Finis Jhung


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Get to Know Finis

In a career spanning six decades, ballet legend Finis Jhung left his mark on Broadway, in film, and on stages across the world to critical acclaim. While still a dancer, he studied with such greats as Valentina Pereyaslavec, Vera Volkova, Stanley Williams, Erik Bruhn, Rosella Hightower, and David Howard, and was a member of the San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and a principal dancer for the Harkness Ballet. He danced for presidents and dignitaries, taught generations of dancers—from prima ballerinas to Broadway gypsies and everyone in between—and founded his own dance company. Now in the second phase of his career—as a renowned and beloved dance instructor at the Ailey Extension in New York City, his goal is to make ballet accessible to everyone, to constantly create new and innovative ways of teaching, and to inspire future generations of dancers. Not content with life in the studio, he created more than 50 instructional dance videos, produced eighteen music CDs, and authored The Finis Jhung Ballet Technique: A Guide for Teachers & Students so that aspiring dancers and dance teachers of every level can learn his techniques, without ever leaving home. In Ballet for Life: A Pictorial Memoir, he shares his own story for the first time, from humble roots in World War II Hawaii, to the heights of success in the world of ballet. Still actively teaching at the age of eighty, his greatest joys remain spending time with his son, Jason, and helping each of his students to find the dancer within.