longer workshop was very long, and my feet don't do well with that much standing. So my feet/legs were rather fatigued.

 

Please feel free to ask me more questions either here or by pm.

k

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Thanks so much for this information. Of course I have more questions. LOL!

 

How large is large, in talking about the size of the classes? The one I'm looking at is the "Ballet Basics Weekend Intensive for Adult Students." It's not for the rank beginner but probably a year or so (I would think, from the description).

 

You mentioned standing around for a long period of time. How much down time DURING class was there? The price seems good for what they offer at this one.

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Hi.

 

I'd guess the class size was in the 30s. The studio was plenty large, but it was a larger class that is usual for me.

 

As for standing--I wouldn't say that there was much just plain standing--everything was very well-organized. It's more a physical quirk of mine--despite a generally high level of fitness for someone of my age, standing for long periods seems to bother my feet a lot more than it bothers others' feet. Also, since this was a teachers' workshop, there was a bit more explaining than there would be in other workshops. But I liked hearing the explaining.

 

k

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Ah! 30s I could cope with. I had imagined a lot more than that. Did Finis Jhung walk around a lot or did he teach from just one spot? Trying to get a handle on how the class goes.

 

The description first says that if a person has been taking classes with him or elsewhere, we could do this. Then further down it says that one should have had classes with him or have had the video classes.

 

Granted, I pick up quite quickly nowadays but I was wondering too if there was a huge difference between what he does and what is done in most classes?

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Hi Serendipity

 

I have not attended any of Finis' workshops, so I cannot comment on that, what I can say is that from watching lots of his DVD's (I have about 10) he definitely seems to have some barre warm up exercises which he doesnt really teach as he ALWAYS does them and he mentions that he does these exercises with all his students from the youngest to the most advanced, if you have not heard the explanation behind the exercises, you may not understand the point of them, on the other hand, I am blonde and it may just be me that didnt get them the first time I saw them :blink:

 

Having said that, I would definitely jump at any opportunity to do a class/workshop with Finis.

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I'd agree that it seemed that there were a few basic exercises that seemed "standard" (I took regular open class two more times in August), and this is one area where the teachers' workshop is probably different from the students' workshop. But it seems to me that the workshop should allow time for explaining (and is more designed for non-local students), and the "standard" exercises were quite slow and simple.

 

Oh--in terms of how the class goes: he walks around a bit, but not much.

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What was the class size difference between the regular open classes and the workshop classes, if you don't mind my asking? It's helping me determine whether to just go for open classes (if I go to NY at all, that is) or go for the concentrated workshop.

 

Thanks again so much for your insight!!

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I took an open class at Alvin Ailey that he taught and it had about 40 people in it--it was Sunday, Ballet II. The studio was huge so that number of students was not a space problem.

 

I found the barre extremely different from what I have done in other ballet classes but I had watched some of his DVDs so it was not a completely surprise. He does stuff where you have your arm behind you at the barre, and that is something never done in the classes I take. My classes at the regular studio I attend are Vaganova, and the epaulement is very important. Forget about that for Mr. Finis' classes. I found that the differences at the barre fit into the context of HIS class. The movements related to what he later taught in the center so they made sense. However, they will not be what most people are used to. He walked around a bit but not much in the class I took during the barre. He did not make any individual corrections during the center but it was such a large class that it would be hard to do that.

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Thanks for that Luceroblanco. I'm still considering. If I do this, I think I'd prefer the concentrated weekend. It would leave me time during the week for different classes and family visits. I haven't been to NY for a few years.

 

Still have to check out total finances, of course. <grin>

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Well the student class $250 is cheaper than the teacher's weekend. I mean, it's worth taking classes with instructors that interest you. I think some of the things he does and explains for adult beginners are very helpful. The Ailey school is also amazing in terms of the newness and size. You should check out some of his videos or youtube clips so that you know what to expect. I think the problem would be expecting a traditional ballet class and then being surprised with the innovations that he does at the barre in particular.

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I have a few teachers who don't do the traditional class and I have a few of his videos, although I must admit I haven't watched or used them as yet. I like being in class, not practicing on my own. Just an atmosphere thing, I believe. I'll view the videos though and see what it's all about. Thanks for the info! Now I have to do the overall costing and see if it truly is feasible.

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