Living! Get Some Inspiration – Finis Jhung

Finis Jhung keeps his body, mind and spirit moving and thinks the rest of us need to keep them moving too. The 77-year-old dancer has his aches and pains “like everyone else,” he says.

But he continues to update his thinking and adapt what he’s learned to help others and himself. Finis teaches six adult-beginner dance classes a week at the Ailey Extension run by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Manhattan.

When you watch the video, you’ll find he treats his students like professionals and helps them get the most out of their bodies and their time with him.

“Working with adult beginners at the Ailey school has been wonderful for me because you are dealing with adults who for the most part have never danced.They don’t have ballet bodies, they don’t have ballet minds. But they are people who love ballet.

They have always wanted to learn and they work so hard. And they start to change,” he told us. Finis thinks many of us, especially as we age, need to pay more attention to our posture and how we move.

He says, “If people could have some kind of awareness about posture, so they balance their body properly and are able to then walk more smoothly.” Many of us get caught up in moving around without considering how we hurl ourselves through life.

“I can look out my window and I watch people walking on the street, and a lot of people are just kind of constantly in the state of falling forward and trudging,” he says.

Looking at our devices as we walk, sit on a bus or subway or in front of our computers often causes our heads to droop and puts pressure on our necks and shoulders. That affects the way we walk when we stand up.

Finis offers this tip: “If I had one tip to give you about posture, it has to do with your head, because you must remember that your brain is in your head, so it is very important. Yet with most people the head is falling. What I teach my beginners is: Lace your fingers and put your fingers on the back of your head.”

Continue →and Watch Finis Demonstrate Finis produces a line of videos for dance teachers and aspiring dancers.

You may also want to watch more in our Living! series:  Children’s book writer, poet and artist Ann McGovern and artist Pierre Clerk.

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.