As we continue celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, this week we’re highlighting the contributions and achievements made by organizations and individuals in their communities. For the last 40 years, New York’s Museum of Chinese in America, or MOCA, the nation’s largest Chinese-American museum, has focused on preserving and making Chinese American history accessible to the general public. At the age of 82, ballet legend Finis Jhung says his "greatest joy is helping students find their “inner dancer.” He began dancing when he was six years old, and now as a renowned and beloved dance instructor in New York City, Finis Jhung has taught everyone from prima ballerinas and Broadway stars to adult beginners. On his YouTube channel, Finis is helping the 50+ community stay active by using their minds and bodies through exercise. CLICK HERE to watch a video.
“Trainer extraordinaire, he teaches ballet dancers why they do what they do." -The New York Times
Since 1972, Finis has been a mainstay of the New York dance scene. While running his own studio until 1987, he was the founder, artistic director and choreographer for Chamber Ballet USA. He has taught at all the major New York studios as well as at various festivals, workshops, and Ballet Competitions throughout the USA and Europe. Finis danced in the Broadway, National and film versions of Flower Drum Song, was a Soloist with The San Francisco and Joffrey Ballet Companies, and a Principal Dancer with The Harkness Ballet of New York. His teachers were Willam F. Christensen, Valentina Pereyaslavec, Vera Volkova, Stanley Williams, Erik Bruhn, Rosella Hightower, and David Howard.
Finis Jhung 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 re-evaluate ballet teaching and to develop innovative teaching methods which make ballet easier to understand and more enjoyable to learn, while preserving the essential qualities that make ballet a great performing art.